Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All Natural Murder by Staci McLaughlin

This book is Book 2 in the "Blossom Valley Mysteries" series by Staci McLaughlin. This book picks up with the characters right where they left off from Book 1. Besides the actual mystery, I was glad to see Dana and Jason's romantic relationship continue.
The murder victim in this book is Dana's sisters boyfriend du jour Monster Truck driver Bobby Joe Jones. The instant obvious police suspect is Dana's sister, Ashlee. Shortly before his untimely death they had a very public & loud argument in which Ashlee threatened Bobby Joe. Though never claiming to be a professional detective by any stretch of the imagination, Dana jumps to her sister's defense and spends the book hunting down clues and trying to clear her sister's name. Even their mother is rattled enough to encourage Dana, in spite of the potential danger. It's obvious how affected Dana is by her sister's situation - she has trouble focusing on her work at the organic farm & spa. I enjoyed the mystery and the variety of suspects. I liked that Jason wasn't super obnoxious and pushy trying to interview Dana & her family even though they were news. His explanation that he was privy to some of the inside cop info and didn't feel like her sister was a good lead to pursue satisfied me. I also liked the pace of this story, it kept me interested while still being a good cozy mystery. I liked the bit with the Steddelbeckers at the end & the romantic wrap up with Dana & Jason. I look forward to more books in this series. The only thing I didn't care for was the annoying and always grumpy spa manager Gordon. I'm glad he ended up having to apologize to Dana at one point, however grudgingly.

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