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Guidebook to Murder

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In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store—Coffee, Books, and More—open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder? When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store—Coffee, Books, and More—open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder? When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill—along with all of her problems. . .and her enemies. Convinced her friend was murdered, Jill is finding the list of suspects longer than the list of repairs needed on the house. But Jill is determined to uncover the culprit—especially if it gets her closer to South Cove's finest, Detective Greg King. Problem is, the killer knows she's on the case—and is determined to close the book on Jill permanently. . .


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In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store—Coffee, Books, and More—open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder? When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store—Coffee, Books, and More—open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder? When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill—along with all of her problems. . .and her enemies. Convinced her friend was murdered, Jill is finding the list of suspects longer than the list of repairs needed on the house. But Jill is determined to uncover the culprit—especially if it gets her closer to South Cove's finest, Detective Greg King. Problem is, the killer knows she's on the case—and is determined to close the book on Jill permanently. . .

30 review for Guidebook to Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Some things I found a bit too implausible, the romance passages were a bit weird sometimes, and some of the end parts were rushed but despite all that I still enjoyed reading this. It did have me gripping the pages at certain points too. The mystery seemed secondary to the town and characters in the story. Loved Aunt Jackie and Jill but felt everyone else could have been fleshed out a bit more (Well, aside from Sabrina.. she was a piece of work). Not a bad start to the series but dunno if I'll be Some things I found a bit too implausible, the romance passages were a bit weird sometimes, and some of the end parts were rushed but despite all that I still enjoyed reading this. It did have me gripping the pages at certain points too. The mystery seemed secondary to the town and characters in the story. Loved Aunt Jackie and Jill but felt everyone else could have been fleshed out a bit more (Well, aside from Sabrina.. she was a piece of work). Not a bad start to the series but dunno if I'll be reading more.. maybe if the next goes on sale or on Kindle Unlimited.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rane

    Jill Gardner has left behind the fast paced life as a lawyer and a marriage gone south to settle South Cove, California and open a book store Coffee, Books, and More. Things maybe slow at the shop but they are peaceful until, a sudden call from her dear friend, Miss Emily, things quickly go downhill. Miss Emily is receiving threats to kick her out of her home, Jill thinking to find out more about this and check on her friend find herself in devastated when she finds her friend dead. Dealing wit Jill Gardner has left behind the fast paced life as a lawyer and a marriage gone south to settle South Cove, California and open a book store Coffee, Books, and More. Things maybe slow at the shop but they are peaceful until, a sudden call from her dear friend, Miss Emily, things quickly go downhill. Miss Emily is receiving threats to kick her out of her home, Jill thinking to find out more about this and check on her friend find herself in devastated when she finds her friend dead. Dealing with the lost Jill has much more on her shoulders when Miss. Emily has named her, her heir, inheriting everything along with alot of trouble. Because Jill starts receiving her own threats along with pressure from the city and an outside builder wanting the house and the confirmation that Miss.Emily was killed. Now it's a race to find the killer before Jill is next on the list. I was quickly wrapped up in the story from page one. A owner of a bookstore, come on what's not to love? The overall trouble I had with the book was the MC Jill. She had ALOT to deal with and as a human being who has lost a dear friend it's portrayed very natural. The trouble was at times Jill showed no backbone toward certain characters when in others she would stand her ground. I wanted her to speak up and really show some gumption. I also think that was the beauty of it all was Jill was a complete human in her actions and thoughts and knew when to push and back off. Along the ride Jill has some backup in her friend Amy and Detective Greg King aka the love interest to help her as she starts to gather clues. The mystery was very well paced with Jill digging into Emily's past with alot of surprises on the path with the killer being somewhat of a surprise in itself- only goes to show one don't judge a book by it's cover. A great start to a series. I'm truly looking forward to the next book in this series! ARC courtesy of NetGalley

