Pains & Penalties: Sarah Biglow

‘A Geeks and Things Novella #1’

Kalina Greystone has returned to her hometown to take over her deceased father’s comic book store. Working with her nephew, AJ, she is updating & preparing to take items to the town’s Solstice Fair. Residents of Ellesworth, Massachusetts gather yearly to celebrate in the carnival atmosphere & dedicate the proceed to Wounded Warriors.

While she enjoys the carnival, she’s looking forward to spending some time with former love interest, Christian Harper, who is now a detective. Together they attend the Fair’s main attraction, the pastry competition. Every year, seasoned citizens, Mrs. Grant & Mrs. Davies clean house with their baked goods. No one expects it to be anything other than a landslide win for either lady.

Unfortunately, the competition doesn’t go off as planned. Then, poor Mrs. Davies is given some poisoned tea. Now, the town is stunned and the focus has shifted from scones to murder. Who’d poison a sweet lady like Mrs. Davies? Even after Christian warns her to steer clear, Kalina is determined to lend a hand to investigators.

What sets ‘Pains & Penalties’ apart from the usual cozy mysteries, is the great plot. There was enough info stuffed into the limited amount of pages to fill a full length novel. There were plenty of suspects, plenty of clues, and suspense. Kalina’s story is unique as it isn’t often that a Comic Book store is the main setting along with a female owner. That’s a nice switch. Usually Cozies have restaurants or baking-related store owners as their heroines. It was nice to have Kalina’s entrepreneurial spunk highlighted.

It definitely is a short book that delivers big time appeal. I would absolutely continue with the series. It’s a 5 stars from me.

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