Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Make, Take, Murder by Joanna Campbell Slan

First line: I was rummaging around the trash Dumpster searching for my lost paycheck, when I reached down and grabbed Cindy Gambrowski's severed leg.

From the back cover: Dumpster diving for her lost paycheck is definitely the low point of Kiki Lowenstein's day - that is, until she finds a severed leg thrown in with the trash. Who'd toss a body part in the garbage outside the scrapbook crafts store where Kiki works?

Accompanying the grisly "gift" is a creepy computerized voice message, a warning to the store's "rich and snotty" female shoppers. Kiki soon discovers that the leg belonged to Cindy Gambrowski, a customer with a tyrannical and violent husband - who's now harassing Kiki. Combing through Cindy's scrapbook projects for hidden clues, Kiki tries to find the killer. Was it a crime of marital malice, or did someone else beat Cindy's husband to the punch?

My thoughts: This is the 4th book in Joanna Campbell Slan's Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-n-Craft Mystery series. Normally the books are pretty light-hearted - well as light-hearted as you can get in a murder mystery. This one is a little different. The overall theme is pretty dark and there are a lot of serious topics discussed such as cancer, infidelity, and domestic violence. While this series is still considered "cozy", the subject matter in this particular installment is serious and eye-opening.

When Kiki discovers a severed leg in her dumpster at work, she is set on a roller coaster ride to find out who it belongs to, and why it was left in her dumpster. When the owner of the leg is confirmed as one of her customers Kiki is determined to bring the killer to justice. She starts looking into things while running the scrapbook store during the busy holiday season, and during all this, she copes with a hostile co-worker whose history forms part of the plot of the book. 

Not everything is resolved at the end of the book, making me anxious to read more about Kiki in her next book. Joanna Campbell Slan deals with some heavy issues in this story, but does it in such as way as to make the reader stop and think - what would we do in the same situation.

(I borrowed this book from the library.)

Books in this series:
  1. Paper, Scissors, Death
  2. Cut, Crop and Die
  3. Photo, Snap, Shot
  4. Make, Take, Murder
  5. Ready, Scrap, Shoot - to be released in April, 2012
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