Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review ~ DEATH TAKES PRIORITY by Jean Flowers

Death Takes Priority (A Postmistress Mystery, #1)
by: Jean Flowers
Series: A Postmistress Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Source: Publisher ~ Berkley Prime Crime

Introducing a murder mystery that really delivers!

After caring for her dying aunt and being dumped by her fiancé, Cassie Miller decides to return to her small hometown in the Berkshires to lick her wounds and live in the house where she was raised. Leaving behind her managerial position in the Boston main postal office, Cassie trades in her tailored suits and high heels for the comfortable blue shirt and red, white, and blue striped scarf of the Postmaster for North Ashcot, Massachusetts.

Everything is business as usual until Cassie arrives at work one day to find that someone has broken into the post office building. The only items stolen: stacks of telephone books. Who steals phone books? Two days later, the body of an unidentified man is found in the woods. And when the handsome antiques dealer she just had lunch with is taken into custody, Cassie is suddenly drawn into the case. With a crime enveloped in mystery, she needs to track the killer—before another victim’s fate is sealed in the dead letter office…

There’s a saying, “Not every book is for every reader.”  That statement is so true of Death Takes Priority and myself.  I picked up the book expecting to like it.  The cover is beautiful, the blurb grabbed my attention, and it’s the first book in the series.  All things that are great.  Sadly, the book is nowhere close to one of my favorite reads.  There wasn't anything about it to make me want to read more of this series.  I forced myself to continue reading, because not knowing what happened would drive me crazy.

Cassie Miller is in her mid-thirties and has recently moved back to her small hometown of North Ashcot, Massachusetts to become the postmaster of the one man post office. She desperately wants to make friends.  Just when she thinks she’s about to make a new friend and start a new relationship with Scott James, he gets hauled in by the police for the murder of a town resident.  It seems Scott has his own secrets, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.  North Ashcot with its three thousand residents appears to be a hot spot for unknown crimes.  Cassie gets recruited to look into the murder by the victim’s sister, thinking the police have no idea how to run a murder investigation.

Usually for me, the characters and the mystery are what draws me into a cozy mystery. I like that the characters are usually fun, entertaining, and likeable, making me invested in the story.  Cassie Miller just rubbed me the wrong way.  I didn’t find her to be fun, entertaining, or likeable.  She spent a lot of the book talking about her ex-fiance who dumped her via a text message, her need to find a hobby and make friends, and how much she missed living in Boston.  The secondary characters also didn’t seem to offer a whole lot, except for Ben, the semi-retired former postmaster.  I had issues with elements of the storyline pertaining to Scott.  Cassie did a lot of things that had me wanting to throw my book.  

As for the mystery and the investigation into the murder, the story turned out pretty much as I thought it would.  There wasn’t any big surprises or red herrings.  Death Takes Priority just wasn’t the book for me.

**Received a copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**

Rating: 2.5

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Camille received her Ph.D. in physics from Fordham University, New York City. She is currently on the faculty of Golden Gate University, San Francisco and teaches writing throughout the Bay Area. Camille is Past President and a member of NorCal Mystery Writers of America, NorCal Sisters in Crime, and the California Writers Club.

Camille has published over 20 novels and many short stories and nonfiction articles.
As Camille Minichino, she's published Periodic Table Mysteries, featuring retired physicist GLORIA LAMERINO.

As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, featuring miniaturist GERALDINE PORTER and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Maddie. The 8th in the series, MANHATTAN IN MINIATURE will be released in April 2015.

As Ada Madison, she's published the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, featuring college professor SOPHIE KNOWLES.

As Jean Flowers, Camille is launching a new series, The Post Office Mysteries. The first, DEATH TAKES PRIORITY, will debut in 2015.

Places to find Jean Flowers:


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