Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Agnes and Effie Mystery #1
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
This is the first book in the new Agnes and Effie Mystery series by Maia Chance. It was delightfully warm and witty and had a pretty good mystery to go with it. The series ‘stars’ are pudgy, twenty-eight-year-old Agnes Blythe and seventy-something, former super-model Great-Aunt Effie. Add in a former high school sweet heart and a girl-crazy cousin and you have quite a cast of characters!
Agnes is very insecure about her body image, mostly because of an incident in high school. She was never the svelte and supremely confident person her great-aunt Effie is and when someone posted a nasty sign about her weight on her locker at school, she skipped the last two weeks of high school. That insecurity stayed with her and even affected her choice of fiancé – who is a really stodgy, self-centered piece of work. So, when said fiancé dumps her, she flees to her father’s house. (Note: I picture Velma from Scooby-Doo.)
Great-Aunt Effie, who has just inherited a condemned old inn in their town, sweeps in and just engulfs Agnes. Effie is a former super-model, is very rich, and has had several husbands. She is a chain smoking force of nature!
The banter between the characters is funny as in:
“He was going to give us the little lady treatment,” Effie said.
“You know, like John Wayne. Treating us like lobotomy patients because we haven’t got boy parts.”
The morning after Effie arrives in town and Agnes moves back to her dad’s house, they stumble upon the dead body of a nasty woman that both of them had a confrontation with the day before. They, of course, become the prime suspects and end up investigating the murder themselves. A few bodies and several close calls later, they have their murderer! However, getting there is filled with car chases, confrontations, people in strange liaisons, blackmail – you name it and it is there!
Then, there is Otis Hatch, Agnes’ high school crush. He’s still a first-class hunk and keeps showing up wherever Agnes happens to be. I think we’re going to see a full-fledged romance there and maybe see Agnes overcome some of her body image issues.
Of course, I’m thinking the ex-fiancé, Dr. Roger Hollins, will go forward with the series as well. Maybe just as a counterpoint to Otis. Not that there will be any competition between Roger and Otis – Roger will be more the comic relief.
So, we have a great set of characters set up for the following books in the series. I can’t wait to see what Agnes and Effie get into next!
“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”