To Helvetica and Back: A Dangerous Type Mystery #1 by Paige Shelton
How could any reader resist this new series from Paige Shelton? A Dangerous Type mysteries are set in a shop that is dedicated to words: restoring and repairing typewriters, restoring books and even providing papers and pens of all sorts. Please read on for my review of this title, narrated by Marguerite Gavin
To Helvetica and Back
Clare, her grandfather Chester, and her niece run The Rescued Word, with occasional supervisory efforts from Baskerville the cat. Specializing in vintage typewriter repairs, with book reconditioning and stationary of all types, the shop occupies a former mining office in the town of Star City Utah. Taking that theme of vintage to the next level, the shop’s interior is a well-maintained mix that honors the past while offering new life to old and often unappreciated items. When Chester’s friend Mirabelle brings in an old Underwood with a broken “L” key and in need of a cleaning, the story quickly brings questions as a stranger enters, demanding the typewriter and refusing to take no for an answer. Unfortunately, the next morning the man is found dead behind the little shop on Bygone Alley, next to the door that is never used, and Clare becomes a chief suspect.
But Clare is not willing to take it all lying down: she’s not the only person interested in finding out why the man was murdered, or even just how the old typewriter is a part of the case. As she seeks answers and finds more questions arising, we get to meet the townspeople, see Clare’s relationships with friends and family, and even get a glimpse into a sub-plot with a new potential love interest for Clare, a geologist in this former silver town with plenty of mystery in his background as well.
Narration for this story is provided my Marguerite Gavin, and I’m discovering that she has a knack for narrating cozies, with a clear effort made to allow for information to be absorbed, questions to feel just like them, and easily defined characters that sound almost as one would expect in real life. Through the twists, turns, interior dialogue and varying tensions and emotions in this story, she never missed a beat and kept me waiting for the next moment as I guessed, repeatedly, at the culprit’s identity.
Told in first person, Clare’s voice and honest evaluation of herself make her someone you want to know, and the frequent introductions to other friends, family and townspeople make for an intriguing read. Laden with twists, turns and plenty of atmosphere, the story carries a strong ‘vintage’ vibe that keeps readers appreciating the puns, nostalgia and old items and traditions, lovingly cultivated with Shelton’s words. Sure to be a favorite for many, I loved the feel and twists of the story that held many favorites of the cozy genre without tipping over that edge and becoming a parody of itself. I can’t wait to see more from Clare, Chester and the people of Star City.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: To Helvetica and Back
Author: Paige Shelton
Series: A Dangerous Type Mystery #1
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Published by: Berkley, Tantor Audio
Published on: 20 July, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 40 minutes
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About the Book:
The New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word...
Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?
When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: