Jezabelle Jingle and her neighbors in the Penderghast section of Brilliant, Minnesota, have a mystery on their hands. Someone is stealing sections of hardwood floors in their homes and the thefts may be connected to a long-hidden treasure left by the founders of Brilliant. Not only that, there’s a dead body in a basement to add to the mix. Can Jezzie and her quirky friends figure out the puzzle and find the treasure before some other, unknown person–maybe the murderer–beats them to the punch? Or will the town’s Chief of Police, Hank Hardy, prevent the group from their sleuthing? Anything can happen in the strange little town of Brilliant, Minnesota. After all, brilliant minds create brilliant finds!
This is my third trip to Minnesota with the author, having been to (as in 'read') Fuschia, MN, twice with Granny Skewers a Scoundrel and Granny Snows a Sneak. I don't know if I could deal with the winters, but other than that, small-town Minnesota seems to be quite the happening place for seniors! Jezabelle Jingle is every bit as feisty in the 'Brilliant, Minnesota Mysteries' as Granny (aka Hermiony) is in the 'Fuschia, Minnesota Mysteries'.
If you look at the titles of Ms. Seedorf's books, you would find that she is as big a fan of alliteration as I am. And, as we meet the characters in Brilliant, it becomes even more apparent (Jezabella Jingle, and Hank Hardy to name but two).
It is also highly appropriate that the cover of the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors calls to mind a jigsaw puzzle.
Brilliant is so named after the brothers Brilliant, who founded the town. In fact, when the town began it was only the Brilliant families that lived there. They published puzzle books back in the day and then puzzled everyone when they all just up and left the town they had created...and seemingly disappeared. But they left several puzzles behind them.
Each of the seven brothers had a house that contained pieces of a puzzle - literally. We find that out when squares of floor from the houses of Jezabelle and her friends start being stolen. And she finds out when she goes to call on a friend and he is suspended between the stories of his house due to falling halfway through the second floor, well, floor because the square has been stolen. Even more unfortunately, the second burglary reveals a dead man in the basement of a house that was supposed to have been vacant.
Jezabelle and the other Penderghast neighborhood homeowners (of the former Brilliant households) join together to see if they can piece together the mysterious puzzle. When Hank firmly warns them off 'investigating', they form the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors club, ostensibly piecing together jigsaw puzzles at the library to preserve the art thereof. Of course, it's a front and everyone knows it, but it's a fun front.
The more I visit Minnesota through Ms. Seedorf's books, the more I want to visit the real thing! (MN is one of the few states I have not visited in real life.) Alas, there is no real-life town of Brilliant in the state of Minnesota. But, make no mistake, The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is a brilliant new mystery!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Closing her computer business in January 2014 Julie has transitioned to becoming a full time writer adding free-lance work for various newspapers, along with continuing her column Something About Nothing, which is now in book form in a book of the same name released in early 2015. Her children’s series, Granny’s In Trouble gives her grandkids a hint of the young Grandma underneath the wrinkles.
Her books are light and fluffy and highlight the fact that in the midst of life we have to find the humor in bad situations to keep us going. “We all take ourselves too seriously and we need to have a little fun.” Julie secretly yearns to be like the Granny characters in her books.
In February 2016 the first book in the Brilliant Minnesota Series was released titled the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors. She also is part of a group mystery by Cozy Cat Press Authors titled “Chasing the Codex.” Julie’s serious side is revealed in a story included in the Anthology, We Go On – Anthology for Veterans where the proceeds will go to Veteran’s Charities.
Visit her website at http://www.julieseedorf.com.
Her blog http://sprinklednotes is a little scattered like Granny but lends itself to wisdom and occasional flip flops about life.
You will also find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julie.seedorf.author and on Twitter at julieseedorf@julieseedorf and her character Granny has her own Facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/GrannyFromFuchsiaMinnesota. Enjoy the moments; they may carry you through a lifetime.
Additional author links: Twitter * GoodReads
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)