Bearly Departed: Teddy Bear Mystery #1 by Meg Macy

Bearly Departed: Teddy Bear Mystery #1 by Meg Macy

Meg Macy makes her first appearance on the blog with the long overdue introduction to her Teddy Bear Mystery series: a wonderful cozy set in Michigan and focused on a family business that makes Teddy Bears. Please read on for my review of

Bearly Departed

The small family-owned Silver Bear Shop and factory is in the middle of tumult. Sasha Silverman is now running things, after having divorced her husband of one year and returning to Michigan, allowing her parents to retire. Still a solid family business, her sister Maddie handles the paperwork and artsy designs, and her uncle is in charge of the shop. But, before he left Sasha in charge, her father hired a Sales Rep, one Will Taylor, a brash ‘sales guy’ who while not oozing slime, is distasteful enough to keep everyone on edge when he’s around. When Will announces at a staff meeting that production is moving to China and jobs will be lost, everyone is in an uproar. And nothing that Sasha can do or say, especially when she can’t roust her parents on the phone, have everyone upset. And then, Will is found dead, on the factory floor, bear stuffing in his mouth.

Oh from first to last, Sasha was wonderful and the whole concept of the bears, patterns, special events (Teddy Bear Picnic and a Tea Party in planning) are wonderful, and her determination to ask questions, many just in trying to settle the events in her own mind, keep the story moving forward. With one employee hiding her past, another in jail for drug possession, a missing neighbor and Will’s list of infidelities coming to light, not to mention his own marital issues, the potential for ‘who did it” are rife.

Twists and turns galore, with another body that hints to drugs and the ongoing worries about her father’s health and her mother’s lack of support in keeping the business open, the story twists and turns. Then her ex shows up, flashy and brash, and her sister Maddie seems to be out of sorts. Shorthanded in the factory, secrets coming out about nearly everyone in town and a final confrontation lead to the murderer, with one final showdown. A wonderfully clever story that brought Teddy Bears to the forefront – with plenty of descriptions, information and even a tour for the Girl Scouts, Meg Macy’s first book brought characters, twists, tension and a ton of cute to the table, and had me racing through the pages to get to the end. With several new options for many of the characters we met, I can’t wait to read the next!

Bearly Departed: Teddy Bear Mystery #1 by Meg Macy

Title: Bearly Departed
Author: Meg Macy
Series: Teddy Bear Mystery #1
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Published by: Kensington
ISBN: 1496709632
Published on: 30 May, 2017
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 288
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo IndieBound Book Depository Google
See this Title on Goodreads

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . . As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcee with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that s just kid s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch with or without Sasha s approval . . . But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha s hit with more bad news police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can t get too comfy or she ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

 

“Hey, lady? Catch!”

A little boy tossed a bear, which I grabbed before it bounced off the ceiling fan. “You can call me Ms. Sasha,” I said, and placed the bear in a bin chock-full of other brown bears. “Let’s not play catch, though.”

He flashed a mischievous grin and grabbed a white bear. This time, I gave him an I dare you stare. The little rascal squinted at me, gauging if I was serious, and then settled for swinging the bear around by one ear. That didn’t worry me. Our bears were nearly indestructible — depending on the abuse, of course.

“Daniel John,” his mother said, “put that back. We’re trying to choose one for your sister Sarah’s birthday.”

“Actually, he may have chosen the perfect bear for her — it’s a polar bear,” I said, smiling at Daniel. “That size fits any of our clothing, like the purple floral dress with the matching sandals.”

Three racks included a display of shoes and fun accessories such as skateboards, balls, and sports items, tea sets, tables, and chairs, to fit all sizes of our bears. I’d convinced my dad that last-minute urges to purchase an outfit or toy for a gift bear would boost sales. He was skeptical until the profit figures soared within three months.

“Yes, how sweet.” The woman took the bear from her son, holding it up to stare into its eyes. “Sarah loves the polar bears at the zoo. Sarah would love the purple dress and the sandals. And that straw hat! She could decorate it with tiny flowers, too.”

“Certainly. I can ring you up whenever you’re ready.”

Meanwhile her son had scampered up the wide stairs in the central round tower of the Silver Bear Shop. We called the tower the Rotunda. Customers always gasped in delight while they admired our Parade of Bears along the inner curved wall, displayed in special five-shelf acrylic boxes. The Bears Around the World each held a tiny flag, and the Branded Bears from Gund, Boyds, Steiff, and Lloyd ranged from oldest to newest.

“I’m so glad we stopped in.” The woman glanced around for her son and checked her watch. “Daniel John! You have a dentist’s appointment, and we have to get you new shoes for school. If you’re not down here in three seconds …”

“I’ll go up and see where he is,” I offered, since my sister had wandered in from the office. Maddie could handle swiping the customer’s credit card and packing up her purchases.

I figured the kid would be safe upstairs jumping on “Mr. Silver.” Not the biggest stuffed bear in the nation but, at eight feet, giant enough for children to crawl over his fluffy legs or have their photo taken sitting in his lap.

I took the shallow stairs two at a time. First I glanced into the side room with the array of “profession” bears dressed in costumes — doctor, nurse, lawyer, and teacher — which lined the wall display shelves. The boy wasn’t there. In the loft playroom, the plastic tea set, table, and chairs, plus several well-loved crochet teddy bears, were scattered across the carpet. Daniel landed on poor Mr. Silver with an audible “oof.”

“Your mom is calling you. Time to go, and thanks for visiting!”

He scrambled to his feet. “Who’s that?” Daniel pointed to a framed photo on the wall.

“My grandfather, who inspired my dad to open this shop.”

“He looks old.”

Daniel ran for the stairs before I could laugh. Kids — rascals or angels — were always honest. In the photograph, eighty-year-old T. R. Silverman posed with the bears he sewed by hand for his children, nieces, nephews, and the local neighbors.

 

About Meg Macy

Meg Macy is an award-winning author and artist. Her first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Spur Award for Best First Novel from Western Writers of America. Meg is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland, authors of the Eliza and Henry Higgins Mystery series -- two of which have been Agatha Award finalists. Meg lives in Southeastern Michigan, the setting for her Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Cozy mysteries.

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