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Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery Book…

Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery Book 1) (edition 2017)

by J. C. Eaton (Author)

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396418,893 (3.8)None
Title:Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery Book 1)
Authors:J. C. Eaton (Author)
Info:Kensington (2017), 320 pages
Collections:2018 Books Read, Read but unowned
Tags:two writers, American authors, Sophie Kimball series #1, mystery, murders, book clubs, self-publishing, women amateur detective

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Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton



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Sophie “Phee” Kimball works in accounts payable for the police department in Minnesota. The only investigating she does is hunting down receipts for expense reports, but that doesn't stop her mother from assuming that she can solve the curse that is killing her fellow book club members. She begs Phee to come to Sun City West, Arizona before any more members wind up dead. Phee tries to calm her mother and put off the visit until the holidays but Harriet demands she come to Arizona immediately. After to talking to Nate, one of the local detectives she heads to Arizona, knowing he's willing to help her over the phone when she finds any clues or needs his help.

The story is well written with lots of red herrings. The story took several different twists and turns on the route to the big public reveal. This was a fun fast paced mystery with captivating characters.

I got an ARC of this book from netgalley and Kensington Publishing. ( )
  FaytheShattuck | May 23, 2018 |
Sophie 'Phee' Kimball works in the Mankato, Minnesota police department in accounting. One day she receives a call from her mother Harriet, who lives in a retirement community in Sun City, Arizona. It seems her mother's book club, Booked 4 Murder, has been reading a book that is 'cursed' according to Harriet. She wants Phee to come to Arizona and investigate the situation and find out the truth before there are any more deaths. Phee thinks it's ridiculous, but with a little coaxing from a police detective friend, she decides to make the trip.

Once she arrives, she tries to convince her mother of everything only being coincidences - these were elderly women, after all; but when Harriet insists it was murder, Phee reluctantly begins an investigation into the deaths. Not knowing how to go about it, she manages a mish mash way of asking questions, and trying to discover the truth. Even though it takes awhile, Phee begins to put together the pieces and discovers how easy it is for coincidences to become reality.

I really wanted to like this book more. The plot was interesting: a cursed book that makes people drop dead from merely reading it. On top of that, it's a self-published book that no one seems to have ever heard of, and it appeared on the club's book list without anyone having requested it. Yes, it had a nice premise, but unfortunately, it couldn't be carried through.

I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. Phee seemed pretty dull to me, almost like she had given up on life when she got divorced. She is only 45, but acts like she's older than her mother. She has no social life, no boyfriend, no pets (otherwise how could she leave so easily?). It appears she goes to work, comes home, and repeats it every day - what a life. We're not even sure what she looks like except that she has a nice figure. And she talks to herself - a lot. In fact, some of those conversations were extremely boring.

I also didn't feel that it was much of a mystery. Usually the protagonist doesn't breeze through the investigation the way Phee did. There was no sense that she might be in danger at any time; it seemed like she was in a retirement community with a bunch of elderly people who had nothing better to do but gossip about their neighbors.

When the ending came and all the pieces were put together, I felt that it was a bit of a letdown. There weren't really any consequences for anything - some people were even basically rewarded for their part in it all! That just did not feel realistic to me. In any event, since this is the first in a series, I imagine that it will need tweaking and become better with the second one, so I will read the next. ( )
  joannefm2 | Dec 20, 2017 |
Booked 4 Murder by J. C. Eaton is the first book in A Sophie Kimball Mystery series. Sophie “Phee” Kimball is at work (Accounts Receivable Department at the Mankato Police Department) when she receives a call from her mother, Harriet Plunkett. Phee’s mother claims that the book, The Twelfth Arrondissement is cursed. It is the current selection being read by her book club, Booked 4 Murder. Three members of the book group have already died. She wants Phee to fly to Arizona and figure out what is happening (and she will not take no for an answer) before the curse kills off more of the group. Before Phee can decide, Harriet calls about a fourth woman succumbing to the “curse”. After consulting with her friend, Detective Nate Williams, Phee heads to Sun City West, Arizona. Phee arrives and hears about a fifth member of the book club who almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning. What is going on? Phee hits the ground running with her investigation. She digs into the various members deaths, queries the local librarian on how the books are chosen for the book club, and searches for information on the author of The Twelfth Arrondissement. Phee only has one week before she needs to return to work (if she can survive the heat). Can Phee discover what is happening to the members of Booked 4 Death before someone else is hurt and curse fever takes over the town?

Booked 4 Murder sounded entertaining, but I had a hard time wading through it. I found the pace slow (glacial) and the writing flat. The characters were not fleshed out and given life. Phee’s characters do not go with her profession (that are mentioned early in the book about her). Normally, an accountant is organized and detail oriented (good at taking notes). Phee’s character seemed contradictory. The only character I cared about was Detective Nate Williams (shame he was not featured more prominently). The mother was over-the-top and annoying (her dog, Streetman was obnoxious). I found items to be repeated several times throughout the story. Mentioned most frequently is that Phee is not a detective and how she cannot stand the heat (it was exasperating). There are also a couple of outdated references in the book. I did enjoy the Agatha Christie references throughout the story. My rating for Booked 4 Murder is 2.5 out of 5 stars (I am being a little generous since this is a first book by these writers). The mystery had several moving parts. I would say more but that would spoil it for readers. I believe the author was trying to make a complicated mystery that would bewilder readers. The whodunit can be solved effortlessly (I kept hoping for a surprise twist). The ending is expected and disappointing (and a little shocked that Phee would consider it—she has issues). Personally, I would have preferred that Phee work mysteries with Nate in Mankato. An accountant and a detective teaming up to solve crimes (a unique combo). There is a preview of Ditched 4 Murder at the end of the book (the next book in A Sophie Kimball Mystery series). I will not be continuing with the series as it is not the right type of cozy mystery series for me. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jul 2, 2017 |
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  Jane.Reads | Jun 29, 2017 |
You definitely get a feel for life in a retirement community from reading Booked 4 Murder. I haven't been over on that side of the valley for a while, so it's good to know that you still have to watch out for golf carts. There's a lot to like about this debut mystery even though it has one or two small things I'd rather do without. I've obviously been spoiled by my own family's behavior because pushy, interfering, "colorful" mothers like Harriet Plunkett drive me nuts. Harriet also makes a big production of her rescue dog she's named Streetman, but I found Streetman to be very much underutilized throughout the book-- other than showing that Harriet cares more about the dog's needs than she does her own daughter's. Ah well. If nothing else, I have a greater appreciation for my own mother!

But as I said, there's a lot to like. Phee may not have many police/investigative smarts, but she does have a friend in the Mankato PD whom she can call for advice. And she does need advice. The writing team of J.C. Eaton has created a mystery with many layers, and I had fun watching Phee piece all her clues together. I have to admit that I found the reason for the whole "cursed book" scenario rather disappointing-- probably because it's easy to see it actually happening. Read it for yourself and see if you agree. Phee's mother may have worked my last nerve, but I still found Booked 4 Murder to be a very enjoyable read. ( )
  cathyskye | Jun 27, 2017 |
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"Sophie 'Phee' Kimball is not a cop. She's a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate. Is her mother just bored and lonely? She does have a new pet--a long-haired chiweenie (half Chihuahua, half Dachshund)--for company and a host of pals (although that number is admittedly dwindling). Phee is certain that their book club selection isn't cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she'll need to read between the lines before it's someone else's final chapter...." -- Page [4] cover.… (more)

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