Friday, November 18, 2011

Murder in a Basket by Amanda Flower

Poor India's life has just become more chaotic than normal. After her pushy sister talks her into running a face painting booth at a local festival, she befriends Tess, a basket maker. Later, returning to her booth to retrieve a forgotten cart, India finds Tess lying murdered on the ground. Everyone expects India to rise to the challenge and discover the killer. For once, will India listen to the cute police officer and leave it to the experts? Or will she risk her life to find justice for a woman she barely knew?

With the market for cozy mysteries being saturated, you'd think that a writer couldn't come up with something new and compelling. You'd be wrong. As a character, India inspires sympathy from the reader as well as the feeling of wanting to smack her upside her head. Her sidekick, Ina, is anyone's nightmare. Ina's old enough to not care what anyone thinks and to want to be in the thick of everything going down. The trouble is, she can be quite the liability.

As a mystery, I couldn't put this down. Each chapter leaves you with a cliffhanger so that you have to immediately delve into the next. At the end of the book, I was left feeling satisfied with the mystery being solved but definitely wanting to know what happens next. I was disappointed that there weren't more plot twists, but you'll still be guessing who the culprit is until nearly the end. There is also a hint of romance, as well as the clever mystery. There's definitely something brewing for India. Well done!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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