  3. 5 out of 5

    ✨Susan✨

    A good start to a cozy series that takes place in a cute little town where nothing ever happens outside of the normal. When Jill, a gal in her thirties, decides to run away from the big city and big career, she eventually lands in South Cove where she feels at home from the first day she arrives. Miss Emily, an older resident, befriends her and their relationship blossoms into a a very strong mother daughter type of bond. Upon a call from Miss Emily concerning a legal matter, Jill decides to go A good start to a cozy series that takes place in a cute little town where nothing ever happens outside of the normal. When Jill, a gal in her thirties, decides to run away from the big city and big career, she eventually lands in South Cove where she feels at home from the first day she arrives. Miss Emily, an older resident, befriends her and their relationship blossoms into a a very strong mother daughter type of bond. Upon a call from Miss Emily concerning a legal matter, Jill decides to go over to her house the next day to visit and share some legal advice. Unfortunately it is a day too late, Miss Emily had passed in the night, however, she was in good health and Jill knows that there is something fishy going on. There are quite a few people who would benefit from Miss Emily's death so Jill starts an investigation of her own to the chagrin of the local police. A murder mystery with a bit of drama and a side of unrequited romance. Jill was a believable character and the story line was good. The ending was a bit abrupt but a fun, light, Daily Deal, cozy never the less. Susan Boyce did a great job narrating and I am looking forward to getting to some of her other titles in my library.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    The setting and premise of this cozy mystery were appealing - a bookstore/coffeeshop an hour or so from San Francisco, and a heroine who has escaped hectic city life after a divorce. The premise held up - evil developers pursuing and maybe murdering locals to do their dirty deeds and make loads of money. Many cozy heroines have love interests. But the writing of these scenes read more like parts of a bodice ripper which I found very annoying. It made the book seem as though it couldn't decide wh The setting and premise of this cozy mystery were appealing - a bookstore/coffeeshop an hour or so from San Francisco, and a heroine who has escaped hectic city life after a divorce. The premise held up - evil developers pursuing and maybe murdering locals to do their dirty deeds and make loads of money. Many cozy heroines have love interests. But the writing of these scenes read more like parts of a bodice ripper which I found very annoying. It made the book seem as though it couldn't decide whether it was a mystery or a romance novel. Cozys invariably include potential romantic partners for the main character. My objection was to the style of these passages which disrupted the flow of the book. I also found some of the actions of various characters infuriating. How can someone go missing for days and the police refuse to investigate? How can a character have her property vandalized and receive multiple threats before the police do anything? (view spoiler)[ Why doesn't Jill Gardner ask the hunky detective who is supposedly married, why he never goes home for dinner instead of taking her out? (hide spoiler)] I might read another of these but only if I find one at the library.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Good first book in the series. I liked the California coast town setting and the characters were likeable too. The mystery was good and kept me guessing. The ending seemed kind of rushed and may be could have just benefited from the last scene being set up as an epilogue instead of a continuation of the last chapter.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    a most excellent 5 star read! review to come...:) guidebook to murder: a tourist trap mystery: I knew right away I was going to like this book. What a hoot. I don't take notes while reading, that would so wreck the book buzz I get but, upon reflecting for the book review I could not stop chuckling! Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books and More in the small town of South Cove, California is just like all the rest of us, she is plagued with self doubt, yet strong and tuff when she needs to be. She f a most excellent 5 star read! review to come...:) guidebook to murder: a tourist trap mystery: I knew right away I was going to like this book. What a hoot. I don't take notes while reading, that would so wreck the book buzz I get but, upon reflecting for the book review I could not stop chuckling! Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books and More in the small town of South Cove, California is just like all the rest of us, she is plagued with self doubt, yet strong and tuff when she needs to be. She fantasizes about food constantly and really enjoys eating yet, is aware of it and of course always thinking about losing those extra 10 pounds. Of course she wants a good man yet, doesn't really want to want one. I related to and very much enjoyed this character. The confusion and sexual tension with the very handsome Detective Greg King is quite fun. We meet Jill in her book & coffee shop one morning when she gets a phone call from her neighbor down the street, her dear friend 80 year old Miss Emily who is very upset that yet again she is being pestered by the town council to sell her beloved but very run down home so they can build an apartment complex. Jill wants to help her so she enlists her friend Amy who just happens to work for the city to look over the paperwork and maybe clear up these problems for her friend and neighbor. The next day on her way over to Miss Emily's house to tell her what Amy found out, what Jill finds out is a dead, possibly murdered Miss Emily! Jill soon finds out Miss Emily had no family...or does she, so she left everything to her and with so much to do and sort out, she calls her aunt to come and help her out at the Book & Coffee shop. Jill and Detective King are on the case of who killed Miss Emily and what they find turns out to be a treasure trove of excitement! There are some thrilling and scary near misses when they and people they love come close to getting hurt but what they do find ultimately is an attraction for each other. I loved Aunt Jackie and I'm hoping she will be in the next book too. I Loved the storyline, characters and the humor but, most of all I liked Jill. I got this book for a review from Net Galley

