New Job. New Love. And Murder.
Hattie Cook’s dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee–the very one she replaced.
Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. When the police determine there’s more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie’s time is up?
Review: I went into this book with the mindset that this was a cozy mystery, with lots of humor, and splash of romance for good measure, but I’m not sure which genre wins out in this book, but I have to say the focus during much of the story is on Hattie’s developing relationship with A. Wellborn, the brother of a close friend, a police officer, and the guy who gave her a ticket while she was in between jobs.
But, Hattie does find a temp job at an insurance agency, which she loathes, but it keeps money flowing in. However, the death of a former employee at the agency sparks A. Wellborn’s investigative interest. Could the death have been murder? Could Hattie be in danger?
After I finished this book, I really needed to walk away and take my mind off of it before I tried writing a review. But, even after I slept on it, I still felt my blood pressure rising as I started thinking about all that took place in this story. I realize I am probably taking things a bit too seriously, since this is supposed to be a very light and easy read, but I still think there were some elements in the story that needs to be addressed, light hearted or not.
Hattie was kind of a ditz, a girl who lived one day to the next, aimlessly, with vague plans for running her own business some time in the future. I understood the character was supposed to be funny, and I will confess there were a few times when a giggle escaped from me, however, the humor fell flat for the most part.
A. Wellbourn got on my nerves from the very start of the book when he gave the girl he claimed to have liked forever a ticket for something that a warning is usually issued for, plus he found out what her financial situation was and still didn’t feel bad and ditzy Hattie just kept on falling for the guy.
The mystery is pretty weak, not really heating up until the last quarter of the book. However, I could have overlooked that if the romance had been worth the time spent reading the book, but it wasn’t.
There was no chemistry and A. Wellbourn was as boring as Joe Friday, and just as “by the book”. He was also a jerk of epic proportions from start to finish. Yes, he did do a few small favors for the girl he allegedly adored, but that was about the extent of his romantic nature and didn’t come close to making up for all the truly horrible things he did to her.
Romance novel heroes may be difficult, but in the end they man up, admit their mistakes, (and they were HIS mistakes, not Hattie’s) and go all out to win the girl, proving what they are made of. In other words, they redeem themselves. A. Welbourn is not a romance hero, not even close.
The last paragraph was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Hattie let us all down and I was so disappointed in her, plus it was a borderline cliffhanger. I was shocked at first, then disgusted, and then so mad, that if this had been a print copy instead of digital, I would have thrown it across the room.
Overall, the book didn’t work so well for me, but if you enjoy light, mildly humorous, mysteries that pass on the graphic violence and has no explicit sex scenes, you might find this one to your liking.