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.
On Borrowed Crime: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Crooked Lane Books (October 6, 2020)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643854623
ISBN-13 : 978-1643854625
Kindle ASIN : B083RZ3ZRR
The Jane Doe book club enjoys guessing whodunit, but when murder happens in their midst, they discover solving crimes isn’t fun and games…
Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle’s private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she’s always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla’s front door.
Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol’s heart condition, the coroner rules Carol’s death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla’s best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend’s name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club’s studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer’s next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.
Much to her mother’s dismay Lyla Moody is very interested in solving crimes, especially cold cases, as do her friends. Together they have formed Jane Doe Book Club. She also loves working for her P.I. uncle as a receptionist but hopes her role will grow into her being more of a partner in his investigations. Her position there does give her an in when pursuing cold cases too.
Sadly the case the book club is now investigating is the death of one of their own. Lyla came home one day to find a suitcase on her porch. Thinking it was her BFF Melanie’s suitcase that must have been lost when she was coming home from vacation, she pulls it in the house and doesn’t give it another thought. That is until Melanie arrives and there is a terrible smell in the air. When they open the suitcase they make a gruesome discovery. Their friend Carol has been killed and unceremoniously folded up and stuffed in the suitcase. Of course, the police put Melanie at the top of their suspect list. With no faith in the police, Lyla enlists the help of the rest of the Jane Doe book club to clear Melanie’s name and find the person that murdered their friend. Soon the tables are turned and hunters become the hunted. Is the killer planning to kill off the book club members one by one? Not if Lyla can stop them!
Ms. Young has created some wonderful characters in this new series. Lyla is a very dynamic protagonist that I want to know better. Her interest in true crime and mysteries has driven her fine southern mother to distraction. Her mother’s total concentration is getting Lyla married to a fine man and providing her with grandchildren. Her father, a well-respected psychiatrist is more laid back. It is her grandmother though that became my favorite character. She is kind and funny and supports Lyla 100% in everything she does, including trying to catch a killer. Her Private Investigator uncle tries to keep Lyla safe and out of his cases but when one of those cases takes him out of town there is no holding Lyla back. We also meet Lyla’s cousin who is a real piece of work. She has been dating and has now moved in with Lyla’s ex. To really throw things in Lyla’s face they have moved in right next door. The book club ladies are an entertaining group and we have just scratched the surface getting to know them. Oh, and the police chief and Lyla have a past. That keeps things interesting.
The mystery was complex and very well-plotted. I liked the way it connected to another case that Carol was delving into. With all the twists and turns the author ramps up the suspense while still keeping the story within the cozy mystery realm. She finds a nice balance between drama and humor and just starts to approach the idea of romance near the end of this story. The ending was exciting. There is still a subplot mystery to be revealed yet as a bit of a cliffhanger drawing us to the next book in the series.
The sweet southern small town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia was an ideal setting. The descriptions painted a vivid picture of the locale but it was the dialogues and attitudes that really gave the story the true southern feel. Lyla’s mother made sure everyone knew what was expected of a young woman of the south even though Lyla bucked and kicked that notion day in and day out.
On Borrowed Crime was an excellent debut for this series. The mystery was first-rate and the characters were very intriguing. There is a lot of room for development as the series continues. I am looking forward to what I hope becomes a long-running series.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.
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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.”