Wednesday, January 13, 2016

To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton

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.

13 comments:

Kay said...

I'm looking forward to picking this one up at Left Coast. I think the author will be there? Anyway, it sounds fun. Who could resist a town with a monastery and a polygamist compound? Talk about far ends of the spectrum! LOL

Lesa said...

Yes, Paige is listed as one of the attendees, and now that she lives in Arizona, it makes it even more convenient. Yes, that town has a lot of possibilities for future crimes!

SandyG265 said...

I'm waiting for this one to come in from the library.

Lesa said...

It's a good one, Sandy. Worth the wait.

BPL Ref said...

Next question: is there a good cat or is that calico just being cute for the cover? ;-)

Jeanne

Lesa said...

There's a good cat, but he's a cat, not a magical cat or anything. But, as with most cats, he's intelligent. He's the shop cat with an attitude.

Mark Baker said...

I must admit I have never read any of Paige's books, but I have this one on my TBR list. Glad to hear it is so good.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Never read any of this author and this one sounds good.

Lesa said...

Mark, I think you'd like this one. And, Kevin? If you were to read any of her books, try this one. A little cozier than what you usually read, but I think this one would work.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Not listed in the local library computer yet.

While walking out of the library today I heard one of the little ones say, "that man is always here. He walks funny too." Turned around and the cute little girl was pointing at me. Mom was totally mortified. I laughed and said hello and let her touch my cane as she was fascinated. Told her I read a lot and maybe we would see each other again.

She was right about both things. :)

Lesa said...

I feel for her mom, no matter how nice you were, Kevin.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I do too. I have been there as a parent. It really struck me funny and I tried to pass that on to her Mom.

bumblesby said...

Once again Lesa, you make me spend money. This is a must have for sure!