When Zeffie Got a Clue, Cozy Mystery Series #3   -     By: Peggy Darty
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When Zeffie Got a Clue, Cozy Mystery Series #3

WaterBrook Press / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

It's an ordinary afternoon in Summer Breeze, Florida, when a young, wide-eyed girl steps into I Saw It First, the trash-to-treasure shop Christy Castleman and her Aunt Bobbie have opened. Clutching a jewelry box, Zeffie Adams tells Christy she needs money to pay her grandmother's medical bills, prompting Christy to offer this curious visitor more than the jewelry box is worth-or so she thinks. But complicated questions form when Christy rips out the box's lining and uncovers a clue to a cold case murder mystery from eight years ago. Despite warnings from her family and handsome boyfriend Dan Brockman, Christy decides to do a little detective work of her own. After all, the infamous murder happened close to her grandmother's farm. How risky could it be to take the jewelry box back to the Strickland plantation and ask around about it?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1400073332
ISBN-13: 9781400073337
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

It’s an ordinary afternoon in Summer Breeze, Florida, when a young, wide-eyed girl steps into I Saw It First, the trash-to-treasure shop Christy Castleman and her Aunt Bobbie have opened. Clutching a jewelry box, Zeffie Adams tells Christy she needs money to pay her grandmother’s medical bills, prompting Christy to offer this curious visitor more than the jewelry box is worth–or so she thinks.
 
But complicated questions form when Christy rips out the box’s lining and uncovers a clue to a cold case murder mystery from eight years ago. Despite warnings from her family and handsome boyfriend Dan Brockman, Christy decides to do a little detective work of her own. After all, the infamous murder happened close to her grandmother’s farm. How risky could it be to take the jewelry box back to the Strickland plantation and ask around about it?

Soon Christy finds there is more to the small box than someone wants her to know. A jewelry theft. A mansion murder. Dangerous family secrets buried in history. Can Christy convince others to let go of the past before it’s too late?

Author Bio

Peggy Darty is the award-winning author of twenty-seven books, including two other cozy mysteries set in Summer Breeze, Florida: When the Sandpiper Calls and When Bobbie Sang the Blues. She has worked in film, researched for CBS, and led writing workshops around the country. Darty and her husband call Alabama home but spend a great deal of time in Colorado, Montana, and on Florida’s Emerald Coast.

ChristianBookPreviews

Peggy Darty’s book When Zeffie Got a Clue, a cozy mystery, deals with perseverance against the odds. Christy Castleman helps her aunt Bobbie run a small trash-to-treasure shop, which is where little Zeffie brings in a jewelry box to sell. It happens to contain a clue to the decades-old murder of Kirby Strickland. Christie feels an obligation to solve the murder of this man because he once saved her life, so she begins a long and slightly dangerous search for truth. Although time has passed, the biblical mandate, “You have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out,” (Numbers 32:23) is a driving force in this plot.

Darty gradually unfolds clues to the past through current characters’ eyes. Christie searches for clues in every possible place and runs into numerous characters; however, few characters stand out. Christie is quite sweet and a fairly strong Christian. Her only flaw is a slightly stubborn streak. Her parents are ideal; her boyfriend is wonderful; and her aunt is adorable and kind. Little Zeffie, an orphan, is as sweet as can be and highly intelligent. Basically, all the characters except the murderer are great people, if a little bland. They all care for Christie, and , unfortunately, they all sound remarkably alike.

Every character in Christie’s life worries when she and her curiosity go searching for clues to the murder. Her parents caution her against getting involved, her aunt tells her to drop it, and her boyfriend tries to distract her from the case. This creates tension as she tries to please them and satisfy her curiosity at the same time. In fact, this is just about the only tension in the book. There is little to no action – beside interviewing people for clues – until the last twenty pages of the book. The only slight exception to this is when the killer breaks into her house and leaves a threatening message, but nothing comes of it until those last few pages.

Christie shows perseverance in chasing down clues in odd places and piecing together fragments of hints, but the mental gymnastics take up most of the book. Readers will be pleased to find that she solves the mystery, with a few twists thrown in, so this is a good book for anyone who loves to sort through and analyze details. However, if you seek a mystery with adventure, this is not the book for you.

