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  • Writer's pictureCozy Nook Reads

Can't Judge a Book by Its Murder, A Main Street Book Club Mystery by Amy Lillard - Review


CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS MURDER by Amy Lillard is the first in a new series, A Main Street Book Club Mystery. The story takes place in Sugar Springs, Mississippi. The small town is readying for the Tenth Annual All-School Reunion with a special guest - former classmate and famous New York Times Best Seller, Wallace J. Harrison (A.K.A Wally).

Wally is scheduled to appear for a signing at Arlo and Chloe’s Books & More, the new bookstore on Main Street. Unfortunately, Wally’s lifeless body is discovered in front of the bookstore. Arlo suspects there is more to Wally’s death and fears Chloe, her best friend and business partner may have had a role in his death. Arlo’s fears become reality when Chief of Police, Mads, arrests Chloe for Wally’s murder.


Despite the mounting evidence against Chloe and a substantial motive for murder, Arlo is convinced of her best friend’s innocence. With the help of the Book Club senior women - Helen, Camille, and Fern, they will attempt to clear Chloe’s name.


Murder isn’t the only stir-up in this small town. With the return of old classmates, dormant feelings are at bay, and triangular relationships are more complicated than ever!




____________________________________SPOILER ALERT___________________________________



The author did a good job laying out the characters in the town and a detailed background of Arlo’s life. However, the details were a little too repetitive and slow-paced. I felt most of the book was spent following Arlo traveling to and from the police station where Chloe was being held, but no actual sleuthing was done.


While I enjoyed getting to know the characters, these are few matters that were left unclear to me:


- I don’t understand the relationship dynamic between Wally’s wife and his mistress/assistant. Not sure why his wife, Daisy was still tolerating being around Inna, a woman who was recognized as her husband’s mistress? They appear to be traveling buddies and don’t mind wearing identical earrings - which Wally purchased for the two of them…unrealistic!


- Sam reveals that he was initially hired by Wally to investigate. But he doesn’t seem to be much of an investigator. I felt that his main role was to provide a third leg in Arlo’s love triangle; and to watch Chloe’s cat during her arrest. His only investigative contribution was finding the receipt for the two earrings Wally purchased.


- Arlo and the Book Club women follow Daisy to discover that she is meeting with Sam, but there was no explanation of that meeting and what was its relevance to the story.


- Why didn’t Arlo or any of the other characters at the very least mention the idea of hiring a lawyer for Chloe??


- I realize small towns can be a tight knit community and they do come together, but that last minute party to keep Daisy and Inna from leaving was a bit far-stretched. It would have been great if they devoted that effort towards the mention of hiring a lawyer.


So, the question remains, will I give the series a try? Perhaps, I will. I'd like to see how the characters develop.


Reviews expressed on this site are solely my opinion. They are not based on any sponsorship (unless indicated).

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