On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Not going too far back in time this week.
A Literal Mess (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Indiana
Lyrical Underground (January 8, 2019)
Print Length: 196 pages
The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .
Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.
Determined to clear her bestie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic’s ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .
Losing a parent can be devastating and Allie Cobb is upset she was unable to get home to say that final good-bye to her dad. She was so much like him and she left home for New York to make it on her own in a field where he was very well known and she did. Now she and her cat Ursula have come back to Indiana for the funeral and so that she can close his office and pass his literary clients on to others.
Then one of his clients is murdered. Thornwell Winchester, a prominent author and the father of Allie’s best friend. The man had issues but he was said to be working on another book and trying to beat his demons. There are several people that could be on the suspect list but the police decide his daughter, Sloane, is to blame. All they and the mayor want is the case wrapped up before the Fall Festival begins. Allie knows she has to clear her friend before they throw the book at her. She just needs to stay on step ahead of the killer which isn’t easy, or she could be next.
If I could back up a couple of decades knowing then what I know now I would love to have a job in book publishing. A literary agent would be a job I know I would enjoy. So when I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to get to know Allie Cobb. With a literary agent for a father, you know reading was an integral part of Allie’s life. So much so she followed in his footsteps but was independent enough to want to make her own way in the field. I really enjoyed watching her do her job, the queries, the editing, the push to get the books into the right hands to be published. Her attention to detail not only helps with her job, it is a key element to being a great amateur sleuth. Her mother is a physician and I could see a lot of her mother in her as well. Mr. Kenney has created a wonderful protagonist, a woman who can think on her feet and ask the right questions. She also doesn’t give up.
Rushing Creek, Indiana is populated by a quirky bunch of residents. Those readers will love and those readers will love to hate. The mayor along with Allie’s missing boyfriend were high up on my list of the later. He also includes a couple of four-legged characters that will steal your heart. For the first book in a series, there was a great deal of character development while still leaving plenty of room for growth as the series continues.
The mystery itself was very well written with a pace that ramped up as the story continued. Red herrings, yes there are a few and along twists that led to a surprising ending. I was very wrapped up in the drama and read the entire book, just under 200 pages in one afternoon.
The series is off to an excellent start. I look forward to A Genuine Fix, the second book in this series hits stores July 16.
About the Author
J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.
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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.”