Olivia’s vividly sketched hometown of Apple Station is so alive with warmth and local color that it brings to mind a southern version of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Bailey’s prose proves just as inviting. Her story boasts moments of real tension throughout, however, especially in the climax, which will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The mystery weaves a web of intrigue that brings skeletons out of the closet and long-held secrets to light, all while staying firmly grounded in the reality of living in a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business—and where the “ idyllic streetscape ... concealed the severity of the affairs transpiring within the [police] station.”
With these engaging, well-conceived characters, and expertly crafted twists that will keep readers guessing, this mystery is sure to please readers looking for an adventure with plenty of intrigue and a comforting conclusion. Fans of the cozy mystery genre will be thrilled to learn that this is just the first of many Olivia Penn mysteries planned.
Takeaway: Bailey’s winning debut will thrill fans of the cozy mystery genre.
Great for fans of: Stephanie Blackmoore’s Engaged in Death, Rita Mae Brown’s Wish You Were Here.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+