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50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls) by Josie…
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50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls) (edition 2012)

by Josie Belle

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608197,694 (3.66)1
Member:RhondaReed
Title:50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls)
Authors:Josie Belle
Info:Berkley (2012), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:mystery, good buy girls mystery, retail

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50% Off Murder by Josie Belle

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Maggie Gerber and several of her friends belong to the Good Buy Girls a group that meets and strategizes frequently on how to find bargains. They will have to strategize in a different way now - Claire Freemont, one of the members, has been accused of murder. She actually did have a reason to want the victim dead, but so did several others, and Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls are determined to prove that Claire is innocent and find the real killer. The only problem is that Maggie has to deal with pesky sheriff Sam Collins.

"50% Off Murder" is the nicely done first book in Josie Belle's Good Buy Girls cozy mystery series (Belle is the pseudonym for cozy mystery author Jen McKinlay). I admit the book got off to a rocky start for me as, while I love sales, I am not fond of extreme coupon clipping, people who are too frugal, or those that shop just because it is on sale, but I quickly got over that and came to like the characters and set up. What I liked best about the book is the close friendship between the Good Buy Girls (Maggie, Ginger, Joanne, and Claire) and how they pulled together when one of them needed help. I also like the fact that they all, including Maggie, had secrets they were keeping from each other as this made them deeper characters. The one thing I didn't like was the rivalry between Maggie and Summer Phillips, which is way over the top (and reminiscent of the feud between Angie, Melanie, and Olivia Puckett in McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series). I know it is meant to be funny but a little bit goes a long way. Finally, while the mystery is cleverly plotted, I wish there were more suspects and I honestly forgot the killer was even a character in the book.

"50% Off Murder" is a bit uneven but has a nice set up and some great characters and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  drebbles | Oct 2, 2013 |
50% Off Murder is the first book in the A Good Buy Girls Mystery series by Josie Belle. Josie Belle is pseudonym for the enjoyable author Jenn McKinlay.

Maggie, Claire, Ginger and Joanne make up the Good Buy Girls. Normally they like to sit around swapping coupons, planning the next shopping spree and discussing the latest bargains they have found. Those things change when Claire, the librarian at St. Stanley's library and Maggie find a dead man in the basement of the library with Claire's cake knife sticking out of his chest. Once it is known that Claire had dated the dead man before, she becomes a prime suspect and is arrested.

The town of St. Stanley has a new sheriff,Sam Collins, who was Maggie's boyfriend in high school. Their break-up was a bad one and Maggie still resents the nickname of Carrot top that he gave her, she knows that she will have to work with him to free Claire, not something she is looking forward to. The Good Buy Girls soon find out that the victim was known in the area, as he had a business investment business and had provided loans for some of the local business owners.

So the girls put their heads together trying to determine who wanted him dead the most.

I'm looking forward to the next book in this entertaining series. I want to see if Maggie and Sam can out aside their differences, what bargains the Good Buy Girls will find and to see if Max will finis his law degree.

A very enjoyable book. ( )
  yoder | Sep 20, 2013 |
First Line: "Okay, is everyone clear on what they're supposed to do?" Maggie Gerber asked.

Life is quiet in St. Stanley, Virginia, and Maggie Gerber likes it like that. Widowed at a young age, Maggie's daughter is away at college, but her niece Sandy and her two-year-old son Josh live with her while Sandy studies nursing and her husband is in Afghanistan. Maggie's a founding member of the Good Buy Girls, a group of friends who meet weekly to share coupons and to plan their buying strategies. But all that quiet goodness is about to change....

Sam Collins is the new sheriff in town. That bodes ill since he and Maggie have been at each other's throats since they were in diapers. Maggie decides that she's going to avoid him as much as possible, but it simply is not meant to be. Claire Fremont-- Good Buy Girl, local librarian, and all-round good person-- has been hauled off to jail by none other than Sam Collins himself after a body is found in the library basement. Claire not only knew the victim, she owns the cake knife that was found buried in his chest. Although Maggie realizes Claire isn't being completely honest with her, she knows Claire to be incapable of murder, so Maggie sets out to find the real killer-- whether the high and mighty Sheriff Sam Collins likes it or not!

