Krista Davis comes to the blog today with the second in her Pen & Ink mysteries, this one narrated by Rebecca Mitchell
The Coloring Crook
Florrie Fox manages a bookstore in Georgetown, Color Me Read, and is an artist that designs coloring books for adults. An interesting premise that brings a plethora of characters together, many of whom are members of the ‘coloring club’ that meets at the shop. Florrie is an interesting character, and with her romance with a local cop seeming to tick those boxes, she’s busy with her shop and her work, and enjoying the camaraderie within the shop’s walls. But the most vibrant member of the club is Dolly – and Dolly’s discovery of a rare book that may be worth significant money has Florrie intrigued, particularly when Dolly turns up dead and the book is nowhere to be found. A curious set-up for a cozy, and in those terms it fit the bill quite nicely, even as the multitude of characters did manage to muddle this read up a bit, particularly as it was my first introduction to the series.
But, as the murderer is sought and Florrie puts on her ‘detection’ suit, the interconnections of the characters, some hidden, others not, felt a bit contrived and overworked, and perhaps a bit too coincidental to be believable. What I did find was all of the charm that one would expect from a cozy, with offbeat characters, a twisty path to the solution and plenty of moments that make this ‘bookstore’ a place that readers long to spend hours inside. The reveal was clever and intriguing, and while I want to read the first in this series to get a sense of who is who from the start, this is a clever, to be read book.
Narration for this story is provided by Rebecca Mitchell, and as always, my experience of her performance is less than optimal. With odd pauses, attempts to distinguish characters that is occasionally successful and confusing dialogue with ‘internal’ moments mean that often I had to ‘rewind and listen again’ defeating the purpose of a seamless listening experience. I’d suggest you start with book one of this series and read them for yourself for the best experience.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 2 Story 3
Title: The Coloring Crook:
Author: Krista Davis
Series: Pen & Ink Mysteries #2
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Rebecca Mitchell
Published by: Kensington, Tantor Audio
Published on: 27 November, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 37 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She's working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore's weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member is more vibrant than Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly likes to say she was blessed with beauty and cursed with lousy husbands, but at least she has a grown daughter and a stunning brownstone to show for it!
When Dolly's love of garage sales results in her showing up at Color Me Read with a rare book in hand, Florrie is astounded. The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was first published in 1760. An original copy would be worth a fortune--and someone else knows it. That same evening, Florrie finds Dolly dead on the floor of her apartment, a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. As Florrie delves into Dolly's past and her personal effects, she discovers a skeleton in the closet--literally--and a whole lot of shady suspects. One of them is an expert in the fine art of murder, but can Florrie draw the right conclusion?
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.