Crime & Punctuation (Deadly Edits)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
After splurging to buy her childhood home in the Catskills, recently widowed Mikki Lincoln emerges from retirement as a freelance editor. With her ability to spot details that others fail to see, it’s not long before Mikki earns clients—and realizes that the village of Lenape Hollow isn’t the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose . . .
When perky novice writer Tiffany Scott knocks at her door holding a towering manuscript, Mikki expects another debut novel plagued by typos and sloppy prose. Instead, she finds a murder mystery ripped from the headlines of Lenape Hollow’s not-too-distant past. The opening scene is a graphic page-turner, but it sends a real chill down Mikki’s spine after the young author turns up dead just like the victim in her story . . .
Mikki refuses to believe that Tiffany’s death was accidental, and suspicions of foul play solidify as she uncovers a strange inconsistency in the manuscript and a possible motive in the notes. Then there’s Tiffany’s grandmother and husband, who aren’t exactly on friendly terms over the local area’s planned rejuvenation efforts . . .
Unable to convince police that they are focused on the wrong suspect, Mikki must rely on her keen eyes to catch the truth hidden in Lenape Hollow. As she gets closer to cracking the case, only one person takes Mikki’s investigation seriously—the cunning killer who will do anything to make this chapter of her life come to a very abrupt ending . . .
Mikki London was a school teacher, she retired and then her husband passed away. To fill the time and make some money to help with her home renovation she becomes a freelance editor. She makes most of her contacts online so she is surprised when Tiffany Scott shows up at her home with a 500-page manuscript. She gets another surprise when she looks over the first few pages and is drawn in by both the story and the lack of grammatical errors. The story is a little graphic for her taste but is intrigued by its local theme.
When the young author dies 3 days later, just like the victim in the story Mikki immediately suspects foul play but it has been ruled accidental, maybe even a suicide. She tries to work with the police but gets nowhere. Then Tiffany’s grandmother is arrested, accused of killing her granddaughter. Again, Mikki tries to convince the police they have arrested the wrong person. Unfortunately only the killer is paying attention. Mikki may be joining her husband in the great beyond much sooner than planned.
I am sure Mikki London would cringe at all the typos and grammatical errors I make every day on this blog. I don’t do it on purpose. I always received good grades in English but I have forgotten so much of what my teachers tried to cram into my brain. I like that Mikki is an older protagonist, complete with hearing aids, something new for me in a cozy. She is taking great strides to carry on her life without her husband. Buying and renovating her childhood home is a huge undertaking. She hires help for the things she can’t do and takes on the projects she can complete, mindful that it is going to take time to get everything just right. She is also a reluctant sleuth. When she finds what she thinks must be a key piece of evidence she is not sure how to handle it but quickly finds herself digging for answers.
There is a character a lot like me, Darlene – challenged by our body’s betrayal. Mine due to an auto accident, her due to crippling arthritis. She doesn’t let it slow her down, electric scooter, walker, wheelchair, she gets to where she wants to go. She deals with a scary moment and my heart was breaking for her. She handled it just like I would have, thankfully her friend Mikki had her back. Together they make an amazing team.
The other characters in the story were well developed as well. I also enjoyed that Mikki has a feline companion, Calpurnia.
I found the mystery to be very interesting with a limited number of suspects. The pages were turning at a speedy pace. I followed along with the twists and turns, solved the mystery and reached the end. Surprised I had read the entire book in one sitting.
I really like Mikki and Darlene. I am hoping to visit them again soon.
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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.”