I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Small Town Trouble by Jean Erhardt
Series: Kim Claypoole #1
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths
In Small Town Trouble, the first in my mystery series, you get acquainted with Kim Claypoole’s irreverent ways of dealing with the peculiar characters and events that seem to follow her around. Claypoole’s misadventures begin as she leaves her home in the Smoky Mountains to help save her kooky mother Evelyn’s from financial disaster. Setting off to assist Evelyn, AKA “The Other Scarlett O’Hara,” with her newest personal crisis, Claypoole leaves her Gatlinburg doublewide and the Little Pigeon, the restaurant that she owns with her partner and sometimes best friend Mad Ted Weber as well as a steamy love affair with TV diva Nancy Merit.
Claypoole’s savior complex leads to more trouble when she bumps into an old flame in her hometown who asks for help clearing her hapless brother of a recent murder charge. In true Claypoole fashion, she gets more than she bargained for when she gets dragged into a complicated quest to find the true killer that involves topless dancers, small-town cops, a stream of backwater character and even a meeting with the Grim Reaper. We’re never sure if Claypoole can muddle her way through the murky depths of this bizarre murder mystery before it’s too late. With biting humor and wit, Small Town Trouble will leave you guessing what’s around the next corner in the quirky world of Kim Claypoole and looking forward to her next adventure.
A quick and quirky murder mystery.
The first of Jean Erhardt’s Kim Claypoole Mystery Series, Small Town Trouble is a quirky, quick-reading murder mystery. Restaurant entrepreneur Kim is happily living her life and managing her Gatlinburg restaurant, The Little Pigeon, with her business partner when she gets a call from her mother. Evelyn, whom Kim somewhat affectionately refers to as Scarlett O’Hara, has received an offer for the local small town radio station that her late husband owned. Evelyn’s not quite sure what to make of the offer and so Kim is called back home. (To Tara. No, really! Well, at least that’s what Kim calls her mother’s estate.) As soon as Kim arrives in Fogerty, Ohio, Evelyn tells her about the grisly murder of the town’s topless bar owner. Not only has he been murdered, but he has also been dismembered – and he’s just the first. Small Town Trouble unfolds as Kim gets more and more deeply involved in her past, the mystery of who is trying to purchase seemingly worthless Fogerty properties for hugs sums of cash, and the need to figure out who is killing townspeople.
The character of Kim Claypoole is an interesting one. She’s smart-mouthed and sarcastic, unapologetically unpolished. Her rough-around-the-edges personality is endearing in its rarity. As a reader, she is a narrator and a character who doesn’t feel like someone you have met before – and one that you are happy to have made the acquaintance of.
The story is a fast read and is engaging. However, it’s a little unpolished and, at times, clunky. The narrative is sometimes easily identified as coming from a new author. That said, it’s packed with potential and promise! The threads that the author left hanging at the end of the last chapter are enticing. I’m left wanting to find out what’s next for Kim and how the complicated bonds she has with two married women are going to either unwind or entangle her further.
This review is purely the opinion of this reader. I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.