Organized for Picnic Panic

2 Stars

I went into this one expecting something light and without all the angst. In my experience cosy mysteries tend to have all the spunk of rom-coms but without the romance. Equally, they still have clues and actual sleuthing but without all of the dark that comes with an average crime novel. I honestly didn’t get either.

The story started off well. Introduced all the characters well. It seemed like it went on much longer than it should’ve. I was counting pages and the ‘incident’ that obviously would involve one of the people likely to die didn’t happen until halfway, somewhere between 22 and 25 out of just over 50 pages. A little too far in for such a short book. That being said I was expecting the entire second half to be sleuthing, comedy and mystery. It is a cosy mystery after all and this is what they are good at. This didn’t happen.

There was the police interview which was a recount of what the protagonist saw. So no clue drops or clue looking for there. Then characters go home and for some reason take the deceased’s bag back to the main office the next day. I found this all sorts of odd. Wouldn’t the police want their items to search for clues to the killer? I almost thought the main characters were going to do just that… snoop and see if they could find anything thus getting into some sort of comedic trouble but nope. They pick it up like the victim is still alive and return the item.

Then our ‘sleuth’ see’s someone she recognises from the crime scene and they are magically the killer and the book is over. Sigh

This is not my first round in the cosy mystery rodeo. However, it is my first time reading one where zero actual clues or detective work happened. I was totally blindsided by the story ending and nothing had happened. Events were given to me but all that walking into danger and ending up in hilarious yet totally avoidable situations thus leading to the quick and easy end that fits this genre didn’t happen. I’ve even read a few where every clue was a dead end and you just had to embrace the killer uncharacteristically selling themselves out at the end. But this one didn’t even go that far. It even glossed over that only three people’s prints were on the murder weapon and none were the actual killers. I could be wrong but I don’t remember the mention of the killer wearing gloves, especially considering it was not premeditated.

In the end without all the laughs that come from the lead doing the police’s job after lying and saying they wouldn’t and without the ever-so-easy yet necessary clue drops even the cosiest of mysteries require this story didn’t deliver on the fun, cheesy, over the top, feel-good vibes one expects from these novels. I really just floated through it and didn’t know what to make of it.

It was cosy but lacking in any kind of plot. Without the abundance of snarky humour, misadventures, detective work and light-hearted mystery, this story didn’t lift off the page it just, well… happened. Which wasn’t enough to sell me on what the blurb promised. The beauty of this genre is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously but even by cosy mystery standards, this was much, much too easy.

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