Just in time for J.W.’s birthday, we crack the spine on Tamra Baumann’s Plotting for Murder. Full disclosure: this breaks a few of our rules, in that we (a) mainly focus on bad books and (2) rarely read anything that wasn’t published by a major house, but sometimes we just want to read something we know we’re going to enjoy, and this was one of those times. So hop in the car with us and take a trip down south—45 minutes south of San Francisco, that is!—and browse the groaning shelves of a mystery-themed bookstore that serves up hot, flavored coffee, fresh, flaky croissants, and, if you’re a member of its book club, the occasional MURDER.
The heroine? Plucky. Coffee drinker (bigtime). Puppy recipient! The sheriff: hunky; devoted to the heroine; willing to use her to accomplish extra-legal surveillance; possibly going to run for mayor down the road (check back!). Her mom: big heart, a little flaky. Her best friend? Does a lot of dating. The murder victim? Did a little TOO MUCH dating, possibly! But let’s not uncover the mystery too quickly, eh?
NOTE: J. would like everybody to know he thought he was a little less “vocally enthusiastic” than usual, but that’s only because he had been helping our pals over to the F Plus help raise SEVENTEEN THOUSAND FRIGGING DOLLARS for abortion rights all night before we recorded. Clsn would like everybody to know he feels really bad for not mentioning one of the best things about this book, which is that it has an expansive, enjoyable sense of family, with adult children coming to respect their parents in new ways and inviting people into new networks of care, and he doesn’t even have an excuse, he just forget to bring it up.