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Chime and Punishment (A Clock Shop Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2017
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Praise for the Clock Shop Mysteries
“A fast-moving story, and a great start to an intriguing new series.”—Sheila Connolly, New York Times bestselling author of the Orchard Mysteries, the Museum Mysteries, and the County Cork Mysteries
“Perfect timing! In her charming debut, Julianne Holmes creates the perfect contemporary cozy—with a smart and engaging heroine, a quirky and mysterious Berkshires town, and a cast of characters to rival any who live in Cabot Cove.”—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark award–winning author of the Jane Ryland series
“The clock ticks ever faster in this delightful debut mystery...The story, with a hunky barber, Ruth's childhood friends, and conflicts between the new town manager and the ‘old’ Orchard, winds up to a suspenseful and satisfying end.”—Edith Maxwell, Agatha–nominated and national bestselling author of the Local Foods Mysteries
“With its bucolic setting, engaging characters, and clever plotting, Julianne Holmes has crafted a mystery to stand the test of time.”—Jessie Crockett, national bestselling author of the Sugar Grove Mysteries.
“An intriguing premise, a fun mystery and a town and heroine with heart."—Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries.
About the Author
Julianne Holmes is the author of Just Killing Time, the Agatha nominated debut novel in the Clock Shop Mysteries, and is the pseudonym for J. A. (Julie) Hennrikus, whose short stories have appeared in the award-winning Level Best Books. She serves on the board of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime New England.
Top customer reviews
The book itself opens six months after the previous book in the series. During the time, Cog and Sprocket owner Ruth Clagen has been leading the charge to get the clock tower in Orchard, Massachusetts, running again. Of course, a project like this costs money. With a couple of weeks to go before the big unveiling, Ruth and her friends and employees are putting on a fund raiser to help with the expenses.
As part of the fund raiser, Kim Gray, the town’s manager, is supposed to give a short speech. Only she never shows up for the pre-event press photos or to give her speech. As the event is winding down, Ruth’s friend Pat finds Kim’s dead body under the bell that is supposed to go up in the tower. Someone was making a statement about how much they hated Kim. But who?
Kim has been a presence in the first two books in the series, and I must admit that I was kind of hoping she’d be bumped off earlier, so I was thrilled when I found out I was going to get my wish in this book. She is the perfect murder victim, well hated by everyone who knows her. However, Ruth doesn’t know just how nasty Kim truly is, and she learns about other things Kim has been doing as the book progresses. I did feel the pacing was uneven and one aspect of the mystery wasn’t resolved, but it is a minor aspect. I was satisfied with who the killer was and the motive, and I appreciated the creative climax.
The characters in this series are definitely a draw, and they entertained me again. While some of the relationships we’ve explored in the past aren’t in the forefront in this book, we still got to see those characters. Some of the other supporting players get time in the spotlight in this book, and it is nice to get to know them better.
Fans of this series will definitely enjoy Chime and Punishment. And if you aren’t a fan of the series, isn’t it time you fixed that?
NOTE: I received a copy of this book.
Anticipation is growing in Orchard, Mass as it about one month away from the rebuilt clock tower unveiling and the Winding Ceremony. But up first is The Signing Ceremony, where the folks of Orchard will have a chance to see some of the clock parts before they are installed and to etch their names on various parts of the clock.
Ruth Clagan has invited all of the town officials to the ceremony. Kim Gray was noncommittal about attending until Ruth mentioned that there would be a photo op before the ceremony. But as the time approached to begin the speeches, Grey was nowhere to be found. Ruth has sent Pat, her handyman, to start cleaning up so another event could use the Town Hall. But he soon returns to ask that the chief of police, Jeff Paisley is needed as he has just found Grey dead, with the clock tower bell laying on her head.
Kim Grey tended to run the town with an iron fist and therefore the list of suspects seemed to be just about all of Orchard business owner. Two of Ruth’s best friends, Nancy and her daughter Moria seem to be at the top of the list. Ruth begins her own investigation to not only clear their names but to find the murderer so that the resident's minds can be totally focused on the celebration of the new clock tower.
I feel that is the best of this series so far. A well-plotted page turner with an interesting cast of characters.
I will be looking forward to the next book in this interesting series.
Readers will lose track of time while reading this engrossing, entertaining third book in the Clock Shop Mystery Series.
It was Ruth Clagan’s grandfather’s dream to restore the clock tower in Orchard, Massachusetts. Now Ruth has made it her mission to fulfill his, and now her, dream. All of her hard work is about to pay off, and the Signing Ceremony for the donors goes well despite the fact that town manager Kim Gray is MIA. That is, until she is found crushed under the bell that is supposed to go in the tower. Now the town hall is off limits, which has the potential to put Ruth and company behind schedule, so Ruth puts her observation skills to the test and solve Kim’s murder.
Chime and Punishment is the first book in the series that I have had the pleasure of reading, but I had no trouble jumping right in to the story without feeling lost. I like the small town New England setting, the clock making slant (although, I confess that I was a little worried about the subject keeping my attention), and the cast of characters. Even though Ruth is a bit of a daydreamer, and startles way too easily, she is a highly organized person and looks at the clues in a far different way than the police. Her enduring love for her grandparents makes her quite endearing. The supporting cast of characters is mostly quirky, but not in a nonrealistic or stereotypical way. Her love interest Ben is likable, and the Reed family is a group I would like to hang out with over a holiday weekend. My least favorite character, other than Kim, is Freddie. She wears my patience and gets on my last nerve. And, of course, Bezel the cat and Blue the dog are nice inclusions. Every cozy needs a pet, right?
The mystery within these pages is well plotted and the story moves along at a quick pace. Since Kim is disliked by pretty much every resident of Orchard, the pool of suspects is large. Ruth’s close relationship with most of the suspects makes the outcome of the investigation all the more important. The deadline of the completion of the clock tower’s refurbishment adds some urgency to the tale. I appreciate that Ruth and Jeff, the police chief, are good friends and that they work together. Too many times in cozy mysteries the police come across as incompetent, but that is not the case here. Ruth and Jeff bring their own skills to the investigation. I also like that Ruth never finds herself personally in danger because of her sleuthing. I admit that I guessed whodunit relatively early, but, as so often is the case, I did not have the “why” of it all put together until right before the reveal. Holmes adds enough twists to the mystery to make me second guess myself more than once.
I greatly enjoyed my time with Ruth and will definitely seek out more books by Julianne Holmes. I recommend Chime and Punishment to any cozy fan.
Most recent customer reviews
This series started with Ruth Clagan coming home to run her late grandfather’s clock shop and grew into her wanting to fulfill his dream of...Read more