We have another great cozy from Great Escapes blog tours!
Title: The Case of the Clobbered Cad
Author: Debra E. Marvin
Publisher: Journey Fiction, 2017. 302 pages (paperback)
Source: Great Escapes free book tours
E-Book ASIN: B0749K9NZX
Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…
Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.
As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.
The Case of the Clobbered Cad is a thoroughly enjoyable cozy in a great setting. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of 1956 Edinburgh with Heather as she is trying so hard to settle into her new graduate (or, as they'd say around there, post-graduate) program. She, and we, know that she has to be extra good at it to be accorded any respect, as virtually the only woman in the department. So we can understand the double problem presented by the presence of a professor on whom she developed a crush on the voyage over from the U.S. The author presents Heather's feelings well--her squirming discomfort over having made an idiot of herself, and the realization that this will just make everything harder.
And boy, does it make things harder, because once he is dead, she does look as though she had a motive, and the local police don't seem too friendly. I liked that they aren't incompetent, though, and they aren't evil. The police officer in charge is simply hard-nosed and determined to get the truth out of everyone, which isn't that easy. But since he's not getting there fast enough, and he seems to be suspicious of Heather and other people she likes, it's not unreasonable that she wants to look into it more. An occasional reminder of her childhood interest in detecting (a la Nancy Drew) is more gratuitous than necessary; there is little connection to the "Nosy Parkers" and she has adequate justification for her research without it.
About the only thing that rang wrong in my mind (okay, aside from a day where she was sitting outside enjoying Indian summer weather and then ran for the bus in the rain, which might be an error or might be a comment on Scottish weather), was the insistence from the beginning that she was putting herself in danger. On reflection, I'm not sure why I didn't believe all the people who were worrying about her, since of course digging into murder could be dangerous, but I did feel the concerns were exaggerated, creating a sense of suspense where otherwise there wasn't one. As complaints go, it's pretty minor.
The writing is strong, and the characters well-developed. The balance of romance vs. mystery is about right for my tastes (i.e., almost all mystery with just a bit of romance). Ms. Marvin seems like an author to watch.
A promising series for lovers of the cozy mystery, and an especial prize for those who like historical settings, not to mention Anglophiles (is that right for Scotland, too? Brit-o-philes?). Anyway, I recommend it. Note: this is the second in the series, but the series appears to be written by multiple authors.
About The Author
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction, and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.
Amazon Author Page
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And there's a Rafflecopter Giveaway with this one, a great prize package with three books and a hand-quilted table runner!
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FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of The Case of the Clobbered Cad as a participant in a Great Escapes Free Book Tour, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."