Friday, August 19, 2016

The Black Thumb by Frankie Bow - #review #giveaway

When a violent death disrupts the monthly meeting of the Pua Kala Garden society, Professor Molly Barda has no intention of playing amateur detective. But Molly’s not just a witness-the victim is Molly’s house guest and grad-school frenemy. And Molly quickly finds to her dismay that her interest in the murder of the stylish and self-centered Melanie Polewski is more than just…academic.



First off, Molly's 'frenemy' (friend/enemy) from college, Melanie, has gotten a job at the University and is staying for at least part of the summer with Molly in her apartment.  There's the first crimp on Molly's style in the boyfriend department.  Secondly, Donnie's son, Davison, is back in town for the summer, staying at his dad's, having been kicked out of yet another college.  Strike two?  And Donnie's ex-wife is back in the islands.  Molly goes to Donnie's house and lo and behold, there's the ex walking around wrapped up in his bathrobe.

Molly and her fiance are going to have to do some serious talking if their relationship is going to work in the long run.  They are engaged at the beginning of the book.  Two (or was it three?) times Molly called off the engagement ... but three (or four?) times, they patched things up in the long run.

During one of the off-again periods, Molly draws the interest of an IT guy at the university and he actually helps her a little with her investigations.  I was definitely surprised when IT guy's backstory came...well, forward!

At the beginning of the book, Molly and Melanie attend a garden club meeting, which happens to be held at the home of one of the members.  Said member is selling her property and Molly wants to snatch it up for herself, for after she is married.  During the meeting, Melanie, who has wandered off going into the house and winds up falling from a third story window *splat* onto the ground.  To make matters even worse, Molly is considered a suspect...and that with a club full of members to vouch that she did not leave her seat during the time Melanie was gone!

I was in full snark mode when they uncovered a novel Melanie had been writing.  Apparently it was ghastly.  But the main character's name was Melody, and her nemesis was called Dolly. *ROFL* I believe it was Shakespeare who said, "The course of true love never did run smooth."  If that is the case, Molly and Donnie must be in the top five truest lovers e.v.e.r.!  (Either that, or Romeo and Juliet, because Molly and her man are looking pretty-star crossed over the course of Black Thumb.)

There are several other little gems scattered throughout the book.    The Black Thumb is a great addition to the series!


Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

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