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Death of a Garage Sale Newbie - eBook A Bargain Hunters Mystery Series #1
Multnomah Books / 2010 / ePub
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Since when do three women, bonded together by the need to clip coupons and be first in line at door buster sales, solve crimes? Since the fourth member of the Bargain Hunters Network was found dead. When they suspect Mary Margret s murder was prompted by something she purchased at a garage sale the morning of her death, the three amateur sleuths begin to investigate. Suzanne is a mother of three with another on the way. Kindra is a college student with a taste for designer clothes but not the budget. And Ginger is an active baby boomer whose world is filled with scouting the clearance racks, church activities, and helping her retired husband, Earl, test his inventions. Their discoveries take them back twenty years to a dark and buried secretone perhaps better left there.
Sharon Dunn is the author of the Ruby Taylor mystery novels including Sassy Cinderella, which was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. She earned a BA in television production and a masters in history from Montana State University, where she currently tutors and instructs. Sharon lives with her husband of nineteen years, three children, three cats, and lots of dust bunnies.
Chick-lit meets mystery novel in Sharon Dunns Death of a Garage Sale Newbie, the first in the new series of Bargain Hunters mysteries. Four women in various stages and walks of life are drawn together by their love for a great sale. They form the Bargain Hunters Network, or BHN. However, when a murder in suburbia strikes too close to home, the BHN members find themselves on the hunt for more than good deals, and they soon realize that someone is hunting them as well.
Set in Three Horses, Montana, the story could easily take place in AnyTown, U.S.A. Readers follow Ginger, the retired grandmother, Suzanne, the very pregnant mom of three, and Kindra, the cheerleader future-physicist, as they try to figure out the clues left to them in the form of hodgepodge yard sale knick-knacks. Along the way, they make alliances with Tammy, the single-mother cop, and Arleta, the lonely widow, who help the BHN in their quest for answers. For the most part, this eclectic friendship seems believable, as the groups backstory is slowly interwoven into the main plot. As individuals, each woman has little quirks and eccentricities that make her interesting and fun to follow. Their character flaws are relatable, as are their issues at home and at work. Some of the characters need to be fleshed out a little more, particularly Suzanne, though I would wager some of that is yet to come in the series.
Dunn successfully spins a lighthearted mystery with an easily manageable number of characters and clues. The Christian aspects of virtue, justice, fair play, friendship, and loyalty are shown rather than preached throughout the scenes and chapters. The good guys and bad guys are distinguishable from the get-go, though we dont know which of the villainous characters is specifically responsible for the crime or why. Suspense is minimal, which sometimes causes the plot to slow down and meander a bit, but it succeeds at keeping the tone light.
This cute novel will appeal to a variety of women, particularly those who fall in the 25 to 50-year-old age range. Those who are new to the mystery genre, or who enjoy an undemanding who dunit sprinkled with spiritual themes and plenty of friendship, will be pleased with The Bargain Hunters. I have already passed on my copy to my sister, with my mother and mother-in-law next on the list. I have a feeling theyll be anticipating the next installment in the series, due in January 2008. Stacie Miller, Christian Book Previews.com
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