In any mystery genre, I look for a well written book, a good plot, and characters I can relate to. A Poisonous Page checks all the boxes. When I opened this cozy and found it was about a town named “Confection” and the owner of a bookshop called Sweet Fiction with a dog named Cookie and a book group called the Macaroons,”I hesitated. I went through a phase of reading only cozies for a number of years and I loved many of them but at some point it felt like they were more about cuteness than a decent plot and characters you can relate to, etc. Many writers get so formulaic that every book reads like the last book. I think Kitt Crowe will do better by us and wish her well in future entries! A Poisonous Page convinces me that there are still people writing great cozies and this is one of them. Lexi Jones runs her parents’ bookshop in her hometown in Oregon and she is two months out of a murder case where she was a suspect. Thus, in this second entry of a series, readers know that Lexi and the Macaroons solved the first murder and that a police officer named Berg also a returnee from big city life, could do without her help. He essentially harasses Lexie with petty citations for having her dog off the leash. Lexie has close friends, Cat and Teri, a couple of Uncles and their son, some antagonists, the minister’s wife and the garden club president. Crowe develops her characters and creates a rich sense of this little town, making the various players, including a murder victim and a revolving group of suspects way more interesting and relatable. Sure, it’s a cozy so there are some deft stereotypes and some silliness along the way, The satisfying part of what makes a good cozy is present all the way. But I could tell you some things about even a number of tangential characters. They are three-dimensional. YAY Kitt Crowe. I also get a kick out of the fact that the Macaroon’s book of the month is “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” a horrific, violent, masterful book with one of the most complex characters ever written and that Lexi’s uncle didn’t read the book but faked his way through because he saw the movies. As to the plot, I admit all the clues were there and I didn’t identify the killer, which I consider a plus. Perhaps others will roll their eyes at my lack of insight! OH, and the dog is one of the best characters of all! Plus there are kittens. They are not developed as characters like Cookie, but kittens!!
Published by Emily Leader
I have been an avid reader since Dick and Jane met Sally. At age 7, I read my parents' first edition of "To Kill a Mockingbird." I am a retired lawyer and so read almost only fiction for pleasure. I'm adding in nonfiction these days, largely on social justice matters but also history, biography, and weird topics that catch my imagination. I used to read only serially, one book at a time. Presently, I read paperbacks, hardcovers, listen to audible, listen to CDs and read online through Net Galley. Covid-19 has caused me to read a lot so I have re-upped my Goodreads challenge for 2021 and am starting to review at least my favorite finds annd, perhaps, some stinkers. View all posts by Emily Leader