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on February 5, 2015
These books are cute entertainment stories for soap makers who also like mystery books. They certainly are not the best-written books, the stories get a little cheesy and I probably will not be reading more than once, but they are good for their entertainment value.
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VINE VOICEon December 14, 2007
Review by Beth Slater
Berkley Paperback: ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425214879
Date: 03 April 2007 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info

This is the third book in Myers' third series, the Soapmaking Mysteries. Our protagonist, Ben Perkins, part of a large family in a small family owned business, Where There's Soap. We open this installment with Ben welcoming a well-known soap-maker, Contessa New Berne, for a book-signing to kick off the Soap Celebration for their boutique. Ben leaves the diva alone to announce her to the waiting customers, and turns around less than 5 minutes later to find her dead in their production area. With the Contessa's assistant blatantly tardy, the Perkins' family makes the best of the situation while they await the arrival of the emergency services for a woman whose real name is unknown to them.

Ben is horrified by the murderous turn of events, especially when he discovers that the Contessa is really Connie Brown, the drunk driver who killed his girlfriend's (Diana) parents oh so long ago. Diana, as the local bookstore owner, had been arranging the book-signing for Ben, and she is horrified to find out the identity of the corpse. It gets even worse for Diana and Ben when they realize that Diana is the prime suspect. Ben calls his ex-girlfriend Kelly, a local lawyer, to represent his current girlfriend, Diana, who is a suspect in the eye of the local sheriff, ex-girlfriend Molly. Having had some success in the past, Ben decides to investigate the situation although he doesn't realize the toll it takes on his relationship with Diana. Amidst Ben's outings for interviews and in search of clues, his family decides to expand their product line to lotions and lip balm, which adds a touch of chaos to the entire scene. Ben doesn't know which suspect is the strongest - the snubbed ex-boyfriend, the poorly-paid assistant, the law-suing plagiarist, or...the orphaned bookseller?

These cozies by Myers' aren't complicated, gory, or especially deep, but they are interesting. I keep reading them, although I think it is the crafty backgrounds that draw me more than the characters. The characters have very little depth and there are a lot of them, including Ben's 6 brothers and sisters and his mother. Add in the girlfriends, current or past, and confusion reigns. Ben is so busy running around it is difficult to believe he learns anything, and his loyalty to Molly's investigative skills, which he professes to repeatedly, are belied by his repeated attempts to dig up clues behind her back.

This is a quick read with soapmaking tips in the back that crafters will enjoy to pass the time.
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on January 10, 2013
I have read a book from the lighthouse series by Mr. Myers and liked it, so I bought this book as well. I found it trite to say the least. The plot and language were so predictable it nearly put me to sleep. I read and like all types of mysteries, so it's not that I don't like "cozies." There are some very good ones out there. I knew within the first few pages who the victim would be because she was so obnoxious. The amateur detective was the boyfriend of the main suspect. He was also the former boyfriend of the cop handling the case and the attorney he asked to handle the case for current girlfriend. I have no idea what would have attracted any of them to him. He's not described as good looking, he wasn't wealthy, he had a smart mouth, he wasn't particularly intelligent, and he wasn't personable. He also made the stupid mistakes amateurs often make even though he was supposed to be a reader of mysteries.

Fortunately the book is only about 220 pages long. I knew before the 1/2 point what was needed to be done to determine who was guilty, but of course everyone ignored the obvious until about page 180.

There wasn't even much of anything about soapmaking in the story.

I often share my books with friends but this one is going straight to the local used bookstore for credit if they will take it.
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on January 11, 2011
I really enjoyed this series. I wasn't sure I would because Tim Myers usually writes with his lead character as a bit of an orphan. Wow did this one change things. Such a family of nosey parkers who act exactly like a big family. He must have had a lot of experience~!

The Diane/Kelly/Ben relationship took by my surprise. A bit of a twist. I am not sure he could afford to have any more murders at the Soap Shop but I hate to see Ben and his family and ladies go away.
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on July 29, 2008
I enjoyed reading about Ben and his quirky family, and the atmosphere is true to small town life. In a cozy, the murder is almost secondary and the people and the place are first. The hints were strong enough that my suspicions turned out to be correct, though. Ben did lose his temper a little, but considering the circumstances, I thought it was in character. It was also interesting to see the relationship shift in the Ben-Diana-Kelly triangle. I'm not certain the happy ending is sewn up in that regard, though. It could be very interesting to see Ben getting to know Annie and winning her over, if possible. The soap making tips are a fun part of this series, too. Looking forward to reading more of these, if he writes them.
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on June 20, 2013
I enjoy Tim Meyers' books to such an extent that I have bought myself a soapmaking kit. I think it is a brilliant idea to write a mystery and incorporate a hobby in the plot
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on February 6, 2016
I have loved reading this series. I've read most of Tim Myers books and they are all wonderful. Wish he would write more.
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on December 14, 2014
Like this series, also read his other series.
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on June 12, 2007
I have read most if not all of the books in all of Myers' series and this was very much like the rest. It is a quick and easy read. The potential murder suspects are numerous which I like. I was not crazy about the personality change in Ben though. He was a jerk to Diana throughout the entire book which was surprising considering he of all people should know how hard it is to be the prime suspect in a murder case. He was insensitive to her constantly and then would get angry at her when she would get upset. If you liked the previous books from Tim Myers then you'll like this book as well.
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on August 12, 2007
This is a continuation in a series and a definite must have for the avid reader of Tim Myers. He keeps you in suspense right to the end and keeps you entertained all throughout. Can't wait for his next book!
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