Jolie Gentil moved away from her husband waiting for a divorce. She lives with her great aunt in a small city, the kind where everybody knows everybody. Her life is not boring by any means however. She is threatened by a thug who tries to make her pay her husband's gambling debts. She also found a dead body while doing an appraisal of a house. Her former classmate Michael is the main suspect, so it is up to her to clear up his name and find the real culprit.
The book was fairly good, especially for a debut one. I was able to understand Jolie's motivations most of the time; she felt like a real person. The mystery itself was good if somewhat forgettable. The city and its inhabitants feel alive from the descriptions.
I only have two complaints about the book. Jolie did not do much sleuthing until very late; she mostly tried to get her life back which while is completely understandable given her circumstances, diminish the mystery part of the book. I do not need to mention that the local police did even less in regard to investigations; they were satisfied enough with having found a suspect.
It also seems to me that in most books with romance present the bigger jerk the guy is, the better chances he has to get the girl. In this instance Michael talked to Jolie only once in the high school and quite arrogantly (I read the prequel, so I know), and now it turns out they both have feelings for each other. Well, I guess a romance with a nice guy would be boring - at least from the book readers' point of view.
All in all this is a decent cozy mystery book which makes a good and promising debut by a new author. I cannot say I will rush to the nearest bookstore to get the next one from the series and trample everything which stands in my way, but to read the next book I will - eventually.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/944316/a-decent-cozy-mystery