Pall in the Family is liberally sprinkled with laugh-out-loud humor, and although the investigation is slow to get off the ground, once all those family members buckle down and divvy up their self-imposed surveillance detail, the pace-- and the laughs-- pick up speed nicely.
What shines the brightest in this book (besides the humor) is Eastman's sterling cast of characters. Clyde has a smart alecky sense of humor that always wins me over, a knowledge of how investigations should be conducted, and a few mysteries in her past that make readers want to ferret out the facts. Her teenage nephew is in effect her sidekick throughout the book, and he's the perfect blend of impulsive teenage boy, common sense, and empathy. Two of the characters vaguely reminded me of two of Janet Evanovich's: Aunt Vi with her attitude and wacky opinions would get along fine with Grandma Mazur, and Clyde's dad, who can usually be found hiding behind his newspaper and listening to his police scanner, could easily be best buddies with Stephanie Plum's father. But before you think this book is just an Evanovich clone, let me assure you that it's not. Oh, and did I mention that Clyde's old flame is a member of the Sheriff's Department? He is, and he adds just the right touch of romantic spark.
One of the things that surprised me a bit was that-- for its setting and its characters, this book has very little paranormal goings-on, so anyone who can't deal with "woo-woo" should be able to read and enjoy Pall in the Family.
All in all, this book is a very enjoyable read, and with its cast of characters in place, I'm looking forward to reading more of Clyde's adventures.
This is only my second cozy mystery and I was pretty impressed with my first one so it had a lot to live up to, but I ended up loving it also!!
I'll be honest. At the beginning of the book I really didn't think this girl liked animals.... at all!! And I started reading cozies because I was told I could find animal themed mysteries so I was pretty upset with Clyde!! I have three shih tzus and adore animals!! However, by the end of the book, I was happy to see that Clyde did like animals (and they liked her), her family was adorably kooky, her lovelife was off to a great start, and it was a pretty good little mystery!! The "villain" wasn't a surprise but their "story" was interesting. It didn't have as much paranormal activity as I was expecting, I mean, she lives in a town that attracts tourists because of its reputation as a psychic hotspot!! All the same I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series!!