This first in a series by Cheryl Hollon was not the best start for me. I almost set it aside as it took a bit long to get rolling in my opinion. The base of the mystery is well written and the logic behind the guilty party and the red herrings all made sense it was just a bit unorganized at times. I think the editing missed some inconsistencies in the plot components- there were different attributions of the same he said/she said between the end of one chapter and the recap at the beginning of the next. And it wasn't a clue to the mystery.
Additionally, the first chapter did not make any sense to me. It was a fast forward scene but then was promptly passed in the chronological approach to the book. It should have been placed in the proper location in the timeline rather than setting up a flashback.
The other issue I had was there were too many characters up front in the story that would only make brief appearances but then be referenced in a reflection by the main character, Miranda. This was very confusing and unfortunately the cast of characters was listed at the end of the book instead of the beginning.
There were features of the story I enjoyed. Particularly the idea of the Paint and Shine business that Miranda started. As well her reclamation to the rural area of Kentucky where she had spent her summers. Even though she had lots of kin in the area she will always be viewed as an outsider and that will play a role in her life there. I did enjoy reading about her growing relationships with the locals and how she came to acclimate into the Kentucky lifestyle after being in NYC. Also the insight into cultural differences made sense at times, particularly the attitude by many of the Baptist church members toward the inclusion of alcohol in Miranda's tours.
I will give another try to the series if there is a new book and I will seek out some other books from the author's other series.
Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had a hard time getting into this cozy. It took a while for the story to get into a groove as far as I was concerned. It felt like there were too many characters at the beginning which made it difficult to follow the story line- the list of characters appeared at the end of the book but would have been better placed at the beginning. As the story got going I enjoyed the book although there were a few unanswered questions about some of the plot points. I never did understand who was on the ATV- it was never addressed again. Additionally, the first chapter being ahead in the timeline but then promptly passed in time really made no sense to me, the first chapter should not have existed in my opinion- or it should have come in the proper chronological location. The major mystery story was wrapped up well and the plot line and motivation for the death made sense. There were several side mysteries/secrets that were good plot lines that helped set red herrings and explain other suspicious behaviors of characters. The jurisdiction battle between Lexington and the county sheriff while making sense seemed a bit too divisive. I found the business Miranda had started to be a unique approach to pursue and found it interesting and creative. Definitely fits in with modern tourist activities such as food crawls. I will give the series another try before giving up but I hope the structure is a bit better.
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- Crime Scenes
- Row 1
- Kitchen or bakery
- Row 2
- Detectives- Miranda/Austin
- Victims- Viola Childers