PEG AND ROSE SOLVE A MURDER by Laurien Berenson
Fiction, Cozy Mystery, 304 pages
Blurb: Murder, She Wrote meets The Golden Girls in the award-winning author’s brand-new series! Two cantankerous septuagenarians, opposites in every way, put aside their differences to stop a killer… if they don’t throttle each other first! Rose Donovan looks for the good in everyone. With her sister-in-law, Peg, that sometimes requires a lot of searching. Even a sixty-something former nun like Rose has her limits, and gruff Peg Turnbull sure knows how to push them. But after forty years of bickering, they’re attempting to start over, partnering up to join the local bridge club. Peg and Rose barely have a chance to celebrate their first win before one of the club’s most accomplished players is killed in his home. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law come under scrutiny and decide to start some digging of their own. Bridge is typically seen as a wholesome pastime, yet this group of senior citizens harbors a wealth of vices, including gambling, cheating, and adultery . . . By comparison, Peg and Rose’s fractious relationship is starting to feel almost functional. But as their suspect list narrows, they’re unaware that their logic has a dangerous flaw. And they’ll have to hope that their teamwork holds steady when they’re confronted by a killer who’s through with playing games.
Thoughts: If you love dogs, you’re going to love this story. Peg raises standard poodles (for show), and is now a judge. I learned more than I ever knew about being a judge. But even though her dogs (and any dog) are a big part of the story, the card game Bridge is even stronger.
Which is kind of why the story didn’t work well for me. I am not a dog person (cats for me) and all the information about grooming and everything that goes into a dog show made the book read a little too slow for me. Plus, I know nothing about the card game Bridge. Pinochle, Poker, and other games, yes, but not Bridge. I honestly skimmed over a lot of this because it just did not interest me.
But the murder mystery? And the conflict between Peg and her sister-in-law Rose? That was interesting. Peg and Rose worked with each other and fought each other and actually—eventually—almost got along with each other. And solved the mystery together. As characters, they were wonderful. They were older, stubborn, with their own ways of doing things that clashed with the other. Perfect conflict. And in the end, they actually grew as people and characters. Very well done.
Recommendation: This is a well-done cozy mystery with a satisfying ending involving two older women who don’t work well together—until they do. If you like dogs and Bridge, you’ll get even more out of this story than I did. A bit slow for me at times, but overall a decent story.
Disclaimer: Thanks to the publisher for this ARC. I received a final and/or advanced reader copy of this book with the hope that I will leave my unbiased opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”