Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: A Penny Saved A Murder Earned by S.G. Lee

A Penny Saved A Murder Earned
by S.G. Lee
Series: Kelly Clan #1
Publication date: January 3, 2013
Genre: Murder Mystery
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon
*purchases made through buy links support this blog

The Kelly’s (Lily. Rose (Lily’s daughter), Great Grandma Katha and Amelia (Lily’s cousin)) all feel like they are under a curse; but it appears it’s the work of a serial killer that people around them having been falling like dominos. Now as someone is killed at Amelia’s store and others known to them perish, Lily and Amelia become under suspicion by the investigating officer Emmett Rogers. They must fight the impulse to blame the curse and get to the bottom of who caused all their woes, before the killer targets them.
I was in the mood for a little suspense, murder and mystery so I decided to review A Penny Saved A Murder Earned.  Lee takes us into the lives and minds of the Kelly girls and those of the serial killer. While not without flaws this character driven novel kept me in suspense as the characters pieced together the clues that will lead them to the killer. Three word review: mysterious, suspenseful with a dark killer. 

We meet Lily, her adopted daughter Rose, Amelia Lily’s cousin and their beloved Great Grandma Katha in this tale of murder and suspense. Amelia would tell you they are cursed as those around them have a habit of ending up dead. Someone has killed an employee at Amelia’s new shop and she is a suspect, but before it all ends more bodies will appear pushing the Kelly girls to their limit.

The character’s in Lee’s novel are colorful. The women are strong and family is important to them. Lily is the Crown Attorney and quite successful in her career, she is married to Horace the city mayor and has adopted his daughter, Rose. Amelia is on the road to recovery after tragic events caused her to have a breakdown. Rose is adorable, smart, and witty. In a lot of ways she is a typical know it all teen. Grandma Katha is the glue that holds them all together and I quite liked her. Emmett Rogers is the investigating officer and is surprised by his attraction to Lily, but solving the case is his first order of business, even if it means asking the tough questions. The serial killer is slowly revealed to us, and getting inside his mind was quite freaky.

A Murder Saved A Penny Earned is very character driven in fact, I could not really give you any details about the home they live in and aside from crime scenes not much detail is giving. While I enjoy character driven novels, I would have enjoyed more details. The tale takes place in Happy Valley in the United Kingdom and I assume its present day. We visited the courthouse, but aside from the cobblestone walk I know nothing more. The characters were funny, and we saw plenty of drama, suspense and action. I think the flow and connection would have been better for me with more details and another method for delivering back-story information. Much of the background on the characters was told through their retelling. Kind of like a trip down memory lane at a family gathering, but it often felt awkward. A lot of the dialogue felt forced, or was too wordy as the author used them to move the tale. Now if Emmett had been sharing their background with his partner it may have flowed better. The killer was well fleshed out and his behavior and actions felt plausible although I had a hard time accepting his current career. Sociopaths often fit in making them creepy so maybe he could have pulled it off. His character flowed better, and had more depth and natural ease to it. I loved Rose and her role in things; she was like a little Nancy Drew but even her conversations felt unnatural at times. Aside from the awkward conversations, I did enjoy myself and you can definitely see Lee has a great plot line, talent and wonderful ideas, I just felt the execution was flawed.

I easily consumed A Penny Saved A Penny Earned, and despite issues I did enjoy the mystery/murder. A Diller A Dollar A Real Dead Scholar will be released later this year. 

Two and half cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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