I just finished another Lynn Cahoon Tourist Trap mystery: TEACUPS AND CARNAGE. I really enjoyed it. And it proved that all of the truths that I’d stashed in my tiny little brain about writing could be laughed at.
This book, according to every article I’ve ever read about writing, did everything wrong. And I loved it. Jill, who runs the coffee shop in the Tourist Trap series, is the protagonist, and she’s DETERMINED not to get involved in another murder investigation in South Cove. Her boyfriend, Greg, who’s the law enforcer for the area, is tired of having to rescue her when she figures out who the real killer is and ends up in their crosshairs.
But people come to her coffee shop and keep telling her things that pertain to the murder. The woman who owns the new shop across the street from hers brings her problems to Jill. This means that Jill REACTS to everything she’s trying to stay out of. She’s NOT actively trying to investigate. But she can’t help but be involved. A whole lot of the plot; therefore, doesn’t revolve around Jill trying to solve the murder. It deals with how busy Jill is with everything during summer in South Cove. So busy that murder is pushed to the fringes of her life.
But readers STILL know that Jill’s going to be involved in solving the case. It’s a pretty clever device, to be honest. The reader finds herself busier trying to solve the case than Jill (supposedly) is. I was impressed.
Of course, at the end, Greg still has to rescue Jill. but it’s totally not her fault this time. And the ending is pretty upbeat. I really enjoyed this book. I try to learn something from every book I read, but this time, I don’t think I could pull her gimmick off. But it worked. Kudos to Lynn Cahoon.