I was a bit hesitant to give this book a try. Having spent most of my working life in the retail field, I've lived through madness like the Cabbage Patch Dolls and Tickle Me Elmo (to name a few), and once you've stood on the other side of the door from a seething crowd showing mob-like tendencies, it tends to color how you look at a group of women who have battle plans when they go out to shop.

I shouldn't have worried because the ultimate reason why I read the book-- author Jenn McKinlay writing as Josie Belle-- is the reason why I loved it. McKinlay has such a playful and slightly twisted sense of humor that I can't help but smile and laugh as I read her books. The four women who comprise the Good Buy Girls are fabulous characters who work well together whether it's shopping for Gucci or searching for clues. I even enjoyed the sparks flying between Maggie and Sam. Let's face it. All that fussing and feuding since they were toddlers? What else could it have been leading to?

I loved the characters and the humor. I even appreciated the shopping because the Good Buy Girls have taken the time to get to know the businesses and the business people in their area. It's not just about scoring a deal; it's also about friendship and looking out for each other. The only thing that marred this book for me was the blazing red neon sign hanging above the killer's head, and although that was a bit of a disappointment, I don't really care. McKinlay/Belle has created such a great cast of characters that I'm really looking forward to reading what they get into next. ( )
  cathyskye | Dec 9, 2012 |
Another read looking for a good cozy mystery. This book was a lot of fun with it’s theme which was looking for good deals and special discounts. The group of “girls” known as the Good Buy Girls are various ages and meet to coupon and share deals they know about. Claire being new to the group is the one that they learn a lot about during this book. There are a lot of revelations and maybe some questions impacting friendship.

I thought the characters were likeable and believable. They were a good mix of ages and needs. I also enjoyed the mystery, in that there was a little suspense added to it as well. There was not a lot of romance or relationship involving, but that was okay, I think that is building for later in the series.

Recommended for cozy readers who may be tired of typical themes. This was a fresh idea. ( )
  nsjlh | Sep 23, 2012 |
Best friends, bargain hunting, and murder! Josie Belle's debut cozy mystery 50% OFF MURDER introduces readers to the Good Buy Girls, a group of four coupon-crazy friends who call the small town of Saint Stanley, Virginia, home. When one of the girls is accused of killing a man in the library, the other three jump in to help clear her name.

The ring leader of the Good Buy Girls and main protagonist of the story is Maggie Gerber. Maggie was widowed at a young age, and she's spent the last 17 years as a single mom to her daughter Laura. Maggie never dreamed that the town's new sheriff would be Sam Collins, an old flame she hasn't seen in 24 years. And, since things between them ended badly, she's none to thrilled about his involvement in the murder case. The dynamic between Maggie and Sam was tense but humorous. She has some impressive sarcastic zingers to throw at Sam which had me giggling. But, as much as she wanted to convince herself that she hated Sam, Maggie just couldn't fight the attraction.

The mystery itself was okay - not as strong as it could have been. I thought the killer was pretty obvious. For some reason, Maggie was completely fixated on other things, and in the end, she wasn't the one to figure out who-done-it. I'm always disappointed when the amateur sleuth isn't the one to solve the murder, though in this case, Maggie did help.

The highlight of the story is the friendship between Maggie, Ginger, Joanne and Claire, aka the Good Buy Girls, and I can't wait to get to know them better in future books. And Sam, too! This new cozy mystery series has great promise and I'm looking forward to seeing what the bargain hunting babes of Saint Stanley will be up to next.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  bookofsecrets | Sep 10, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425247023, Mass Market Paperback)

Maggie Gerber-one of the founding members of the Good Buy Birls- loves her quiet life in St. Stanley, Virginia. But all that changes when Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff. On top of that, Claire Freemont, a librarian and the newest member of the Good Buy Girls, starts acting utterly strange.

When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, she finds the body of a very dead man. Turns out the man is someone from Claire's past. As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it's up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer-while making sure they don't pay too much in the process...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:39 -0400)

One of the founding members of the Good Buy Girls, a group of coupon-clipping discount divas, Maggie Gerber, after a fellow member is accused of murder, must repurpose her bargain-hunting skills to put the real killer behind bars.

(summary from another edition)

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