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    In the quiet coastal town of South Cove in California, Jill Sanders sets up her shop “Coffee, Books, and More”. Jill loves to read and wants nothing more than to make the shop a success. Things turn out to be not so quiet when she gets a desperate phone call from her elderly friend Miss Emily. It seems the town council is issuing her ultimatums to get her old house in shape or else. Miss Emily seeks out Jill’s assistance, but when Jill arrives, she finds her friend dead. The police are sure it w In the quiet coastal town of South Cove in California, Jill Sanders sets up her shop “Coffee, Books, and More”. Jill loves to read and wants nothing more than to make the shop a success. Things turn out to be not so quiet when she gets a desperate phone call from her elderly friend Miss Emily. It seems the town council is issuing her ultimatums to get her old house in shape or else. Miss Emily seeks out Jill’s assistance, but when Jill arrives, she finds her friend dead. The police are sure it was of natural causes, but Jill isn’t buying it. The autopsy supports Jill’s belief. When Miss Emily’s will is read and Jill inherits everything, the police turn their sights on her. She has become their prime suspect, but Jill has a list of her own. The list of people who wanted Miss Emily dead is growing every minute. When Jill’s best friend, Amy, goes missing, she turns to the handsome detective on Miss Emily’s case, Greg King, for help. Jill fears for Amy's safety. She absolutely cannot lose someone else she’s close to, plus her own life hangs in the balance when threats begin coming fast and furious to her doorstep. As Jill tries to satisfy the council’s demands for repairs to the house, she meets obstacle upon obstacle. She finds herself dealing with Miss Emily’s disinherited relatives, art thieves and building developers. Each one has dollar signs in their eyes and Jill wonders if one of them could also be a killer. I love starting on the ground floor of a cozy mystery series. It’s great fun to meet new characters and visit new places. This story is no exception. I thought the two main characters Jill and Greg were wonderfully portrayed. They are strong characters and the supporting cast were equally as strong. My one problem was that there was a misunderstanding between the main characters that could have been solved on page one with a simple question. That was bothersome but didn’t ruin the story for me. Jill did seem to take a few unnecessary risks, but that’s the nature of a cozy mystery. The main character usually does do things that make the reader scream “NO!”, but it’s all part of the excitement and adventure of a mystery story. I didn’t figure out the real culprit until Jill did, so that’s good. The story took a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and that makes it even better to read. I will definitely be checking out the next one which is due out in July. FTC Disclosure: NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    I broke my own rules with this author -my rule is never to buy a whole or even a part of a series no matter how cheap it is UNTIL I've read the first book. Well, I must have had a major brain fart because I now own this entire series except book 2 -and the first book pretty much sucked. There were too many inconsistencies that I just couldn't overlook, too many red herrings, too many characters for a first book in a series, impossible plot points, unfortunate policing, and the main character acts I broke my own rules with this author -my rule is never to buy a whole or even a part of a series no matter how cheap it is UNTIL I've read the first book. Well, I must have had a major brain fart because I now own this entire series except book 2 -and the first book pretty much sucked. There were too many inconsistencies that I just couldn't overlook, too many red herrings, too many characters for a first book in a series, impossible plot points, unfortunate policing, and the main character acts like a teenager for most of the book and a weepy spoiled one at that. Now I'm stuck with the rest of the series----I just hope that the author learns how to write better and the characters grow ... for the better.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Borsey

    I loved this book from beginning to end. I can’t wait to read more books in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard. Guidebook to Murder takes the well-known "unexpected inheritance" plot and gives it almost too many twists in the form of additional "treasures," a mayor and developer intent on condemning Jill's new house to put up condos, and several other possible claimants to Miss Emily's estate. Throw in an attractive but possibly married police detective, a series of threats, a sudden disappearance, and tensions around Jill's coffee shop and bookstore Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard. Guidebook to Murder takes the well-known "unexpected inheritance" plot and gives it almost too many twists in the form of additional "treasures," a mayor and developer intent on condemning Jill's new house to put up condos, and several other possible claimants to Miss Emily's estate. Throw in an attractive but possibly married police detective, a series of threats, a sudden disappearance, and tensions around Jill's coffee shop and bookstore, and poor Jill is suddenly up to her ears in troubles. Despite its plethora of complications, the plot works pretty well overall, and author Lynn Cahoon succeeded in pulling the wool over my eyes regarding the main villain's identity. I say "main villain," because the author doesn't make trying to pin all the nefarious deeds (of which there are a fair few) on a single person, making the challenge of identifying the perpetrator(s) more difficult for the fictional sleuths -- and more fun for the reader! I did think Jill's book-and-coffeeshop would feature more prominently in the mystery, and it's one of the things that drew me to the book in the first place. I'm hoping the shop will play a bigger role in the next mystery, but I understand why this book couldn't revolve around it. Jill has more than enough on her plate just dealing with her inheritance, making urgently-needed repairs to the house, and trying to find a murderer; it simply makes sense that her shop has to take a backseat for a while. My only real peeve about the novel, other than the sheer unlikelihood of so many unexpected things occurring so close together, is that Cahoon resorts to a common and overused ploy to increase romantic tension: the long misunderstanding that could be easily cleared up with a single conversation. Frankly, that trope drives me nuts; a reasonable, rational adult would simply confront whatever issue is causing the tension and talk about it. But that's a personal preference, and since the relationship isn't the main focus of the book, I didn't find it as annoying as I would have in a romance novel. Aside from that one complaint, the budding romance is sweet and charming, with plenty of potential for future books. Guidebook to Murder is entertaining and fun despite its minor flaws. I like Jill, her aunt Jackie, her friend Amy, and Detective Greg King, and I look forward to seeing what happens to them next. Most important, the mystery kept me guessing almost to the end, and that's not always easy to do! I'm already looking forward to the next book in the Tourist Trap series, Mission to Murder, due out July 31. FTC disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. A wonderful series to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. A light and entertaining read--Think small business, quaint town, shops, espresso, bookstore, cafe, coffee, galleries, inns, and a good cozy mystery which GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER offered; full of lovable (and not so likable) characters and friends in this small South Cove, CA tourist town. Jill, a former lawyer has inherited Miss Emily’ A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. A wonderful series to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. A light and entertaining read--Think small business, quaint town, shops, espresso, bookstore, cafe, coffee, galleries, inns, and a good cozy mystery which GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER offered; full of lovable (and not so likable) characters and friends in this small South Cove, CA tourist town. Jill, a former lawyer has inherited Miss Emily’s house (she befriended her years ago), and of course the city wants to tear down the house for a new condo real estate development. With other things in mind and begins her fight with small town politics and meets many obstacles, and of course Emily’s family, the mayor, real estate developers, attorneys, threats, and now faced with the circumstances which surround Miss Emily’s death and secrets, and then then her best friend goes missing. As the mystery unfolds (who did it), many possible suspects and secrets to keep you turning the pages. My only input would be more background of Miss Emily and her past, as I agree with some of the other reviewers. Loved the main character, Jill at times, however other times not, as she was back and forth as a door mat. She owns the quaint Coffee, Books and More, along the coastal Pacific, after having moved from a larger city after her divorce, interacting with many tourists while they are in the area – life is good until she inherits the home of her old friend and Detective Greg (possible love affair)?, gets involved – mystery begins . . . If you like cozy books, bookstores, small towns, and a light mystery, this book is for you; however, if you are a serious thriller mystery lover, it might not be your cup of tea. The front cover was a nice draw and appealing if you are a book lover. My first book by this author--definitely look forward to reading the next book , “Mission to Murder” #2 in series “A Tourist Trap Mystery.” (sneak preview at the end – with mentions of Aunt Jackie, Sadie, Greg, Craig, The Castle, a mystery writer, fortune teller, a B&B and of course a murder mystery–something to look forward to-coming summer 2014)! http://judithdcollins.booklikes.com/p...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

