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Just Desserts Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2002
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However, things started picking up and it read just as enjoyably as all the other stories. We all don't have the same tastes in mysteries but I think this series is one of if not the best I've ever read. Liked and related to the townspeople with the first book I read, which turned out to be the last book written at the time. Couldn't let a little thing like that deter me, so I continued to order all the other books - out of sequence, of course. But, in my defense, I did finally order the first 4 stories at the same time. Seemed logical, albeit late. Highly recommend any and all of the Hemlock Falls mysteries.
But there is another aspect of this book that disappoints. A so-so detective story can sometimes be overlooked if the author does a good job of evoking a time and a place, getting the little details right. In this book, the details are wrong. The sisters live in mythical Hemlock Falls, which is allegedly set in the very real Tompkins County, New York. In this book, Quill goes to Cornell University in the Tompkins county seat of Ithaca for medical tests. Wait, what? Did she go to the veterinary college? Cornell has a medical school, but it's in New York City, not Ithaca. In another mistaken detail that kills the mood, the characters look at computer images that are "peg files" (p. 295). I guess that was supposed to be JPEG files, but when something that bad shows up, you have to exit the frame of the story for a minute just to laugh at the ineptitude.
Fate ignores their wishes and dumps the body of George Nash in the middle of town so that two hunters discover it. George was a participant in a crime years ago that resulted in the death of a child when the Quillian sisters were small. Both witnessed it but it is Quill who remembers the details of it as if it were yesterday. One by one the members of the victims of that crime turn up in Hancock Falls and they all die except for the mastermind who designed the killing scheme. Quill has to discover who it is before even more murders occur.
Claudia Bishop has written an entertaining, quirky and off beat mystery in which the villains seem heroic and the victims seem diabolical. The Quillian sisters are as delightful as ever especially Quill who thinks she's dying of a dreadful disease even though her sister is convinced her symptoms are caused by an allergy. JUST DESERTS is a special treat for amateur sleuth lovers.