Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Rest for the Wicked by Elizabeth C. Main

Elizabeth C. Main knows the way to a mystery reader's heart. No Rest for the Wicked is centered around an independent book store in which a small group of people form an unconventional book club, the Murder of the Month Book Club. After they solved one murder mystery in Murder of the Month, some of the members are chomping at the bit to be involved in a crime again.

Jane Serrano, the only sensible member of the group, manages Thornton's Books in Juniper, Oregon. She just wants life to return to normal so she can explore her feelings for Nick Constantine, a local attorney. However, things may never be back to normal. The murder of a con man has one group member convinced that someone from SOS, Save Our Seniors, might be the killer. After the group  met to discuss scams against the elderly, Minnie was willing to lead her friend Velda on a wild goose chase as they follow some of their elderly neighbors. Laurence Thornton, the bookstore's owner, is acting so strange that his sixteen-year-old grandson worries about his sanity. Jane's daughter, Bianca, is convinced her mother can solve the crime. When suspicion falls on Alix Boudreau, owner of Wedding Belle Bridal Shop, and Bianca's boss, everyone knows the sheriff has made a mistake again. But, no one knew Alix had once been married to the dead con man. When Alix asks Jane to help, the Murder of the Month Book Club rides again.

No Rest for the Wicked is a funny, touching mystery. The humor is wonderful. How can you resist a "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" wedding theme, with a one-eyed dog, Wendell, as a wedding escort, who happens to tangle with a porcupine? Main alleviates the weight of a mystery centered on elderly abuse, with quirky characters and funny scenes. She recognizes that even a con man has a grandmother that loves him, while showing the evil involved in scamming the elderly.

And, for those of us who are mystery lovers, there are book titles and authors discussed, everyone from Donna Leon to Eliot Pattison. However, the characters add the depth and variety to this story. It's wonderful to watch such a diverse group of characters come together to help each other in the Murder of the Month Book Club. The group ranges in age from sixteen to eighties, with the narrator, Jane, a forty-three-year-old widow.

Humor, a diverse cast of friends, a murder mystery, an independent book store, and, even a dog, are all brought together in Elizabeth C. Main's entertaining treat, No Rest for the Wicked.

Elizabeth C. Main's website is www.elizabethcmain.com

No Rest for the Wicked. Elizabeth C. Main. Gale Cenpage Learning. ©2011. ISBN 9781432825041 (hardcover), 256p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.




17 comments:

Sandie Herron said...

This one sounds like a hoot! Yet not silly. Since it is centered around a serious issue, that keeps the SOS's antics from being foolish; it has purpose. And what a funny group it must be! I'll add this to my towering TBR!

Lesa said...

Terrific cast of characters, Sandie. It is fun. I have an ARC, so I'll set it aside to send in the next shipment to you.

Elizabeth C. Main said...

I'm *nearly* speechless at your kind review, Lesa. What pleases me most is that you underscored the serious backdrop against which the cozy premise played out. And thank you for mentioning Wendell, the one-eyed dog. His real-life counterpart was near and dear to me.

Elizabeth C. Main said...

Thanks,Sandie. My characters are an odd lot, designed on purpose not to mix and match well. In spite of that, I love them all.

jenny milchman said...

This book seemed to me a quintessentially perfect cozy--it's got the quirky cast, as Lesa points out, who are far smarter than those charged with solving crimes, and warm details of small-town life that really ring true. What I liked best was the author's warm, intimate style--you feel like you're friends with these people.

Lesa said...

Liz & Jenny,

I enjoyed all of the elements of this book. And, the "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" wedding was wonderful. It's one of my all-time favorite movies, shared with my sisters. Liz, the wedding results were priceless, and had me laughing. At least I didn't have to hide my laughter, as Tyler did. As Jenny said, it was a warm, intimate style. Minnie's a hoot. I just didn't want to spoil the opportunity for other people to discover these characters.

Liz V. said...

Sounds like a lovely series. Thanks.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I absolutely love the premise for the book and the fact it brings in indie bookstores and book clubs! The humor and characters sound wonderful. I'll be checking this one out. Thanks!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Liz. I think this one is more up your alley.

Lesa said...

And, good characters, and a dog, Elizabeth! All good components for the story.

Sandie Herron said...

Elizabeth,
It sounds like you've put together the best cast of characters that will make the book most interesting. It sounds just zany enough to be fun yet serious enough to keep it grounded. I look forward to reading it.
Sandie

Lesa said...

It's well grounded, Sandie. I think you're going to enjoy it!

Sheila Beaumont said...

Sounds like fun! I've just downloaded MURDER OF THE MONTH to my Kindle.

Lesa said...

Oh, great, Sheila! I hope you enjoy it.

Elizabeth C. Main said...

Jenny, I'm glad to hear that you feel that way about the characters. They are definitely friends of mine, after all this time.

Lesa, I'm gratified that you enjoyed the frontier wedding. I had a lot of fun writing that part, and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" has always been a favorite film of mine, too.

Elizabeth C. Main said...

Liz, thanks for the nod.

Elizabeth (too many of us with the same name), the struggling indie bookstore setting was obvious, since I worked in one, and the book club was pure lunacy. I hope no real book clubs operate the way mine does.

Lesa, my books always have a dog.

Elizabeth C. Main said...

Sandie, I appreciate your thought about the book being "grounded," but, as Lesa has said, Minnie lives in a whole different universe.

Sheila,
Thanks for trying MURDER OF THE MONTH. Hope you enjoy it.