Shards of Murder
A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #2
Kensington Books, February 2016
Mass Market Paperback
From the publisher—
When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind…
As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor.
But when Megan doesn’t show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman’s dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far…
In the past 10 or 12 years, I’ve thought that the theme-based cozy has gotten completely out of control and craft themes have really gotten overloaded so, when I come across a crafts-based cozy series that I think is more than just fluff, I really appreciate it. Such is Cheryl Hollon‘s Shards of Murder, second in the Webb’s Glass Shop mysteries. Here is a book that actually teaches the reader something about the world of glass art and, having a long-time admiration and respect for what a truly skillful artist can do with glass, I enjoyed the tidbits of information the author included in the story. Better yet, it wasn’t like sitting in on a lecture; I was reminded of a trip to the Waterford Crystal manufacturing facility in Ireland when I saw artisans doing amazing things.
Oh, yes, and there’s a decent mystery here, too, and characters that I feel comfortable with including a pair of dogs named Rooney and Suzy that I wouldn’t mind knowing in real life along with their people. There are plenty of suspects who didn’t care for the deceased and some have good reason but Savannah’s not one of them in spite of what the police believe. The investigating detective knows Savannah but he’s apparently bent on pinning the crime on her and, yet, he seems to expect her to clear her name, making for an interesting dynamic.
Shards of Murder is an intelligent whodunit and Savannah and her cohorts—office manager, Amanda; apprentice, Jacob; and pub owner, Edward—kept me guessing till nearly the end. For anyone looking for an engaging cozy this is an excellent candidate and I’m looking forward to Ms. Hollon‘s next book, Cracked to Death, due out in July.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2016.