Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shoots to Kill by Kate Collins

When she was younger Abby Knight was Elizabeth’s babysitter. Back then Elizabeth, frustrated Abby by trying to be just like here.  Elizabeth, now known as Libby is back and mothering has changed.  In fact it’s worse. Not only has she changed her name to resemble Abby’s, but she seems bent on stealing Abby’s identity as well. She’s even after Abby’s boyfriend Marco. But imitation really becomes the sincerest form of trouble when Abby finds herself the accused dupe in a bizarre murder plot. It’s up to Abby to find the real killer and shine the light on Libby’s scheme.

It’s been a while since I read a book from this series. I don’t know how I managed to lose track of the new books because this is a series I truly enjoy.  Abby is a strong and likeable character.  She even has a good relationship with her mother (though not a perfect one – anyone would find it difficult to handle the crafts that Abby’s mom keeps creating for Abby to sell in the flower shop.) Abby’s hunky love interest, Marco,  is a delight to read about.
Even though I enjoyed this 7th installment in the series, at times it was a frustrating read – not because Collins isn’t a masterful storyteller. She is. It’s just that I felt Abby’s frustration over the fact that everyone, including Marco and Abby’s mom seemed to think Libby was harmless – that Abby should be flattered by Libby’s attempts to be like Abby.  Gracious people! Libby fits the bill of a horror movie stalker. 

I have to admit there was some humor to the situation (though identify theft is a serious matter.)  That’s what I like so much about this series – the humor and light heartedness.  Yes, Abby is constantly finding dead bodies or being accused of murder. Collins treats death with reverence, but still the reader doesn’t finish the book feeling depressed.  Besides, who wouldn’t laugh at the idea of your mother purchasing a llama to live in the backyard so she can have homegrown yarn?  That’s just one of the crazy things she does.
If you are looking for a well thought out and humorous cozy mystery, this series is for you.

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