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Naughty on Ice (Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2018
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"Cozy lovers who enjoy their mysteries with a healthy dose of Jazz Age hijinks will have fun." --Publishers Weekly
"Charming one-liners...enjoyable." --Kirkus Reviews
"Funny and clever....With a slew of entertaining small-town characters, a wintery setting and several interesting twists, this witty novel is sure to appeal to lovers of lighthearted historical mysteries." --Shelf Awareness
"A feisty, funny and fabulously mysterious murder mystery." --Romance Junkies
"Fascinating...deliciously campy and will make you laugh." --Fresh Fiction
About the Author
Maia Chance is the author of several mystery novels, including The Discreet Retrieval Agency mysteries, the Agnes and Effie Mysteries, and the Fairy Tale Fatal series. She lives with her husband and two children in Vashon Island, Washington.
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The Discreet Retrieval Agency, made up of Lola Woodby and Berta Lundgren, receives an anonymous commission with an invitation to a holiday party in Vermont. They are to retrieve a ring that was stolen by one of the attendees years ago.
But, while busy with their errand, the hostess keels over. Lola and Berta thought it was a heart attack, but police reveal it was a poisoned cocktail and they are at the top of the suspect list. With no one else to turn to, Lola and Berta must find the real murderer before they find themselves behind bars.
And they work hard to do it. Lola and Berta go from one end of the town to the other following leads in the coldest of weather with Cedric the pomeranian in tow. There are many suspects on their list from family members to household staff (both temporary and permanent). And a cryptid bear that walks on two legs has been spotted in the woods nearby.
It's still prohibition era. That plays a small part in the mystery. After all, where do these people get their fixings for their cocktails from? And where do they get the whiskey to soak the fruitcake in? And Lola and Berta have a wonderful 1920s vocabulary. The culture is 1920s as well.
The biggest mystery. though. is who is the killer or are there multiple killers since there end up being multiple victims. I love watching Lola and Berta figure out what is going on.
The novel mostly moves along at a decent pace as the women go from one set of clues and suspects to the next and sometimes back again. There is a little slow part in the middle, but it's not for long.
I have to admit I thought I knew who was responsible, but I was wrong. It was nice to have a logical surprise at the end.
I gave this mystery 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the mystery as well as the historical aspects of the book. It's well paced and had a surprise ending for me. If you enjoy stories from the prohibition era and slightly humorous cozies, then this would be a good choice for you. It's also a good holiday read since it takes place just prior to Christmas.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions herein are my own and freely given.
Just as they find the ring, still firmly attached to a very living finger, the first victim keels over, dead by poison. The ring then takes a back seat to the rest of their stay. And stay, they must, having been told, in very stern fashion, not to leave town. Wanting to be back in New York City for Christmas, Lola and Berta are very well motivated to catch the killer and the next train out of town.
These ladies are a wonderful pair of amateur detectives. They may have business cards to hand out but they are still sort of winging it. It's that situation that leads to laughs and gets them into hot water. Given that the setting is freezing cold deep snow, hot water sounds pretty good to Lola as she deals with icy cold wet feet having made the trip in not very practical high heeled boots. The descriptions of clothing, cars, food and ski jumping all make this a very vividly told story. I was sorry when it came to an end but, oh, what a nice ending it turned out to be. I can't wait for the next case for Lola and Berta.
In Naughty on Ice, the way that Lola and Berta tackle an investigation seemed quite haphazard in their approach. There was also quite the mingling between personal lives and the ongoing investigation which made the direction of the story seem a bit meandering at times. Despite its serpentine way, the two women follow the clues from one to the next until they solve the mysteries that they encountered during their stay in Vermont. It would be an adventure that they wouldn’t soon forget. If you enjoy reading cozy mysteries that are filled with many moments of mirth, then I recommend this book to you.
This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.