    The description of this book is what made me pick it up to read it...I mean, what could be better than a book about a book store, coffee, and murder? There were many things I liked about the story: - I did not figure out who did it even though I was convinced I knew the answer. - It was a quick read. - I wasn't bored...there were enough elements to keep it interesting. - The characters were not over developed...just enough information to flesh them out. So why only 2 stars?? If there is one thing that The description of this book is what made me pick it up to read it...I mean, what could be better than a book about a book store, coffee, and murder? There were many things I liked about the story: - I did not figure out who did it even though I was convinced I knew the answer. - It was a quick read. - I wasn't bored...there were enough elements to keep it interesting. - The characters were not over developed...just enough information to flesh them out. So why only 2 stars?? If there is one thing that drives me nuts, it's a protagonist that does not learn from their mistakes and continues to make illogical decisions and guesses. For example, how long would it take a normal rational human being to realize the person pursuing you is NOT married and is either divorced, widowed, or separated...and if you couldn't figure it out, how long would you wait to ask? And what normal thinking intelligent person (a lawyer no less) would think an inheritance left to them would actually belong to someone else? Another thing...who in their right mind would ignore three attempts on their life along with threatening notes and vandalism to their property, as just some unconnected coincidental chain of events?? There are numerous others but it's aggravating me again just thinking about it. Though the story was fairly decent and interesting, I don't believe I will be reading any of the others in this series...I just couldn't handle the frustration.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    When Jill Gardner moved to South Cove, CA she was looking for a fresh start after her divorce and a quiet life running a café / bookshop. But then one of her close friends, Miss Emily tells her the council and a developer are trying to bully her into selling out and shortly thereafter she turns up dead. Jill knows there is something hokey going on and convinces the town's detective to investigate. Adding to her woes, Miss Emily left everything to her except the family bible which she left to her When Jill Gardner moved to South Cove, CA she was looking for a fresh start after her divorce and a quiet life running a café / bookshop. But then one of her close friends, Miss Emily tells her the council and a developer are trying to bully her into selling out and shortly thereafter she turns up dead. Jill knows there is something hokey going on and convinces the town's detective to investigate. Adding to her woes, Miss Emily left everything to her except the family bible which she left to her greedy relatives. Now the family are threatening to sue, council is threatening to condemn the house, someone is stealing from Miss Emily's estate and a murderer is on the loose. Throw into the mix Aztec gold and expensive art works and the scene is set for a bit of a mystery romp. Guidebook to Murder isn't perfect. The story is quite straightforward...entertaining without ever being particularly challenging. But Jill is pretty damned awesome (what's not to love about an amateur sleuth who runs a book store?) and even if the male characters aren't all that interesting, the female characters who inhabit her world are really quite delightful and set the book just a little higher than other cozy murder mysteries. Many thanks to Kensington and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chatting About

    Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More in the city of South Cove, CA. When Jill moves to the California coast, she meets and becomes close friends with a sweet, elderly lady, Miss Emily. Miss Emily has no one to look out for her, and she becomes like a mother to Jill as their friendship flourishes. When Jill finds Miss Emily dead in her bed, grief hits her hard. Did Miss Emily simply die of old age, or did something sinister happen to her? Jill's friend, Amy, works for Mayor Baylor, who's a me Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More in the city of South Cove, CA. When Jill moves to the California coast, she meets and becomes close friends with a sweet, elderly lady, Miss Emily. Miss Emily has no one to look out for her, and she becomes like a mother to Jill as their friendship flourishes. When Jill finds Miss Emily dead in her bed, grief hits her hard. Did Miss Emily simply die of old age, or did something sinister happen to her? Jill's friend, Amy, works for Mayor Baylor, who's a mean spirited man, threatening to condemn Miss Emily's unkempt property to try and force her to sell to a developer who wants to build apartments on her land. When Jill inherits Miss Emily's property and assets, it starts a chain of events that lead to a killer who will stop at nothing to get what they want! Jill unveils Miss Emily's hidden talent! Amy suddenly goes missing!! This satisfying cozy mystery is rich in humor, compassion, and friendship. The characters are enjoyable, and there is a hint of romance between Jill and Detective Greg King. Everything centers around the murder mystery, and Jill's combination bookstore and coffee shop. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Kensington in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    South Cove California is a tourist stop along the coast. Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More and she just wants to make enough to keep the business open. She is relatively new to the town. It was meeting Miss Emily one day that convinced her to move to South Cove. Miss Emily is an elderly woman who has had a bunch of businesses crop up around her home. Her house needs a lot of work but when she receives a letter telling her the town council is going to condemn her home or force he to sell South Cove California is a tourist stop along the coast. Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More and she just wants to make enough to keep the business open. She is relatively new to the town. It was meeting Miss Emily one day that convinced her to move to South Cove. Miss Emily is an elderly woman who has had a bunch of businesses crop up around her home. Her house needs a lot of work but when she receives a letter telling her the town council is going to condemn her home or force he to sell to a big developer she calls Jill in a panic. Jill calms her down and tells her they will work things out. But before that can happen Miss Emily passes away very unexpectedly. She leaves her home and all its problems to Jill, but Jill thinks Miss Emily was murdered and sets out to prove it even as the killer tries to puts Jill out of business permanently. Dollycas’s Thoughts I knew I was going to love this book and I sure did. Jill Gardner is a great character. She is down to earth and her confidence while shaky at the start continues to grow throughout the story. She also likes food and she features some tasty treats in her shop. There will be even more if Aunt Jackie has her way. Aunt Jackie is a lot like my mom was, do things now and get permission for them later. Jill asks Aunt Jackie to help her with the store as she deals with Miss Emily’s house and all that entails and Jackie took “help” to a whole new level. I was laughing out loud. I was sad that Miss Emily became the murder victim. She was quite a woman and she has a few secrets. I would have loved to spend more time with her. South Cove is also home to Detective Greg King. A handsome guy that just keeps running into Jill. The sexual tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. It is going to be fun watching this relationship progress. The mystery is great too, I just wish I had Jill’s energy, not only does she find out what happened to Miss Emily and why, she also makes substantial repairs to Miss Emily house. Of course she has outside contractors to help but just pulling everything together while painting and decorating was miraculous and a joy to read. There is a lot going on in this book. The pages just flew. I have been trapped by this Tourist Trap mystery and can’t wait to be trapped again by Mission to Murder coming July 31, 2014.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Made it to 50% before deciding to give up. It probably would have been mildly decent if the main character Jill didn't spend most of her time swooning over the police chief who she thinks is married. It's bad enough that she won't stop thinking about how cute he is and his buff physique and how much she has a crush on him but it's worse since she thinks he's married. (I'm guessing he's divorced but I never got far enough to find out.) She also "waxes poetic" over one of the possible antagonists. Made it to 50% before deciding to give up. It probably would have been mildly decent if the main character Jill didn't spend most of her time swooning over the police chief who she thinks is married. It's bad enough that she won't stop thinking about how cute he is and his buff physique and how much she has a crush on him but it's worse since she thinks he's married. (I'm guessing he's divorced but I never got far enough to find out.) She also "waxes poetic" over one of the possible antagonists. She spends more time thinking about her lack of a love life than over the mystery. I just can't waste any more of my time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Schell

