Saturday, 5 October 2013

Book Review No. 21: Theft on Thursday (a cozy mystery)

This is the fourth in the Lois Meade mystery series that began with Murder on Monday. I've read all of the series up to here in chronological order, and have the rest of the 'days of the week' series in my unread bookcase, along with a couple from the following set.

Lois Meade runs a cleaning business in the small town of Frensham; this affords her plenty of opportunities to find out what's going on in the local area. In this particular book, there's a new vicar in town along with his godson who's a bit of a cad, to put it nicely. The local bad boys rear their ugly heads in the shape of a Klu Klux Klan-style group and the vicarage ends up being burnt to the ground with someone inside. There's also a death from poisoning. I did find this slightly slow going, and the first death doesn't occur until a fair way in to the book, but it's still an enjoyable read. The ongoing background story to the series has jumped forward quite a few years (six, I think) since the last book, with two of Lois's three children having grown up and flown the nest (did the author think they weren't really adding to the story, or does the fact that they are away from the family home offer the chance for them to become involved in mysteries that can be set further afield? Perhaps we'll find out in the next book...) I suppose it does make sense to jump the series forward though, since murders and mysterious deaths wouldn't occur quite as often as a continual series might have us believe.

The books in this series are cozy in the British sense, which I find tend to be darker than their US counterparts. Definitely more of a 'mystery' than a 'cozy', and very enjoyable because of that. I would happily recommend this series to readers who enjoy cozies, especially those with a little more grit and reality.

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