Pains and Penalties – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★✰✰  (3.5 / 5 stars)

Kalina Greystone expects life to be quiet when she returns to Ellesworth. But when her great-aunt collapses at the Solstice Fair, she takes it up as her personal mission to find out who is responsible. While trying to dodge the annoyance of her former high school sweetheart, Detective Christian Harper, Kalina searches for the answers before the mysterious murder…determined to stop it before the culprit takes their next victim.

Honestly, going into a cozy mystery, I expected a fast paced and cute story…and that’s exactly what I got! While there was nothing unique about the murder, and the answers came quickly, I got a sense for Kalina’s personality as well as her connection to others in town.

The author has also addressed some of the pitfalls in the story in her acknowledgments, that being the overly simplistic nature of the crime. But, to an extent, that is what you expect. I do think if she added a bit more to the story, then the mystery would have seemed more…well…mysterious, as well as the characters more developed.

Overall, while Pains & Penalties isn’t a unique book, it was certainly entertaining and fun. That’s all I can really ask for in a cozy mystery, isn’t it?

What’s it about?

A new amateur sleuth is on the case in the first book of the Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery novella series.

Small-town life brings big-city problems when Kalina Greystone returns home to Ellesworth, MA to take over the family’s comic book shop. A murder in plain sight at the annual Solstice Fair pushes Kalina to snoop where she doesn’t belong, much to the chagrin of former high school sweetheart, Detective Christian Harper.

As Kalina digs into the victim’s past she uncovers a dark truth that the victim and her closest friends were hoping to take the grave. A truth the killer wants revealed.

Will Kalina and Chris catch the killer before the killer’s thirst for vengeance is sated?

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