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5 stars for A Drizzle of Trouble: A Cookies and Kilts Mystery by @JoHiestand #cozymystery #cozy

Title: A Drizzle of Trouble: A Cookies and Kilts Mystery

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Cozy Animal Mystery

Book Blurb:

Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned, but at least he wasn't murdered while playing his harp. At any rate, that's the police conjecture when mayor of Beaudin Trace, Missouri is found dead in his living room, lying next to his beloved instrument.

The death produces a quartet of angry suspects, all with scores to settle with the overbearing mayor. Was one of them tired of the way he was conducting town business, or was there a different motive?

To prove her friends innocent, bakery shop owner Kate Dunbar investigates. But trouble drizzles down like rain, threatening to wash out her work. Luckily for her, she's helped by two cats who seem to lap up the problem and help solve the case without twitching a whisker.

My Review:

A quarrelsome mayor found dead next to his harp leads Kate and her two cats on a hunt to find the killer. Shock and confusion hit Beaudin Trace when someone murders the mayor. Who would want to kill the mayor? Kate can’t believe the police actually suspect the mayor’s wife or the three other suspects who had motives. As Kate tries to figure out what happened, clues lead her on a twisted path, fraught with peril. Can Kate, with the help of two cats, solve the mayor’s murder? Or has Kate used up all nine of her lives?

A Drizzle of Trouble is a cozy mystery not to be missed. From the first page to the last, I couldn’t stop reading. Kate is such a likable main character, I connected with her right away. The book opens with a mishap and the mayor goes berserk. You can tell right away the mayor loves to bicker, especially with his wife. What a fantastic character to kill off, especially when the list of suspects is longer than the voter list. Jo A. Hiestand is a natural when it comes to writing mystery and this book showcases her talent. The plot unfolds at a slow pace, building up the intrigue and suspense. Like mystery writers before her, Hiestand leaves clues behind so the reader can try to figure out this whodunit, but the clues aren’t obvious. The characters in this book are no different than you or me and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them. In A Drizzle of Trouble, the murderer is not who I expected which increased my enjoyment. If you love cozy mystery, you’ll want to read A Drizzle of Trouble. A truly wonderful cozy mystery from start to finish, A Drizzle of Trouble is a bucket-list read. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:

Jo A. Hiestand is the author of two British mystery series. While this may not seem so unusual, Jo was born in -- and still lives in -- St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

To get around the technical difficulties dictated by living in one country and writing about another -- especially about police procedures and crime detection, of which she has no personal experience -- she travels to Britain every few years for research. It was on one such trip that she met English police Inspector Tony Eyre (now retired) who supplied police information for her first novel, "Death of an Ordinary Guy." Since then, two other English police officers have become close friends of hers and help with police procedure, catching American words that creep into her writing, and reading the novel manuscripts to eliminate police inaccuracies.

This is all well and good, but nothing beats hands-on experience for writing. Since one of her series features a team of police detectives from the Derbyshire CID and her other highlights an ex-cop who investigates cold cases on his own, Jo knew she'd either have to commit a crime to get first-hand police knowledge or enroll in a citizen's police academy course. The latter seemed safer, so she signed up through a St. Louis county's PD. It was there that she met future co-author police officer Paul Hornung. As Paul remembers their first ride-along, they talked more about writing than about police work. During several ride-alongs they established a bond through these two mutual interests; eventually they agreed to collaborate on books. They've done this with Paul supplying information, writing the fights scenes, and finally writing some of the chapters as one of the series characters. Writing together is definitely fun but sometimes a challenge. Neither knows specifically what the other person's chapter will be, as the storyline is never fully detailed to the other. This is so each can read the other's work with a fresh eye, untainted by "what I meant to say."

It must work, for best-selling British mystery writer Peter Lovesey says, "Immaculate research, attention to detail and an elegant style are the hallmarks of Jo Hiestand’s writing. An atmospheric novel (Horns of a Dilemma)."

Jo took a short respite from novel writing to try her hand with a play. Her contest-winning play "Teething Pains" was produced on stage in 2010. She flatly denies that her fear of dentistry was instrumental in selecting the subject.

Her love of writing, board games and music combines in "P.I.R.A.T.E.S.", the mystery-solving game that uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure. She also enjoys walking through the woods, playing guitar and harpsichord, her animals (pets as well as backyard wildlife), and reading.

Jo realizes she's living many authors' dreams. Who else has three police officers helping her commit murder?

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N

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