Writers of cozy mysteries forego two of the primary marketing draws of many books – sex and violence – putting more pressure on…well, everything else. The Body on the Barstool delivers on all these fronts.
The pacing and suspense are good, as Ricki moves from suspect to suspect, never really letting the reader settle on anyone. As I tried to out-guess the author, I found myself suspecting just about everyone before the truth came out. Development of the setting is excellent. I felt like I could draw a map of small-town Ohio where the story was set. Character development was also strong. As the story is first person, all the quirks and idiosyncrasies of Ricki, in particular, come to life. And she has a few.
But the aspect of this story that really sold me was the humor. Sense of humor is idiosyncratic, but the author hit mine perfectly – Ricki’s sardonic view of herself, her friends, and her world kept me laughing until the very end. If you can read how Ricki felt about crying in public or her description of the police detective investigating the case and not at least smile, you’re a tougher audience than I am.