I found this book to be rather disappointing. It seemed to offer interesting plot and characters at the beginning of the book, but it stretched on far too long as Christie failed to make connections that I made early on, then made some leaps of logic at the end without revealing how she got there. It also hinted at adventure but failed to include much. It’s a decent book, but certainly not outstanding. -- Corinne Hills, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 8, 2008
    Maureen Smith
    I have found a new favorite author! I could hardly put "When Zeffie Got a Clue" down. I enjoy Peggy Darty's style! I am sure to be reading everything she writes.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 5, 2008
    Deborah
    Peggy Darty has become one of my favorite cozy authors to read. She also has a tight storyline with engaging characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing throughout. This latest addition featuring the gang from Summer Breeze did not disappoint. The mystery was really good because once again, the reader is kept guessing as to who the killer really was. This story was like a cold case being reopened years later. Therefore there are many suspects, including several who I myself guessed wrong. Zeffie was a cute character and I liked her. She wasn't annoying like a lot of bright little kids are normally portrayed in books. My absolute favorite part of reading this story was when Christy would visit the barbecue place. I envied her so much for the huge platters of ribs and sweet tea that she would get. I would get hungry every time it was mentioned. If I could get sucked into the story, I would definitely be tagging along with her when she ate there. I was geeked to read about Christy and Dan getting back together. I missed him in the 2nd book and it was good to see that he was able to keep up with her sleuthing habits in this one. These stories are perfect for those who love mystery but hate gritty suspense. It's perfect for a read on a lazy summer day. I do hope there will be more books featuring Christy and the residents of Summer Breeze. I will be anxious to make another trip down there.
  3. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    April 17, 2008
    nora
    This is my first cozy mystery to read by Peggy Darty and Im sure it wont be my last. The author says The cozy mystery is, by far, my favorite, because this genre allows the reader to participate in solving the mystery. I did like that about reading this book. I really liked the town in Florida called Summer Breeze. Its a place you definitely want to stay for a while. Zeffie is the most adorable little girl that everyone falls in love with and wants to take home. She meets the main character Christy at her store called I Saw It First Shop dont you just love that name? I also like what there store does. Christy explains to Zeffie What we like to do here is rework something thats lost its purpose and make it pretty again. I think every town needs one of these shops; I think God allows us to be re-worked once we have been lost our purpose as well.This cozy mystery reminded me of a good Nancy Drew mystery. Zeffie hands Christy a clue that reopens a case from years ago. This case was personal for Christy. The man that was murdered saved her life. With the clue she is determined to track down this killer if that is the last thing she does. You will love this town and the Characters as well. It really makes me want to read the other books in this series. Nora St.Laurentwww.psalm516.blogspot.com
  4. Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 2, 2008
    Michelle Sutton
    Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    I don't normally read cozy mysteries, but this one was fun and it held my interest. The title was intriguing and once I got involved in the story and got to know the characters I wanted to finish the book. It had a nice hook and pulled me in. Nothing was edgy or compelling in a suspenseful sense. There were no graphic descriptions or things that made me cringe (not that I like that). There was nothing heart-wrenching or spiritually moving. It was just a nice read. Kind of like a Matlock murder mystery. The characters were well done, the writing was good, and it gave me the warm fuzzies - especially the subplot involving Zeffie. Maybe I would have felt even more attached to the characters if I had read the previous two books in the series. I dunno. Overall I'd say this book is a winner, because not once did I dread picking it up to finish the story. That's a great book!
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 30, 2008
    MJ
    Zeffie is a sweet little girl in an unfortunate point of circumstances in her young life and Christy, the local mystery writer/murder solver of the area of Summer Breeze, Florida is able to jump into detective mode and seek out answers to find for Zeffie's questions as well as others that are closer to home from her own youth.This is the first Christian cozy mystery that I have read, and it really makes me thirst for more. The overall story is riveting and near impossible to put down once started. There are many different emotions and as a reader, one really gets pull into everything that is going on and debates all of the clues themselves.I really recommend this book if you have a few hours to spare and jump in to see if you can help Christy and Zeffie find what they are looking for!
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