Review: Ill-Gotten Panes by Jennifer McAndrews

July 14, 2014 Reviews 2 Comments

Review: Ill-Gotten Panes by Jennifer McAndrewsIll-Gotten Panes by Jennifer McAndrews
Series: Stained-Glass Mystery #1
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Published by Berkley on 1 July 2014
Pages: 304
One StarOne Star


Georgia Kelly lost her accountancy job and her fiancé in quick succession. She came back to Wenwood, NY to stay with her grandfather (aka Grandy) to recuperate. When a man who was rude to her was murdered, Grandy became the prime suspect. Georgia is determined to clear him.

I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t connect with the main character, setting or the plot. There were several things that broke verisimilitude for me which was a shame.

Issues I personally had:

– No one in the town is genuinely nice apart from the kitten. Every one in the town is rude to Georgia, suspicious about her motives or has a hidden agenda. I realise that McAndrews was probably trying to mess with the charmingly quirky secondary characters trope which often pops up in cozies but when even the new bestie Carrie and the grandfather are users, it is a little much.

– The glass work wasn’t integrated into the plot and served no real purpose. This is a bit sad given the book is marketed as a Stained Glass Mystery.

– A suspect voluntarily gives Georgia, someone he barely knows and has been abrasive to, important information relating to the victim that he has withheld from the cops. Why? Georgia wanted to clear her grandfather and the suspect had no way of knowing she wouldn’t use this evidence to pin the crime on them.

– The police acted in a pretty incompetent and amateur fashion. This might have been a deliberate decision to make Georgia look clever but it bordered on the ridiculous towards the end.

– Georgia’s investigative techniques need a lot of refining. View Spoiler »

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that this was a horrible book because it wasn’t. It was just one that didn’t quite work for me.

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