Mission to Murder
By Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: eKensington (Kenington Books)
Publish Date: Jul 31, 2014
Series: A Tourist Trap Mystery #2
My Rating: 4 Stars
In the California coastal town of South Cove, history is one of its many tourist attractions, until it becomes deadly.
Jill Gardner, proprietor of Coffee, Books, and More, has discovered that the old stone wall on her property might be a centuries-old mission worthy of being declared a landmark. But Craig Thomas, the obnoxious owner of South Cove's most popular tourist spot, The Castle, makes it his business to contest her claim.
When Thomas is found murdered at The Castle shortly after a heated argument with Jill, even her detective boyfriend has to ask her for an alibi. Jill decides she must find the real murderer to clear her name. But when the killer comes for her, she'll need to jump from historic preservation to self-preservation.
"Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover's dream come true." --Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries
A special thank you to Kensington Books (eKensington) and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Having read the first book in the tantalizing, A TOURIST TRAP MYSTERY (A GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER), which I recommend reading prior to #2 MISSION TO MURDER---was delighted to catch up with Jill and all the favorite characters in this quaint small town. Coffee, Books, and More on Main Street, is just one of the many tourist hot spots in the small coastal town of South Cove, California. From the first book, Jill Gardner (owner of Coffee, Books, and More), a former lawyer, inherited Miss Emily’s house (she befriended her years ago), and the city wanted her to tear down the house for a new condo real estate development. She began her fight with small town politics, with many obstacles---Emily’s family, the mayor, real estate developers, attorneys, threats, and faced the circumstances which surround Miss Emily’s death, secrets, and of course a murder mystery to solve. Presently, in MISSION TO MURDER, Jill, has discovered the old stone wall on her property might be a centuries-old mission, which she wants to declare as a historic landmark. However, again she faces many challenges and obstacles regarding the mission site; (one being a thorn in her side – Craig Thomas). Craig is the owner of The Castle, a popular tourist spot---he is a man who knows how to create enemies. However Jill had an argument with him and later her boyfriend and local detective, Greg (hunk, from Book 1), receives a call stating Craig was found murdered at The Castle. Then there is Fifi, his dog who was left tied at the beach, the ex-wife, the FBI, and other mysterious happenings going on at The Castle. Appears Josh Thomas, Owner of Antiques by Thomas, the antique shop next to her coffee shop, and Craig Morgan, The Castle were the two standing in her way of certifying the Spanish mission wall site. Currently Jill is not only fighting small town politics, the mayor, (which dislikes her), city council, historic committee, plus more in order to fight for the historical commission to certify the site, so she can ensure future generations know the history of this particular part of the California coastline. Now she finds herself in the middle of a murder, she did not commit. Her top priority is to find the real killer, and the mystery begins. In the midst of all the murder, the first Annual Cloaked in Mystery was being planned (a new release and secret thriller author, whose name is kept hidden) to further build suspense and intrigue. If anyone guessed the author, the prize would be a set of author's signed backlist, current release, and a night at South Cove's B&B. A cozy, light murder mystery filled with an array of eccentric characters, and shop owners (most are nosy and always know everyone’s business), where flowers bloom, with good books and coffee, friends, and an adorable village out of a fairy tale (with murders), a lovable golden retriever, a yummy love relationship, with never a dull moment in a town full of mysteries and historic charm. Another winner by talented author, Lynn Cahoon! Readers will also get a peak at Jill Gardner's next adventure, coming Fall, 2014 as an excerpt is included at the end of the book. As South cove's council liaison, Jill volunteers her shop for meetings each month (and president of the I Hate Mayor Baylor Club)--more mischief and scheming. Appears Aunt Jackie, Darla, Sadie, Marie, and the rest of the crew will be returning for another action packed saga to keep the drama brewing.