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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 14 star ratings
6 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
14
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Solid start to the series

    I think this is solid footing for a cozy mystery series. The setting, characters and relationships are nicely set up to continue this adventure for many books to come. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid for this review.
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    Debut of An Allie Cobb Mystery series

    A Literal Mess by J.C. Kenney is debut book in An Allie Cobb Mystery series. Allie Cobb is awakened during the night by a phone call from her brother, Luke. Her father has passed away from pancreatic cancer, and Allie quickly heads home to Rushing Creek, Indiana. The day after her father’s funeral, Sloane Winchester (her best friend) arrives at the Cobb house in distress. Her father and famous author, Thornwell Winchester was found dead under the Rushing Creek Bridge. It is a shame that someone killed him just when Thornwell was turning his life around. Police Chief Matt Roberson (and Allie’s ex-brother-in-law) has Sloane at the top of the suspect list which puts Allie into investigator mode. The mayor is pushing Roberson to quickly close the case before the Fall Festival begins and the leaf peepers arrive in town. Allie is not about to let Sloane get railroaded for a crime she did not commit. Allie uses her deductive skills and keen eye for detail to work on clearing her friend. There are various suspects including Thornwell’s ex-girlfriend, a local literary agent and the mayor. The killer is not happy with Allie’s sleuthing and attacks her to warn her off the case. Allie is not to be dissuaded and redoubles her efforts to identify the murderer. When not sleuthing, Allie is keeping up-to-date on literary clients in New York, catching up with her family and friends, and working to close her father’s agency as he requested. Allie also meets local genealogist, Brent Reynolds who proves to be a distraction along with the delicious hot chocolate served up at Creekside Chocolates. Can Allie locate the killer before she becomes his next victim? A Literal Mess takes us to the small town of Rushing Creek, Indiana where Allie Cobb grew up with her parents and two siblings. Allie went away to college and then moved to New York City to have a career as a literary agent. She wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps who ran his own literary agency out of their home. I enjoyed the descriptions of the cozy town which has a new chocolate shop that I would love to visit. There are a variety of characters for readers to like and dislike. The disagreeable residents are perfect murder suspects especially Mayor Larry Cannon (I am not sure how this man got elected). The mystery was interesting with red herrings, multiple suspects and good clues. Readers should have no problem solving the crime long before Allie confronts the killer. I was surprised that Chief Matt Roberson asks for Allie’s assistance on the case and hands over case details plus video footage. I found it be farfetched, but it does aid Allie’s investigation. I was happy that the case was completely wrapped up at the end of the book. There is some repetition of information and inconsistencies. Allie has a boyfriend, Lance who at one point she states they have been dating a year and later says a couple of months. I found A Literal Mess to be nicely written with various pacing. I found the story to drag throughout the middle, but it does pick up again later in the story (could have used more action). I like that the author set the stage for this book and the series by describing the town and various residents. There is a cute tortoiseshell cat named Ursula plus a sweet dog named Sammy who takes a shine to Allie. A Literal Mess is a light cozy mystery with a quaint small town, friendship, a close family, adorable animals, enticing chocolates and a mystery for readers to solve. I am curious to see what trouble Allie gets into next time.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Fast and Fun Unique Cozy

    Yes! A cozy with a NYC literary agent as the protagonist. Her father, also a literary agent had a large contingent of strong clients, but has passed away without Allie Cobb being able to return to Rushing Creek, Indiana prior to his passing. She is overwhelmed with emotion and fighting guilt. Books, authors, their editors, and agents. It's an intricate network of people with whom Allie must now work to help shut down her father's agency, as she'd promised her mother. The story plants strong sentimental ties between the characters who one by one is well-fleshed. Her best friend, Sloane Winchester, lends her shoulder to cry on, but before Allie can get through the funeral for her own father, Sloane's father is found--murdered. The Police Chief happens to be her sister's ex who appeared to be a bully when married to Rachel. Growing up, she was never terribly close to her older sister who now has twin boys. But Allie has made a name for herself in the literary world of New York, can stand on her own, and she has "short persons syndrome." Oh, and also, she enjoys the fine art of kickboxing. Whether this is a female protagonist that exhibits aggressive tendencies due to being crafted by a male author, or it's a subtle expression of her implied New York background and stature, this little lady is no shrinking violet. She is purposeful and methodical as she works through the possible suspects and the twists and red herrings. The well-paced plot allows no down time. Working with a Police Chief who is slightly beyond his element is pushing disbelief, but is explained plausibly. Loved the author's characterization of the mid-west rural Indiana location and the people preparing for the "fall leaf peeping" festival." Allie feels that tug, the nostalgia for the community feeling, friends, relatives, and Brent. 4.5/5 I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read this unique and enjoyable first in his series. Recommended as a fast cozy, easy escapist reading.
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    I loved it!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this first in a new series. The characters and premise were engaging and the whodunit kept me guessing. This book sets up a solid base for further books in the series to look forward to. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of the book.
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    A Literal Mess

    Great story full of exciting twists and turns . One thin irked me though. You do not know everyone by name in atown of over 3000 pepole. I klived in a town just under 2000, was a primary school teachet and did not know everyone. Other thn that a fantastic story and I cant wait to read more about Allie Cobb.
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