When a crime stopper senior citizen starts to act oddly, a new business sells fake products and the New Year’s Eve fireworks display disappears, Mayor Cora Mae Bingham and the Spicetown Police Chief Conrad Harris have to get involved. Cora keeps an eye on her quaint small town nestled in the southern hills of Ohio. Although Spicetown is sprinkled with culinary street names, stores full of spices, and quaint life-long citizens, out-of-towners can bring in a dicey element.
In Richey’s appealing series launch set in Spicetown, a small Ohio community, Cora Rae Bingham, the town’s ambitious, hard-working mayor, wants to implement some of her improvement plans before the end of what she fears will be her final term as mayor. One goal is to erect a statue in honor of the man for whom the town is named, John Spicer. (In a cute touch, all the streets, like Dill Seed Drive, are named after spices.) Meanwhile, Cora’s ally, police chief Conrad Harris, is asked to help Sheriff Bobby Bell—a man he dislikes—after the county’s fireworks are stolen before a planned display. A subplot involves Cora’s suspicions that one of Spicetown’s shopkeepers is cheating customers. The main focus is on the pleasant interpersonal dynamics of Spicetown’s residents, including elderly busy body Harvey “Saucy” Salzman, who’s constantly looking out for a problem to report or complain about, and Cora’s lovelorn assistant, Amanda Morgan. Cozy fans who prefer the crimes in their mysteries to be nonviolent will be charmed. (BookLife)