Sunday, March 19, 2023

On Spine of Death - By the Book Mysteries #2


On Spine of Death is the second By the Book cozy mystery by Tamara Berry. Released 29th Nov 2022 by Poisoned Pen Press, it's 408 pages and is available in mass market paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is an appealing small town cozy with a full complement of eccentric characters, usually including the requisite handsome local officer of the law, and featuring an intelligent female amateur sleuth. The genre is wildly popular and due to the abundance, more than a few are, frankly, formulaic and predictable. In this case the writing is well above average, engaging, well done and entertaining. There's more than a little humor, and the dialogue is never overwrought or clunky.

For readers who love small-town mysteries, especially bookish mysteries, this one combines both. It's potentially a little too gritty to be called a proper cozy mystery, but it's not very graphic and readers will likely have no trouble with the descriptions. 

Four stars. Definitely worth a look for fans of bookish small-town cozies. There are currently two books out, with a third due out in second quarter, 2023, making it a good candidate for a weekend mini-binge read. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.


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