OK, I'm going to come right out and spoil Victoria Hamilton's Freezer I'll Shoot and tell readers that Hoppy, the adorable three-legged Yorkie in the book, is the hero. And, it's a good thing Jaymie Leighton has Hoppy in her life because nothing else seems to be going quite as she expected.
Jaymie's parents are up from Florida, staying in the house in Queensville, Michigan, and there's only so much she can take of her mother. So, Jaymie and Hoppy have escaped to the family cottage on Heartbreak Island. She's handling family plumbing there, trying to write a "Vintage Eats" column for the local newspaper, and contemplating her relationship with Daniel Collins. She likes Daniel, but Jaymie's mother and Daniel's are already at war. Jaymie always thought of the island as a peaceful refuge, but maybe she never spent quite enough time there.
Jaymie's a little unsettled when she discovers Detective Zack Christian lives on the island. A month earlier, she was a suspect in a murder case he was investigating. But, when he steps in to stop a fight at the Ice House Restaurant owned by her friends Ruby and Garnet Redmond, she's glad he's there. She just never thought she would find a body soon after the fight. Now, it appears that Zack suspects one of the Redmonds.
Zack and Hoppy are the highlights of Freezer I'll Shoot. They add the appeal to this latest mystery by Hamilton. A Deadly Grind and Bowled Over, the earlier books in the series, had charming elements about Jaymie's life as a collector of vintage kitchenware. In this book, most of the charm seems to have leached away into Jaymie's plumbing problems. In fact, that is the biggest problem with the book. At one point, Jaymie says she knows way too much about plumbing and leaching fields. Unfortunately, Jaymie's so involved in it here that the reader knows too much as well.
Freezer I'll Shoot is at its best when Jaymie is involved in her kitchenware projects, meeting with friends to discuss the case, or talking with Zack. Hamilton is going to have to force Jaymie to choose between Daniel or Zack soon, or the tension will become tedious. Right now, the reader can see where her relationship with Daniel is heading. Hopefully, it won't take Jaymie long to decide. Long drawn out decisions about who to date can become the kiss of death for some cozy mystery series. I've been known to tire of a series when the amateur sleuth doesn't make a decision. Jaymie Leighton is thirty-two. Hopefully, she'll stand up for herself in the next book.
In the meantime, while Jaymie deals with changes in her life, Hoppy's fans can celebrate his role of hero in Freezer I'll Shoot.
Victoria Hamilton's website is www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com
Freezer I'll Shoot by Victoria Hamilton. Berkley Prime Crime. 2013. ISBN 9780425252376 (paperback), 297p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.