Saturday, May 25, 2019

Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon

It seems as if I missed a relevant murder or two because I picked up the fifth Cat Latimer mystery by Lynn Cahoon. But, I still enjoyed  Sconed to Death, the story of an author and amateur sleuth who runs writers' retreats from her Colorado Bed-and-Breakfast.

Cat's getting ready to host a group of cozy mystery authors when an already crazy morning is interrupted by the crazy bakery owner. Dee Dee Meyer is mad at Shauna, Cat's best friend, "house mother", cook and baker. She's accusing Shauna of stealing her recipes. To make it worse, she sets the health inspector on Shauna, making up a false health violation. Cat's just about had enough and heads to the bakery to confront Dee Dee. She doesn't get much of a chance to talk to her, and she never sees anyone else in the bakery. So, she's shocked when she learns the next day that a famous celebrity chef has been found murdered in Dee Dee's kitchen.

Cat's uncle, the local police chief, warns her not to get involved in the investigation. She's to stick to her writing and her writers' retreat. But, she just can't help herself. She admits she loves a puzzle. And, Cat's a people person who just wants to help. In this case, she knows some of the suspects, including a college professor who was once her best friend. No matter how much research she does, though, asking questions at the university, digging through documents at the library, she has to admit the likeliest suspects have alibis.

I have to admit Cat isn't my favorite amateur sleuth. Her methods seemed scattershot. She was all over the place, and didn't listen to her uncle. She seems whiny and pouty at times, wanting her own way. However, I loved the writers' retreat aspect of the book. Because she brings in a different group of writers for each session, there are fresh characters in the books. None of these characters were suspects, but they served as resources and sounding boards. They also came with their own set of problems, which works well in the story. And, readers interested in the writing process will probably enjoy the sessions as much as I did.

Looking to retreat into a cozy mystery? Give Sconed to Death a try.

Lynn Cahoon's website is

Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon. Kensington, 2019. ISBN 9781496716835 (hardcover), 320p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.

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