Death of a Toy Soldier: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DM2
Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early – Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father’s vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality—and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.
The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz’s business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who’s playing for keeps.
A vintage toy shop, a perfect place for a little Christmas shopping. Liz McCall manages the place for her dad, a retired police chief, who just can’t leave his old job behind. But when a man is found dead inside the store in the middle of the night and the former chief becomes the prime suspect things are far from merry. With the store a crime scene Liz and her father need to find the real killer fast or this Christmas may be their last.
Liz McCall and my own daughter have something in common. They are both Elizabeth/Betsy/Liz. We named her after my mom and my Dad was the only one that called my mom Betsy so it was my dream for my daughter to have that nickname. It stuck until 4th grade when her homeroom teacher started calling her Liz. She will always be Betsy to family but out in the world she is Liz or Lizzie. Same with Liz in this story. She will always be Betsy to her dad.
Barbara Early really impressed me with this story. All the characters are cleverly crafted. A strong protagonist and equally strong supporting characters. I felt they were very fleshed out for the first book in a series but still have plenty of room to grow.
Setting the story in a vintage toy shop is brilliant. So many things will resonate with readers of all ages. I love that the shop was a gathering place for community game nights. Clue, Monopoly, Risk, and more, complete with old time candy. I wish the place was nearby because I would visit often.
The mystery was also so well written. Readers are drawn into the story and will find it very hard to put down. I tried to read it all in one sitting but my eyes just would not cooperate. I quickly finished it the next day. There were quite a few twists in this story and I was right there with Liz the entire way right up to the surprising ending.
A very enjoyable and entertaining read, perfect for the holiday season!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”