Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sharon Dunn's Death of a Garage Sale Newbie ~ Reviewed

Death of a Garage Sale Newbie
By Sharon Dunn
Published by Multnomah (March 20, 2007)
ISBN 10: 1590526899

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 perhaps better left there.

Murderous markdowns are the premise of this rummage sale romp. Author Sharon Dunn creates warm, believable characters in an easy to read mystery about a group of garage saling moms turned sleuths when one of their number is mysteriously murdered. Added to that, local police aren’t talking about the strange events surrounding the case, forcing heroine Ginger Salinski out of her comfort zone and into a role she never expected: crime solver extraordinaire.

In the midst of unraveling her friend’s death and the odd clues she left behind, Ginger realizes that her longtime marriage to a tinkering inventor is in mess. All of this adds up to more trouble than poor Ginger bargained for, but makes for a very entertaining story, despite the unfortunate instances where the main character’s neurosis about spending full price teeter on the campy.

Thanks to the humor interspersed throughout, I was able to overlook the minor plot flaws that kept this book from being top notch. There are no surprising revelations, no unforeseen plot twists to elevate this novel from good to stellar, but the writing shines and the author’s easy style makes this book is a very comfortable read, perfect for a rainy afternoon curled up on the couch with a cup of hot tea.

Review by Elizabeth Ludwig

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