Murder Gone A-Rye by Nancy J. Parra
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's almost Thanksgiving, and Toni Holmes is not only gearing up for the holiday gluten-free baked-goods rush, she's also trying to decorate a float for the annual Homer Everett Day Parade. Homer was a local celebrity--pro football player and war hero--and the parade is a big deal. But when Grandma Ruth goes to meet with a woman claiming to have information proving Homer wasn't all he was cracked up to be, she finds the body of her would-be informant and is accused of murder. All of which Grandma Ruth finds entertaining, though Toni does not. Toni wants to leave the investigating to the police, but Grandma Ruth's antics in sleuthing force her to get involved, not only to solve the case but also save her grandmother's life.
The potential love triangle between Toni, Brad, and Sam continues in Book #2, thanks to Toni's insistence on taking a year off from relationships after her divorce. Toni will have a hard time choosing there, I think. Both men are fantastic.
Grandma Ruth's character is both amusing and irritating to me. She's supposed to be fearless and eccentric, but her lack of consideration for other people--their feelings and their property--is appalling. She rides roughshod over everyone. You'd think after 90+ years on this earth, she wouldn't be quite so self-absorbed. Other reviewers have referred to her as an elderly teenager, and I totally agree. I'm not sure why Ms. Parra describes her as being well-respected when it doesn't seem like she behaves in a manner worthy of respect.
As for the mystery itself, I came close on guessing the old secrets and current killer but had a few details wrong, so that was a nice surprise.
For readers' advisors: story and character doorways. No sex, bad language, or on-screen violence.
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