    This is the kind of book that I love. It had everything that I look for; a great plot, a wonderful mystery, an amazing heroin, a murder that I didn't figure out, and topped of with a hint of romance. This is a fantastic read. This is the kind of book that I love. It had everything that I look for; a great plot, a wonderful mystery, an amazing heroin, a murder that I didn't figure out, and topped of with a hint of romance. This is a fantastic read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    After settling down in South Cove, Jill Gardner is spending her days running her shop and enjoying the town she fell in love with enough to restart her life in. Things are going well until Miss Emily passes away. In her heart, Jill immediately knows it was murder because Emily’s derelict house was sitting on an extremely profitable piece of land. When it turns out Emily left everything to her name to Jill, poor Jill finds herself trying to solve a murder before she becomes the next victim. I real After settling down in South Cove, Jill Gardner is spending her days running her shop and enjoying the town she fell in love with enough to restart her life in. Things are going well until Miss Emily passes away. In her heart, Jill immediately knows it was murder because Emily’s derelict house was sitting on an extremely profitable piece of land. When it turns out Emily left everything to her name to Jill, poor Jill finds herself trying to solve a murder before she becomes the next victim. I really wanted to love this book. Unfortunately for me, I did not like Jill, so I had a hard time getting into the story. I found her to be extremely dull and had a hard time believing that she was ever a lawyer. The longer I read the book, the more I found it hard believe she was supposed to be living the fast life with a big career let alone be a former lawyer. Even her own aunt was light years ahead of her. I also didn’t care for the romance because Jill kept focusing on how her beau was a married man. The pair could’ve been on fire, but Jill was the only one who failed to notice that the man is clearly divorced and very single. That said, I did enjoy the supporting characters, particularly Aunt Jackie. I loved Jackie from the moment she was introduced and found myself wishing I was following her instead of Jill. She’s such a vibrant and fun character who seems to have gotten all the brains. I also loved Amy, so I was sad when she went missing early in the story. Emily was also a wonderful character that we got to know well through everyone’s memories as well as the mementos she left behind. I think that, at the core, there’s a great cast of characters here. The mystery itself was okay. I think that there was a little too much going on between the house repairs, the history of the property, the mysterious treasure, various characters pressuring Jill to sell the house, Amy’s disappearance, Emily’s late son’s secret kid and grandchild… The list goes on. I think that some of these things could’ve been saved for future books because it felt like we just kept getting hit with something new while Jill was bumbling around trying to investigate. I do think that, overall, it’s a cute story with several funny moments. I just had a hard time getting into it because Jill is such a flat character. The mystery itself was a little overwhelming at times, but I think the author was onto something and that her mysteries will likely be tighter as the series continues. I’m not sure if I’ll read the second book since I don’t like Jill, but I loved the supporting characters, so we’ll see.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Prince William Public Libraries

    Guidebook to Murder delivers exactly what readers of cozy mysteries expect: a lightly themed, not too gruesome murder mystery set in a small town with a dash of romance. The story isn't unusual or particularly inventive, but it's not boring, either. Many of the plot elements are typical of cozy mysteries (flexible job that allows time to investigate, outspoken BFF, romantic tension, savings fund / inheritance that means the main character doesn't have to worry too much about making money), but C Guidebook to Murder delivers exactly what readers of cozy mysteries expect: a lightly themed, not too gruesome murder mystery set in a small town with a dash of romance. The story isn't unusual or particularly inventive, but it's not boring, either. Many of the plot elements are typical of cozy mysteries (flexible job that allows time to investigate, outspoken BFF, romantic tension, savings fund / inheritance that means the main character doesn't have to worry too much about making money), but Cahoon breaks from the pack with the dead body count, limiting it to one in this series starter, which I appreciate. One murder in a small town is believable, but numerous dead bodies per book would deplete the town of residents (and tourists) pretty quickly. Hopefully she can remain similarly restrained as the series continues. I also appreciated that Jill, the main character, doesn't behave in a stupid, ditzy, or reckless way. She made a few poor decisions, as most people do, but she's definitely not the bumbling, putting-her-life-in-danger type of character that has become typical of light mysteries. My only significant issue with the book is a lack of creativity with titles. The main character's shop is called "Coffee, Books, and More," which is the absolute least creative and most boring store name I've ever seen. You're telling me Jill spent her savings establishing her dream job/store in a historic coastal town and she couldn't come up with anything better than Coffee, Books, and More? I don't buy it. The name just makes the character, the author, and the editors look lazy. The title of the book also bothers me -- not only is Guidebook to Murder not very interesting, but it also has nothing to do with the plot. Again, it seems the author and editors should have been able to come up with something better, and the fact that they didn't makes it seem like they weren't trying very hard. Overall, Guidebook to Murder is a quick, fun mystery that the reader actually has a chance of solving before the main character -Andrea F. Click here to find the book at the Prince William County Public Library System. Click here to find the audiobook at the Prince William County Public Library System. Click here to find the eAudiobook at the Prince William County Public Library System.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Badseedgirl

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool horror, and science fiction fangirl. I love the sound of organs slowly sliding from an eviscerated body. I relish the moans from the undead. Nothing makes me happier than the vision of an apocalypse; be it by invading alien horde, off course meteors, or plagues that only spare type AB positive, left handed children under the age of 10.675 years of polish decent. But I also love reading stories about little old ladies, lazy Scottish police constables, and slightly plump co I am a dyed-in-the-wool horror, and science fiction fangirl. I love the sound of organs slowly sliding from an eviscerated body. I relish the moans from the undead. Nothing makes me happier than the vision of an apocalypse; be it by invading alien horde, off course meteors, or plagues that only spare type AB positive, left handed children under the age of 10.675 years of polish decent. But I also love reading stories about little old ladies, lazy Scottish police constables, and slightly plump cookie boutique owners who can't take a step out their front door without stumbling over a dead body. That's right I love a cozy mystery. My love of this genre stems from an early age. Even as a child I religiously watched "Murder She Wrote". I was thrilled to find this series. It has everything I want in a cozy mystery. There is a charming heroine who stumbles into a mystery. She is just the right amount of prickly and sweet. There is humor injected in a regular basis. and best of all, I can finish the book in a day or two. This was a wonderful series, but the book ended a tad abruptly. 4 of 5 stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather L

