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    Second book in series!

    Teetotaled by Maia Chance is the second book the Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries. Lola Woodby is a thirty-one-year-old widow living in New York. Lola has started the Discreet Retrieval Agency with Berta Lundgren (a former cook). They have not had much luck in finding paying cases. If they do not get some money soon, they will out on the street. Luck comes through their door in the form of Sophronia Widdle, a New York society lady, who wishes the ladies to retrieve her daughter’s diary (she wants to know what her daughter is up to). Her daughter, Grace is very protective of her diary. She keeps the older versions in a safe in her room and the current book does not leave her side (at night she keeps it under her pillow). Grace is currently spending the week before her wedding to Gilbert Morris at Willow Acres (a health farm). Lola calls her brother-in-law, Dr. Chisholm Woodby (who will soon be marrying Lola’s sister, Lillian) who runs Willow Acres to get them two rooms. Lola and Berta believe they can get the diary quickly and head back home (because the food leaves something to be desired). Unfortunately, you know what they say about best laid plans! Locked rooms and a diligent nurse keep them from getting the diary during the first two days of their stay. Then their target, Grace flies the coop. She has decided to elope and thwart her mother. Lola and Berta are about to pack up and head home when they hear a scream. Muffy Morris, who was to be Grace’s mother-in-law, is dead in her room (wife of a Senator Winfield Morris). After speaking with the police, Lola and Berta can leave. In the parking lot is Senator Morris. He wishes to hire the Discreet Retrieval Agency. He needs them to find the killer discreetly. The senator does not want any negative publicity. They take the case and set out to find the culprit. It is a good thing they have a new case, because Mrs. Widdle fires them (it is not their fault Grace took off). Lola and Berta have their work cut out for them. Will they be able to solve the case and get their much-needed fee? Teetotaled is the second book in the series, and, as I discovered, you do need to read the first book in series. The author tries to update the reader, but I was definitely out of the loop. There was information from the first book that the reader needs to understand Lola’s situation (not for the mystery though). I found Teetotaled easy to read and it contained a complex mystery. There are inconsistencies (a few of them). Lola is told the doors to the rooms at Willow Acres are locked at night and during the day. Then Lola is shocked when she finds the doors locked. This is just one example. Lola is a hard character to like. She is a grown woman who is afraid to tell her mother about her current circumstances (broke and now working as a private investigator). I preferred Berta and wished she was more dominant in the novel (she is very much in the background). The author tries to capture the 20s feel with phrases from that era. She tosses them around like confetti. I give Teetotaled 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). The mystery was the best part of the book (which helped raise the score). Teetotaled was just not for me. I will not be continuing with this series.
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