Death Under Glass
A Stained Glass Mystery, Book #2
By Jennifer McAndrews
Author’s website: www.jennifermcandrews.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie
In the latest novel from the author of Ill-Gotten Panes, Georgia Kelly has made a home for herself and her stained glass business in Wenwood, New York. But not everything in the sleepy Hudson River town is as transparent as it seems…
While Georgia has come to love her new hometown, her stained glass windows haven’t exactly been raking in the dough. So when her best friend, Carrie, offers her the opportunity to create a made-to-order window for Wenwood’s latest bed and breakfast, Georgia jumps at the chance.
But when Carrie’s ex-husband’s office suddenly burns to the ground and Carrie’s own office and apartment are robbed, Georgia has to put down her glass and cutter to get to the bottom of the trouble. Carrie insists she doesn’t have enemies, but Georgia is determined to do everything in her power to find out who’s targeting her friend—and why—before anyone else’s life is smashed to pieces…
‘Death Under Glass’, second in Jennifer McAndrews’ new Stained Glass Mystery series, has pleasantly surprised this reader! Yes, it can easily be read as a stand-alone as the author skillfully blends in any background for the characters and Wenwood, New York that the reader might find necessary to better understand the current events. And I have enjoyed it much more than the first in series, ‘Ill-Gotten Panes’. In my opinion, the primary characters have much more depth, and there is a strong relational focus on both Georgia Kelly and Carrie’s friendship and the relationship between Georgia and Grandy, her grandfather Pete Keene.
Georgia is not sure yet if she is going to stay in Wenwood, New York, or attempt to return to the big city and her prior career in Finance with her new kitten, Friday. She is not living the life she dreamed of, however, she is living a life with the love Grandy and good friends. A vehicle of her own, a better income would be great…but her new, small business gives her a little satisfaction.
Carrie Stanford, owner of the antique shop that has been in her family for generations, reached out her hand of friendship shortly after Georgia’s arrival, and saw her through trying to find the murderer of the hardware store owner and get Grandy out of jail.
As this novel begins, Carrie takes Georgia to meet Trudy Villiers and her adorable bundle of energy and drool, Fifi, a bulldog who immediately adored Georgia. The plan was for Georgia to get a feel for the home, then propose and design a stained-glass window to add to the grandly remodeled Victorian home that was becoming a bed and breakfast. While there, Carrie had an emergency call from the police telling her that the building that housed her ex-husband’s legal firm was on fire and her ex couldn’t be located. It was very obvious that someone had set the fire in the building owned by Carrie and her ex. Within days, Carrie’s shop was broken into and much of her stock was shattered or otherwise damaged. Sadly, her troubles were just the beginning, and she couldn’t think of one person who had a grudge against both her and her ex.
Georgia’s hands are full, helping Carrie find out who is after her and cleaning and restoring her shop, plus working her stained glass art. Fortunately, they also had the assistance of Diana Davis, a friend on the PD with whom they enjoyed a weekly girls’ night out.
The author reeled me in from the very beginning. Give me spunky, opinionated protagonists with interesting careers and add a pet or two and I’m all in. The characters are witty and likable, with challenges, conversations, and feelings that make them ready to step off the pages and into the small town of Wenwood. The camaraderie between Carrie, Georgia and Diana, and watching Georgia somewhat self-consciously converse with a man interested in taking her out gives them genuinely realistic personalities.
The plot was interesting and somewhat unique. The author showed an amazing talent to plan and execute such a well-written tale in which the bad guy was almost as much a surprise to me as to Carrie and Georgia. The motive was a huge surprise! There were enough twists and turns to keep me thoroughly busy thinking about whodunit! One of the reasons I was interested in this series still holds true – understanding the process of making designs in stained glass. While I don’t have a steady enough hand to choose this for a hobby, I am still interested in seeing it through Georgia’s eyes. I also enjoy the view of the growing town of Wenwood through the eyes of Georgia and Carrie. I highly recommend ‘Death Under Glass’ to adults of any age who appreciate well-written cozy mysteries that keep the reader guessing and entertains with likable characters and humor. I hope that we will see Jennifer McAndrews’ talent gracing the bookshelves for a long time to come!