    Originally, I was going to give this one three stars, but... There were editing issues in the last few chapters. One of my biggest peeves is authors not knowing what their characters are doing. Chapter 16 starts out with the main character wearing Capri's, but then changes mid-chapter into a sundress...then at end of the chapter is suddenly back in pants again, and she had not stopped to change again before engaging in the activity that supposedly got the pants dirty that she was not wearing at Originally, I was going to give this one three stars, but... There were editing issues in the last few chapters. One of my biggest peeves is authors not knowing what their characters are doing. Chapter 16 starts out with the main character wearing Capri's, but then changes mid-chapter into a sundress...then at end of the chapter is suddenly back in pants again, and she had not stopped to change again before engaging in the activity that supposedly got the pants dirty that she was not wearing at the time. There is another similar issue in chapter 20. One character turns on the TV, leaves the room for a few minutes, then returns and turns on the TV that was already on. This may seem nitpicky to some people, but if one person notices issues like this, you can be sure others will, too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ❂ Murder by Death

    First in a new series that I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A very strong start and really likeable characters. A very solidly plotted mystery as well. Full Review: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/814918... First in a new series that I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A very strong start and really likeable characters. A very solidly plotted mystery as well. Full Review: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/814918...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    What a great book! I've read Lynn Cahoon's Cat Latimer books, but this is the first Tourist Trap mystery I've read. There were more than one mystery in this story, which made it rich and complex. But it was a fast read for me, not wanting to put it down. There were several reasonable suspects, and I didn't solve the mysteries until they were revealed in the book. I loved Jill, owner of a book/coffeeshop in a coastal California tourist town. She was realistic to me, with flaws and weaknesses, wit What a great book! I've read Lynn Cahoon's Cat Latimer books, but this is the first Tourist Trap mystery I've read. There were more than one mystery in this story, which made it rich and complex. But it was a fast read for me, not wanting to put it down. There were several reasonable suspects, and I didn't solve the mysteries until they were revealed in the book. I loved Jill, owner of a book/coffeeshop in a coastal California tourist town. She was realistic to me, with flaws and weaknesses, wit, and a dry humor/sarcasm that I can relate to and appreciate. I also liked Jill's Aunt Jackie, her best friend Amy, and Detective Greg King. I'm so happy there are 8 more books in this series (so far!) and I'm ready to go get the 2nd right now.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This is my first book by Lynn Cahoon. I am not going to write a synopsis since many reviewers have already done this since the book was written in 2014. I have the largest range in my four star reviews. This book is at the lower end of a four star review. I gave it four stars due to the good mystery plot. I did not have it figured out until the author divulged it. There was humor and likable characters. It is on my lower end of 4 stars due to this cozy mystery being a little heavier on romance th This is my first book by Lynn Cahoon. I am not going to write a synopsis since many reviewers have already done this since the book was written in 2014. I have the largest range in my four star reviews. This book is at the lower end of a four star review. I gave it four stars due to the good mystery plot. I did not have it figured out until the author divulged it. There was humor and likable characters. It is on my lower end of 4 stars due to this cozy mystery being a little heavier on romance than others. I know many readers enjoy this so it is a person preference. I do not care for it. I want to read a mystery not a romance novel. Also, the protagonist kept putting herself in danger while being constantly warned not to do it. But again, that happens often in mystery fiction. So if the reader likes a light cozy mystery read with a good plot and romance, the reader would probably enjoy this book. .

