Today’s review is part of the reading challenge called Calendar of Crime 2020 hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block.
Jeopardy in January* by Camilla Chafer
(*Amazon Affiliate link)
Category: I chose a mystery with the month in the title.
Summary: As the head of the Calendar Public Library, Sara Cutler is fighting to keep the lovely old building from being torn down by a real estate developer named Jason Rees. When she discovers her assistant dead in the rare books section, handsome Rees is on hand to keep Sara safe. Soon Sara’s life becomes complicated as she must solve the mystery of her assistant’s double life, save the library, and figure out what to do about Rees.
Review with Spoilers
At times I’ve been known to compare a book to food. In this case, I was looking for something light, such as the cozy mystery version of a salad. Jeopardy in January turned out to be a salad, but one of those iceberg lettuce versions you get in diners sometimes, the ones with a few hard, tasteless tomato wedges and perhaps a carrot shred or two. It is a salad, but you are disappointed the creator didn’t put in a tiny bit more effort, like adding some new ingredients or at least better lettuce.
In Jeopardy in January we are offered two men who serve as both love interest and potential killer. Two. No red herrings, no non-love interest bad guys, no bad women, just those two. That pretty much takes the joy out of the mystery.
I also expected a head librarian to talk about books once in awhile. Granted, she’s upset about the library being threatened and her assistant being killed, but when the readership is filled with book nerds, throw them a bone. Or because we’re doing salad, a bit of cucumber at least.
There are a few other things I noticed, but perhaps I’m being too harsh. On the whole the main character, Sara, was spunky and resourceful, plus the small town setting sounded delightful. So, let’s say I was actually in the mood for coleslaw instead of a salad. Either that, or this review is sour grapes because I really wanted the harried police detective to get the girl in the end.
Public domain image by Marina Shemesh at Publicdomainpictures.net