A bead bazaar turns bizarre when jewelry designer and glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell discovers a dead body beneath her sales table. Suspected of murder, Jax and her friend Tessa scramble to find the killer among the fanatic shoppers and eccentric vendors. They have their hands full dealing with a scumbag show promoter, hipsters in love, and a security guard who wants to do more than protect Jax from harm. Adding to the chaos, Jax’s quirky neighbor Val arrives unexpectedly with trouble in tow. Can Jax untangle the clues before she’s arrested for murder?
You'd think that moving from Florida to the Pacific NorthWest would be relaxing (well, ok, except for the cold). When I think of Florida, I think of cities, Disney, huge crowds and the Caribbean Ocean. When I think of Washington and Oregon, I think tall pine trees and the Space Needle. (And y'all, I KNOW there's more to those wonderful states than that!) But Jax's life has sure spiced up since moving north.
In the first of the "Glass Bead Mysteries", High Strung, Jax finds the body of a local bead artist. Her friend Tessa is accused of the crime, and Jax has to help her out. In this second installment, Jax travels to a bead show in Oregon, finds a body and is the lead suspect...so she has to help herself out!
You see, the police decide Jax is the best suspect because she had means (heavy objects and electricity), motive (the victim was the kind of person you love to hate - she thought she was better than everyone else) and opportunity (her booth was next to Jax's). And it's probably a function of the 'newness' of the detective, but she practically blackmails Jax into helping her out (unofficially, of course). Being carted off in handcuffs in front of one's peers is humiliating and damaging to one's reputation.
And let's face it, we may read cozy and act cozy, but when our favorite heros and heroines get in trouble, we get all riled up!
I did like getting other facets of the friendship between Jax, Tessa and Val. Val is Jax's serial bad-boy-dating duplex-mate. Tessa is Jax's best friend and sister bead maker. Tessa spends a great deal of the weekend minding Jax's booth at the bead bazaar when she would rather be out shopping for beads for herself and her shop. And Val ... well, she just has to be experienced. She'd like a force of nature - bigger than life.
Jax, Tessa or Val on their own are quite capable women. Together ... let's just say, murderers beware! This trio is a force to be reckoned with. But they are also real women, with good qualities as well as flaws - and therefore female characters to which we can relate. I'd go beading or sleuthing with any one (or all) of these ladies anytime! Bring on more adventures!
MEET THE AUTHOR
When Janice Peacock isn’t writing about glass artists who are amateur detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several museums. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three cats, and seven chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my objective review. This post contains affiliate links.)
This book helps me complete the following 2016 Reading Challenges: