A Shattering Crime
A Stained Glass Mystery, Book #3
By Jennifer McAndrews
Author’s website: www.jennifermcandrews.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Life in Wenwood, New York, sparkles for Georgia, but for one of her neighbors, it’s about to lose its luster…
Georgia’s day-to-day routine finally seems to be lining up. Stained-glass projects in the morning, clerical work for a law office in the afternoon, and waitressing in the evening. Best of all she gets to spend relaxing Sundays with her new boyfriend. But that comfortable pattern is about to be broken.
First Georgia’s cat goes into heat and literally disturbs the peace. Then Georgia’s mother drops in for a visit with her new husband in tow. But everything falls to pieces after a local activist is found dead from a poisoned danish. Authorities quickly put the heat on Rozelle, owner of the local bakery, but no one in town believes Rozelle capable of murder. Now it’s up to Georgia to crack the case and foil the real killer’s plans before the tranquility of Wenwood is shattered.
A Shattering Crime is without a doubt the best in the Stained Glass Mystery series to date. Third in the series, it can be read as a standalone. Georgia is working at least three part-time jobs, and learns something valuable about her current lifestyle in Wenwood, New York. Georgia has been following one of her dreams of working with the stained glass medium she loves.
Where Georgia goes, trouble seems to await her. She was in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new ‘shopping and dining’ experience at the river with her gentleman friend Tony. The leader of a group protesting the loss of the shoreline collapses and dies while noshing on treats that her grandfather’s friend Rozelle has baked for the occasion. Rozelle is the main suspect as she had prepared special sugar free danish that he ate. Her restaurant is thoroughly searched by the police and bags of evidence were filled with some of the baking materials and removed for testing. Then Rozelle disappeared without telling anyone, and Georgia was again pulled into a mystery and a murder…and just to stir up the pot, Georgia’s mother and her latest husband show up for a visit and want to change her life for her. What’s a busy gal to do? Accept help wherever she can get help from, including Terry, a retired PI, who provides invaluable help. And try to give Diana, a friend and police officer who is studying for the detective exam, the space to do her job without expecting the favor of sharing tidbits of the investigation details.
I really enjoy the direction this series is taking, as Georgia has grown so much since the first mystery. Relationships seem to be strengthened and more positive. Georgia has self-confidence that stabilizes her even on the toughest days. Georgia holds first place as the kind of friend and employee one would want to have.While she could step off the pages into daily life, we learn only a little new information about Tony or Grandy. Other characters, including the short term, peripheral and suspect characters are limited to being revealed through behaviors and conversations. I like Georgia, her friend Diana, BFF Carrie who runs Aggie’s Gifts and Antiques, Grandy, and his lady friend Rozelle. What we know about Georgia’s mother and her new husband is limited, as those are not the more healthy of Georgia’s relationships. I didn’t particularly like the way either of them treated Grandy or Georgia!! Two of the straightforward characters that add the icing on the cake are Fifi the French Bulldog and Friday, the kitten who is in her first heat unbeknownst to Georgia as a first-time cat owner. I gotta love a woman who rescues pets who provide some of the funniest scenes in the novel!
The plot was fresh and fabulously executed, including twists and turns even while tossing out a red herring or two. I enjoyed how people in Wenwood knew that Georgia was a very bright young woman who could help the police solve the murder and mysteries and helped her as best they could so Rozelle could be located. I was impressed with how Detective Nolan now listened to Georgia’s ideas even while advising that she should leave the police work to them. It was also interesting to read how Georgia planned various glassworks for the holidays and used colorful glass shards to design earrings to wear or sell. It was fun to be baffled through the end only to not have figured out the right bad guy/ gal! The ending was a breath of fresh air and satisfaction as there was fun with a bit of romance, with all loose ends tied up. I highly recommend A Shattering Crime to those who appreciate well-written cozy mysteries, stained glass crafts, cats and dogs, and a potential for romance.