***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned***
So I just finished reading the second one a while ago. As far as cozy mysteries go, I like them and pick them up when I can. They’re more like a go between heavy reads or when I need something light. (Reading is like eating you see..you’d like an appetizer before you dig into the main course.)
With most cozy mysteries you don’t get much character development. They’re usually just there like placements in a diorama with nothing much to them except it makes the story readable and whole. Or it provides support to the setting and the plot. There’s nothing central to them.
In Bookplate Special, that pretty much changes.
Tricia and Russ break up! Which is not big news anyway. You were anticipating it and quite frankly, Russ was pretty much boring to begin with. Enter the green eyed (and this is emphasized throughout the novel) Captain Baker who’s not that charming but at least has somewhat more of a personality than Russ, he’s certainly a gentleman, and manages to grab Tricia’s attention. So there’s that development there in that regard.
Then we have Ginny and Brian who aren’t together anymore because Brian’s done some really awful things (and ended up being the culprit anyway.) Well, Ginny was going through some really tough times anyway and this just ended up being the icing on the cake but now she’s got some goals for herself. There’s some development there. Although it’s probably going to take some time for Ginny to get used to this situation.
Then we have Mr Everett and Grace getting married. Which is pretty much the most happiest part of the book with all the breakups happening here. Congratulations to them, by the way.
Angelica who still acts like the older sibling you wish you never had, had a secret all along (well, not really) and you find out the reason for her behavior. I liked this part the most. It made her more human and less of an annoying character. For those that have gone through similar situations like Angelica would completely understand and maybe even sympathize.
The plot overall was interesting but not as great as the first two I’ve read. Pammy who is the victim is here and gone. She wasn’t that likable anyway but Tricia, being the nice girl and the doormat, tolerated her and ended up doing the right thing for her. Sure, it makes Tricia look like she’s being put on a pedestal and nothing can go wrong but at the same time Tricia was going through her own issues (her relationship with Russ for example, among other things she was involved in throughout the novel). It makes Tricia sound almost unstoppable and it’s amazing what she can accomplish while her store is running at the same time. It can be unrealistic as it seems like Tricia can just come and go when she pleases but if you think about it, don’t most bosses do the same?
I started losing interest towards the last third of the book. It really started to drag and Tricia could not stop whining about Pammy and her guilt over kicking her out of her place. I don’t know how much you could drag about the secret diary, and how a philanthropist could have been involved in this (which he really wasn’t.) Top that with adding in a group of Freegans and someone born with a birth defect that needed gender reassignment surgery. Okay. I can handle it, but did it have to drag? It really should have ended about 4 or 5 chapters ago.
Other than that, it wasn’t a bad read but as of now it’s my least favorite of the series. I hope the fourth one will be better than this one. The characters changing and developing was a welcome change however. Cozy mystery fans may or may not enjoy this one. Take it or leave this one.