Not a bad first mystery. The central characters were likeable enough and the setting was nice. The murder and the circumstances surrounding it were really sad. The town bigot made me want to scream, he was such a S.O.B. The teenaged boy who Lili has come work for her was a heartbreaking character. So repressed and introverted. His life circumstances and what happened to him during the course of the book were high school bullying at its most extreme. Ssdly, something that is all to true in this country.
The book style feels a little shy and tentitivly funny. I see great possibilities in this author. Her flow is spot on and the subject matter is never too overwhelming. By the end of the book I was looking forward to the next AND looking for craft gourds online.
First in a new series of mystery books. Very witty and well written. I will enjoy following the main character, Lili Marino, through the adventures of her new life in upstate New York (she hails from Brooklyn, so is still getting accustomed to rural life) as this series progresses. The gourd artistry facts that are smattered throughout the novel are interesting and inspire my crafty side to boot.
Mystery in a small town with realistic drama plus a bonus about carving and using gourds! Lili Marino moves to a small town and tries to fit in and also learn to grow her own gourds, but the secrets of the small town keep seeping out and entwining her in the lives of those around her!
This one didn't capture me. My mind kept wandering and I had to force myself to finish.
Tom Ford couldn't make his payment to Lili Marino for a writing job she had done for him so she agreed to take his cottage in Walden Corners, N.Y. as payment. What does Lili know about country living? Very little, but she knows even less about solving the murder of Coach Johnson who she finds floating in a pond during the first day of hunting season.
Coach's family, wife Nora and son Scooter, were the first family to accept Lili into their small town so she feels that she owes them. Unprepared for the rivalries and animosity in a small town Lili is quickly in over her head in trying to solve this murder, but thankfully she has her gourd art to keep her centered.
In this debut novel Bruce tries too hard to add too much to the plot; it would have been much better if she simplified and reduced the number of characters. I don't think I will continue with the author.
Karen T. (Kaytea) reviewed The Gourdmother (Gourd Craft Mystery, Bk 1) on
Though some residents are wary of the city transplant, Lili is welcomed by Nora Johnson. Lili is just starting to carve out a place for herself when she finds Nora's husband dead on the first day of hunting season. And to think she'd thoguht the most dangerous thing she's have to face would be a moldy gourd...not a murderer.