Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Series: A Cora Crafts Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Description: For thirty-something blogger Cora Chevalier, small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, seems like the perfect place to reinvent her life. Shedding a stressful past as a counselor for a women’s shelter, Cora is pouring all her talents—and most of her savings—into a craft retreat business, with help from close pal and resident potter Jane Starr. Between transforming her Victorian estate into a crafter’s paradise and babysitting Jane’s daughter, the new entrepreneur has no time for distractions. Especially rumors about the murder of a local school librarian . . .
But when Jane’s fingerprints match those found at the grisly crime scene, Cora not only worries about her friend, but her own reputation. With angry townsfolk eager for justice and both Jane’s innocence and the retreat at risk, she must rely on her creative chops to unlace the truth behind the beloved librarian’s disturbing demise. Because if the killer’s patterns aren’t pinned, Cora’s handiwork could end up in stitches.
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I thought it was terrific. It was well written with a plot and mystery that just flowed right along with the story, keeping me engaged and wanting to keep turning pages. I also liked the craft theme in this cozy. I think it gives the author plenty of places to go with future installments. Plus, I haven't read too many craft themed cozy mysteries so this helps me expand my exposure to different themes. There are instructions included for some of the crafts that are made throughout the crafting retreat in the book.
I thought the characters in this book were well done. For a first in a new series the authored crafted three dimensional characters that had history and vulnerabilities. I really liked both Cora and Jane. The both have their own histories, which the author wove throughout the story nicely without bogging the reader down with each of the back stories. What really resonated with me as a reader was their strong friendship. While each is vulnerable they have a strong friendship and really look out for one another. The secondary cast of characters rounded out the story nicely. Ruby is a great secondary character and I am looking forward to more of her humor. There is a hint at a possible romance for Cora, but I just hope the author doesn't do a love triangle where she can't pick between suitors.
I thought the mystery was well crafted. There were plenty of suspects and clues woven throughout the story to keep the reader (or at least this reader) guessing as to the true identity of the killer. Cora is less of an accidental sleuth and more out to try and prove her friend innocent. I did like that she didn't go behind the backs of the police but kept them informed as to what she discovered.
All together, I thought this was a terrific first book fora new series and I will definitely return to Indigo Gap for future installments. I will also put this author's other series on my to be read list.
I received an ARC from Kensington through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts reflected are my own.