And aren't you just drawn in by the puppy image?
The Perfect Match (Hometown Mysteries)
by Janice Hanna
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc. (March 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 160260262X
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Publication Date: March 1, 2011 | Series: Hometown Mysteries
Join Annie Peterson as she follows the clues to discover who set fire to the local dating service, the Perfect Match. Is the arsonist the financially strapped widow who owns the matchmaking business, a mismatched newspaper editor, an unsatisfied and unmarried forty-something customer, or the new female investigator who, except for her suspicious past, seems the ideal mate for Annie’s son Devin? The race is on—to see whether or not Annie and her cohorts can solve the crime before another building is burned to the ground and before Devin becomes enamored of the woman who may be Ms. Wrong.
Annie Peterson is an amateur detective who is ready to investigate a fire that burned down The Perfect Match, a dating service business owned by Opal Lovelace. Opal, an elderly woman of 83, has no family and no where to go. Annie invites Opal to stay at her house so Opal and her nasty tabby cat, Don Quixote, move in and take over the bedroom left empty when their son Devin recently moved out.
Annie and Warren’s two miniature dachshunds try to be friendly but Don Quixote is too cantankerous. And speaking of cantankerous - Opal is bitter, demanding and opinionated, even complaining about the food Annie serves. Annie is wondering if she made a mistake inviting the woman and she is praying for patience...or deliverance. There is more concern after a candle is knocked over in Opal’s bedroom causing a small fire. Annie also begins to notice strange mood changes and forgetfulness exhibited by Opal.
The official fire investigators are reviewing the evidence but Annie comes up with some good clues. The problem is she has several suspects and nothing to pin down the arsonist. Opal might have burned the building for the insurance, especially since it needed renovations. There is a couple matched by Opal who are having marital problems but would the husband really torch her business for that? Then there is a disgruntled woman who demanded a refund because Opal couldn’t find her a suitable match. But the most difficult suspect is the town’s new police deputy with whom Annie’s son Devin has become smitten.
While mulling over the suspect list and the few clues, Annie is busy pulling together the details for her good friend’s wedding. But the bridal couple are experiencing last minute family interference from the groom’s brother who wants his older brother to move back to Greece, not marry a local American.
Can Annie find the right words to help Opal trust God with her problems? Can she salvage the wedding before her friend suffers a broken heart? Can she sort through the smoking clues to expose the true fire bug? Can she do all these things before the menagerie drives her husband away from home?
I really enjoyed the light, easy style of writing. This reads very quickly with plenty of smiles and chuckles. I liked the fire inspired chapter headings, like “Burn, Baby, Burn” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” I especially liked how Annie’s faith plays a day to day part of the story as she seeks the Lord’s wisdom and looks to Him for guidance. The characters are on the quirky side and the mystery has enough clues to make it interesting even though it wasn’t too hard to determine the culprit. I will remember the humor and bright attitude Ms. Hanna brings to the work as I would be glad to read more. This is a good choice for readers who enjoy Christian fiction, cozy mysteries and are ready for a light read.
~~~~~~~~~~~Annie’s good attitude is shown in her prayers:
Lord, You know better than any of us what Opal needs. Meet her where she is, Father. And help me be the kind of friend she needs—no more and no less. Page 106.
I read this for Ladies Book Club meeting this Saturday.This story is set in Clarksborough, PA for 2013 Where Are You Reading. This is also a New Author for me.
I have a couple extra copies to giveaway. I often buy the Ladies' Book Club titles from the Bargain selections at Christianbookstore.com. This one is now even less ($1.49) than when I purchased it!
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for PRINT COPY - Two Winners:
For 3 Extra Bonus entries Visit the author's website and tell me something you find of interest.
* This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on January 25, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on January 26, 2013.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.