A holiday read (Thanksgiving), this has touches of that cutesy cozy holiday mystery genre that some readers find annoying — warm and fuzzy family stuff, trying to too hard to be cutesy, a huge cast of characters, and the need to wrap everything up in a super happy tidy bow.

That said, we seemed to like this.  The author’s depiction of the Texas Hill Country was declared to be spot on, we liked the plant references and the food, and we found the story of hunting and those weird deer strangely interesting.

Joan found the narrator’s need to hint at upcoming death and destruction annoying because, hello?  It’s a mystery.  Murder and mayhem are par for the course.

We also found the prologue’s introduction of the bad guys too distant from the part of the story actually dealing with those men and then, we didn’t know which bad guy was which.  Who was the pilot?  By the end, though, it wasn’t really that important — we knew we didn’t like them.

All in all, we enjoyed the book and were intrigued to learn that the author has quite a number of books under her belt, to include Nancy Drew mysteries.

Favorite characters – The first person who dies (no spoiler!), Mack (would like to read more books with her in them), the little girl; the hunky sheriff, and the old vet.

Least – China (a bit of a busybody), Letha (fake and a twit), Derek, Ronald and Thomas Perry, Ethan and Murphy.


3.5 stars.