This is the first book in the fairly long-running Candy Holliday series, written by B.B. Haywood starting in 2010. There are eight books total so far, the most recent having been released in April 2017. I can’t wait to read more!
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There is nothing as handy as belonging to a bunch of online book clubs! I’m always getting to start books that I wondered when I would ever get around to starting. I’m so glad the club chose this book! I really enjoyed reading about the small fictional town of Cape Willington, Maine and getting to know Candy Holliday, her dad Doc and Candy’s best friend, Maggie Tremont.
In the prologue, it described a man falling to his rocky death off a cliff in Cape Willington. As the book started, it was July and time for the annual Blueberry Festival in town. Everyone was excited, but there was a somberness in the air since the police had just reported the murder of Jock Larson, a local man who thought he was a celebrity since he was an ex-Olympic swimmer. He also thought he was God’s gift to women and a lot of people weren’t that sad to see him dead. When a local gossip column woman was crowned Blueberry Queen (instead of the usual younger high school girl), then the woman was found dead in her own home, all fingers pointed to Ray, a local handyman since it appeared that his hammer was found at the scene. Everyone had a soft spot for Ray who was the gentlest of souls, and Candy was not going to let him go down for a murder she and everyone else in town knew he didn’t commit.
Candy and Maggie made a great sleuthing team and when Maggie couldn’t go with her, sometimes Candy’s dad would add some insight to the case or go with her himself. I thought it was pretty cool that he didn’t try to discourage her from sleuthing. I loved that Candy and her dad had a close relationship, especially after he’d lost her mom and Candy had fairly recently gone through a bad divorce and the loss of a good friend she went to college with. They seemed to be helping one another heal while working on the blueberry farm and tending to the chickens.
This was a really well-written and plotted mystery with so many different angles and suspects that I didn’t even think of suspecting the person that it turned out to be. The showdown with the killer was really exciting–Candy and Maggie acted as each others’ heroes. Best of all, an innocent man was set free. Candy had started working for Ben, the editor of the Cape Crier newspaper, so I’m hoping that something will develop between them. She must like him because her first thoughts when he asked her to take over the gossip column were “Is he going to ask me out?” I think there’s potential! I got a kick out of Doc and his buddies hanging out at the diner.
I’ve been collecting this series as I find the various books and now I’m anxious to keep reading it!