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Ill-Gotten Panes (A Stained-Glass Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2014
Mass Market Paperback
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About the Author
Jennifer McAndrews’ love of mystery began in middle school, and despite the occasional foray into romance fiction, she is happiest when weaving puzzles on the page and leaving a trail of clues for the reader to follow. She resides in the greater New York metro area with her husband, children, four cats, and three rescue dogs.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Georgia Kelly, with the head of unruly bright orange curls so popular in cozies these days, is an accountant flushed out of NYC in the wake of some ill-defined scandal and a broken engagement. She comes to live with Pete Kelly, her grandfather ("Grandy") but before she even gets settled in, he's hauled off to jail for a murder we all know he didn't commit.
Ms. McAndrews goes a little overboard in making everyone else in town a plausible suspect - each of the store owners is initially quite hostile except for Georgia's new quirky sidekick Carrie (all cozy heroines require a quirky sidekick.) Grandy isn't quite loveable enough, and the red herrings aren't quite believable enough. The mystery comes together through chance rather than detective work, which isn't, to me, especially satisfying - there's no way the reader can get ahead and solve the crime.
My final complaint is that for something billed as "A Stained Glass Mystery", there is precious little about stained glass in the book. It seems sort of an afterthought, rather than an integral plot piece. It could as easily have been the first book in "An Ex-Accountant Mystery" or a "Curly Red-Head Mystery" ... you get the picture.
Georgia is an appealing heroine and Grandy has potential, as does the Quirky side-kick, one or two of the police officers, and a local builder. A romantic spark would not have gone amiss here. Wenwood is a charming town that could use some more details in the description, but has, again, potential. We need to know more about Georgia, too - I still have no idea how old she is or what she looks like aside from the hair - we have a better physical description of her new kitten than we do of our heroine.. or anyone else, really.
I liked the book well enough - despite all my complaints, Ill-Gotten Panes had a real appeal for me. I wanted to like it a lot more. I'll definitely read the next one in the series. Honestly, at this point, it could go either way. I hope she can pull it together - I want to learn more about these people and their town, and not have so many problems with my full immersion in the story. The real mystery may be whether or not Ms McAndrews can straighten out some of these issues and get a really great series underway or whether it'll smash into a hundred little wordy shards.
I think this series has potential, and I'll be staying with it to see how it develops. I am hopeful that there will be more about stained glass in the next installment, but I think that for a first effort, it was certainly satisfying in all ways.
Georgia returns to her grandfather's house after a stormy relationship leaves her in a downward spiral.
Everyone in this little town knows who she is and Georgia is is welcomed by the residents, with the exception of one.
A grisly murder shakes the small town and when all fingers point to Georgia's grandpa, she knows just what to do.
The book has the usual assortment of small town characters, some of whom are quirky and enjoyable, but I didn't really warm to Georgia.
I don't understand why this is supposed to be a stained-glass mystery, as the few references to glass could have been removed from the book without impacting the plot. There really was nothing new or fresh here.