Really more of a 0.5, but I’ll be nice.
I have a lot of issues with this book, but if you are craving a simple “cozy” murder mystery, this will do. My biggest peeve is the main character (well, ok, all the characters).
She feels very much a Mary Sue character type, it’s even stated in the plot how perfect she is (or, pretends to be). She’s not really perfect, but compared to her “best friend” Tessa, she’s freak’n Mother Teresa. Now, not all Mary Sues are bad. But this one…is just…what? Boring? Simple? Meh? I don’t know. But I found myself kinda wishing she’d be murdered and we’d have a new lead.
Speaking of wishing someone dead: Tessa. The best friend. Ugh. Even before the murder happened, I was seriously wishing Tessa would be bludgeoned by a bottle. I have a feeling she was suppose to be a free, “modern” woman. Really, she was just a train-wreck (seriously, drunks shouldn’t work at wineries, though I’m sure they do). She was just generally very unappealing and I can’t understand why Katie would be friends with her other than pity.
Next up: Dean, the detective/love interest. Ok, ok. I get it. It makes for an easy story to have the detective let a citizen hang out with them during investigations, but it always just feels lazy to me. Dear Detective Dean should SO be fired for all he let Katie run this case. It really got to the point of being ridiculous. Letting her in and out of the cells to chat with the suspect, taking her to witness interviews…come on. I know this is a book and there should be a suspension of disbelief…but COME ON.
*But*, during the times when the characters didn’t annoying me so much that I was audibly groaning at my tablet, it was an ok read. The setting of Napa Valley was original and nicely described. The story was a pretty straight-forward cozy mystery, but it isn’t bad. There were enough happenings to keep the interest and I thought the pacing was nice. I’d definitely check out another Nettmann book (I just hope that next time the characters are a wee bit better).
**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**