Shards of Murder
A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery, Book #2
By Cheryl Hollon
Author’s Website: http://cherylhollon.com/
Review brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind…
As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor.
But when Megan doesn’t show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman’s dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far.
Shards of Murder is pleasant, easy to read cozy mystery. The reader is back in St. Petersburg with Savannah, Amanda Blake (office manager of Webb’s Glass Shop), Jacob Underwood (apprentice), Suzy – service beagle to Jacob and Edward (referred to as “not yet a lover-but definitely a strong candidate”). Oh…and let us not forget the twins…Faith and Rachel as well as the law enforcement contingent of Officer Boulli and Detective Parker. I love these characters.
The story begins with Savannah and Keith (Savannah’s mentor from Seattle) sharing a beer and waxing philosophical quotes such as:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
In addition, they are discussing the upcoming Spinnaker Arts Festival, where Savannah will be taking the spot of judge in the aftermath of her father’s murder, one the murders that was solved in Pane and Suffering. Savannah is (rightly so) nervous about her duties as a judge given the high regard of her late father in this festival. But never to shy away from a challenge, Savannah is taking this task on with her usual enthusiasm.
Megan Loyola is a talented artist, from the same school in Seattle that Savannah went to. She has a booth in the festival. Her booth is in a bit of an awkward spot, and right across from her is Leon Prices’ booth (another artist from the same school in Seattle – and previous lover of Megan). In the end, Savannah has to choose between artwork of Megan and Leon to take top honors in their category at the festival. At the awards ceremony, Megan received the Best of Show award, but she was not present at the ceremony! It turns out that no one had seen her in a couple of days? Curious given her enthusiasm for the festival.
A couple of days later, while on a run with Rooney (Savannah’s Weimaraner) …. well…you guessed it. Savannah and Rooney discovered the body of Megan. Through hap and circumstance, Savannah is named a person of interest (suspect) as she was both the last person to see Megan alive and the person who discovered her body. Well technically, Rooney discovered Megan’s body.
Naturally, Savannah gathers the ‘posse’ together to work through the mystery in an effort to quickly clear her name. I loved the interactions between Savannah and Detective Parker (and I do wonder if there will be anything romantic between them in the future???). I loved how they played upon the strengths of each ‘posse’ member to work as a team and slowly (though faster than the police) figure out who the murdered was. I found Jacob’s affinity to patterns interesting as well as invaluable in solving the mystery.
There were a few other story-lines which kept me interested. Savannah getting Rooney ready to compete in an agility meet. Teaching various methods of working with glass to small classes of students (six at a time). As well, the romantic life of Savannah and how (and with whom(?) it will proceed. With the introduction of Edward’s mum and dad….does this put too much pressure on Savannah? All of these added depth to the story in addition to the main story-line of solving the mystery.
The main requirement of a cozy mystery for me is that I am kept guessing until the end. This story delivered this requirement and then some.
Shards of Murder is the second book in the A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series, but works as a stand-alone title as enough of a back story is included. Though I would suggest going back to the first book in the series as this will give the reader a better sense of who each of the characters are. I will patiently wait for the next installment of the series “Cracked to Death”.