Paige Shelton, author of the Farmers' Market Mysteries, as well as one of my favorite series, the Country Cooking School Mysteries, launches a new series with To Helvetica and Back. And, everything in this book lines up perfectly for success.
Clare Henry and her grandfather, Chester, own The Rescued Word, a little shop in Star City, Utah. They do some printing, restore old books, sell stationery and pens, and repair old typewriters. It's one of those typewriters, an old Underwood, that causes problems. An author friend of Chester's brings it in for repair, but before she even leaves the store, a scruffy looking man in leather is across the counter, demanding it from Clare. When her niece calls the police, he leaves. But, Clare's a little shaken, sets all their security alarms that evening before she works too late, and falls asleep in the store. And, the next morning, the security cameras only show a pair of leather shoes in the alley. That's where Clare and Chester find the body of their leather-clad visitor.
How can one typewriter lead to murder? Clare and Chester are both taken in for questioning, and Clare has a few questions of her own for her grandfather. Where was he the night of the murder? Although Clare's best friend, Jodie Wentworth, is one of the investigating officers, Clare can't help asking a few questions around town. And, a little too much information can become dangerous in the hands of the wrong Henry family member.
Shelton is on her way to another successful series. Star City is ripe for murder. A skiers' paradise that attracts visitors, an old mining community, it also is home to a monastery and a polygamist compound. It's a quirky little town, perfect for a mystery series. And, the characters are delightful. Clare and her family are charming. She's a long-time friend of a police officer, and she turns her information over to her. But, that friendship can get a little awkward when it comes to interference in their dating lives. Clare is likable, a little nerdy, and attractive. She's a little too nosy for her own good, but she wouldn't be an amateur sleuth if she wasn't nosy.
To Helvetica and Back introduces an engaging set of characters in an attractive setting. First impression? Up to Shelton's high standards.
Paige Shelton's website is www.paigeshelton.com
To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton. Berkley Prime Crime. 2016. ISBN 9780425277256 (paperback), 293p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would read it.