  25. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    Great new to me cozy mystery series! The book was excellently plotted with multiple potential suspects for the suspect pool, layered mysteries that may or may not be connected (you'll have to read to unravel that part for yourself, no spoilers here!) and great interpersonal relationship plots peppered throughout to add interest to the intrigue! Good character development that brings to life the characters and makes you root for or against them as the story unwinds. I'm quite looking forward to t Great new to me cozy mystery series! The book was excellently plotted with multiple potential suspects for the suspect pool, layered mysteries that may or may not be connected (you'll have to read to unravel that part for yourself, no spoilers here!) and great interpersonal relationship plots peppered throughout to add interest to the intrigue! Good character development that brings to life the characters and makes you root for or against them as the story unwinds. I'm quite looking forward to the next story in the series! The added excitement, it appears that all the books in the series are available via audiobooks too! Yay for me since I spend a significant part of my day driving from one destination to another!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Not bad for the first in a series. It reminded me a lot of the Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett. The similarities were striking! But the story was quite different. While I liked Jill, the main character, her choices grated sometimes. I found myself annoyed with how she thought she knew better than others, and it was often the opposite. Still, I guess this helped to make the mystery mysterious. Not sure I'll continue with the series, but it was an entertaining read on its own. Not bad for the first in a series. It reminded me a lot of the Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett. The similarities were striking! But the story was quite different. While I liked Jill, the main character, her choices grated sometimes. I found myself annoyed with how she thought she knew better than others, and it was often the opposite. Still, I guess this helped to make the mystery mysterious. Not sure I'll continue with the series, but it was an entertaining read on its own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I really enjoy good mystery books that keep me on the edge of my seat, and this book definitely fulfills that requirement. I also like when the book has a reasonable ending that ties everything together and the guilty person isn't a character that showed up in the book for exactly one sentence. The murderer should be someone the reader has become familiar with. This book had a very nice, pulled-together conclusion. The main character, Jill, is an attorney who left behind the big city because she I really enjoy good mystery books that keep me on the edge of my seat, and this book definitely fulfills that requirement. I also like when the book has a reasonable ending that ties everything together and the guilty person isn't a character that showed up in the book for exactly one sentence. The murderer should be someone the reader has become familiar with. This book had a very nice, pulled-together conclusion. The main character, Jill, is an attorney who left behind the big city because she met an elderly woman, Miss Emily, while on vacation at the coastal town of South Cove, California. Miss Emily has become one of her dearest friends, and Jill is running a bookstore/coffee shop that she purchased. All is going well until she visits Miss Emily one morning, only to find that she is in bed--dead. My only suggestion to the author is that I would love to see a prequel to this book. I'd love for the author to more fully explore how Jill came to live in South Cove; what happened to her marriage; how she purchased the bookstore; and I'd like to know more about the day Jill and Miss Emily became friends.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    Guidebook To Murder by Lynn Cahoon is a great start to a new cozy mystery series. Jill is the owner of a bookstore/ coffee shop who's elderly friend is murdered. She inherits her friends house and the problems that go along with that. The mayor and council are threatening to destroy the house unless it's brought up to meet regulations. Jill only has a month to accomplish this. And if that isn't enough to handle, her best friend is missing. With all these problems to handle and worry about, she e Guidebook To Murder by Lynn Cahoon is a great start to a new cozy mystery series. Jill is the owner of a bookstore/ coffee shop who's elderly friend is murdered. She inherits her friends house and the problems that go along with that. The mayor and council are threatening to destroy the house unless it's brought up to meet regulations. Jill only has a month to accomplish this. And if that isn't enough to handle, her best friend is missing. With all these problems to handle and worry about, she enlists the help of her aunt to run the shop while she deals with her other issues. What follows is a clever cozy who-done- it that was very enjoyable. The writing style flows easily and this book is an easy read. The characters and small town setting are descriptive and realistic. The town of South Cove is a place that you would like to visit, with all the quirkiness that only small towns can deliver. The characters are people I would like to meet and know better. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes cozies and mysteries. This book delivers on both. I can't wait to read more of the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen B.

    This was a fun, light read and a typical cozy. If you don't like cozies you won't like this. Jill has fallen in love with the small down after meeting Miss Emily who befriended her. A former lawyer, Jill now runs a small coffee store /bookstore. There is a death by poisoning providing the main "murder mystery". A handsome detective on the case to whom Jill finds herself attracted. Just wish the whole married or not married discussion had come up earlier in the book instead of Jill constantly str This was a fun, light read and a typical cozy. If you don't like cozies you won't like this. Jill has fallen in love with the small down after meeting Miss Emily who befriended her. A former lawyer, Jill now runs a small coffee store /bookstore. There is a death by poisoning providing the main "murder mystery". A handsome detective on the case to whom Jill finds herself attracted. Just wish the whole married or not married discussion had come up earlier in the book instead of Jill constantly struggling with the issue. There are many questions about the inheritance Jill receives, regarding family members who thought they deserved most of the pie, not just a tiny speck of a piece. In addition, there are complications with others wanting the house. There was also a surprising artist and art thievery involved. It was just a plain, fun, light cozy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I've got mixed feelings on this book. Overall it was a pretty good story. Jill Gardner runs a bookstore/coffee shop in a small town in California. Her elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls and asks her to come over because she has received a letter from the city council, threatening to condemn her house if she doesn't sell out to a developer. Soon after, Jill finds Miss Emily dead, and suspects murder. It's some of the things Jill does that annoyed me. Of course, there's a hunky police detective, but I've got mixed feelings on this book. Overall it was a pretty good story. Jill Gardner runs a bookstore/coffee shop in a small town in California. Her elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls and asks her to come over because she has received a letter from the city council, threatening to condemn her house if she doesn't sell out to a developer. Soon after, Jill finds Miss Emily dead, and suspects murder. It's some of the things Jill does that annoyed me. Of course, there's a hunky police detective, but even after Jill believes he is married, she seems very willing to get involved in a relationship with him. She also makes a few of the stupid moves that are typical of cozies, like opening her front door before checking to see who it is, and going outside when she has been told to stay in. It's not so bad that she does these things once, but, even though it turned out badly the first time, she does them AGAIN. That's my mini-rant. As I said before, the story was pretty good, and I probably will read more in the series. I want to find out whether she keeps her store as it is, or changes it along with her aunt's recommendations.

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