Hammers and Homicide by Paula Charles

Hammers and Homicide by Paula CharlesHammers and Homicide by Paula Charles
Published by Crooked Lane Books on January 16, 2024
Genres: Mystery
Format: Hardcover

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Hammers and Homicide

Synopsis from the publisher: Recent sexagenarian widow Dawna Carpenter thought running her own hardware store after the death of her husband was hard enough. With her adult daughter, April, moving back into town, and Darlene, the annoying boutique owner next door to her shop poking around, Dawna has her hands full. But when she finds a dead man in the bathroom of her store, with a framing hammer by his side, she’s in way over her head.

The victim, Warren Highcastle, was a land developer who was looking to purchase the old theater in town to build a new hotel. Dawna and April, worried about the implications of the crime scene at the hardware store, put themselves on the case. They soon learn that Warren had made quite a few enemies in his short amount of time in town. As the suspect list starts growing, so too do the threats against Dawna and April. Can Dawna and April nail the killer before they strike again?

My thoughts about Hammers and Homicide

f you love the slice-of-life cozy mysteries that take place in a small town, then debut Hammers and Homicide is definitely for you.

The main character, Dawna, gives quirkiness all day long with her offbeat expressions, perpetual clumsiness, insatiable curiosity, and her ability to, maybe, see ghosts. 

There’s plenty of humor especially the banter between Dawna and her youngest daughter, April, as they investigate.

Plus you get lush descriptions of food and Dawna’s garden. 

The victim was a super shady out of towner so there were plenty of suspects. The mystery kept me guessing until the end.

The one serious criticism I have is that there were no BIPOC or LGBTQ+ characters. Even in a small rural town in the PNW, there must be someone, right??? While I realize that a lot of cozy mysteries are written by and for white women, most of what I’m reading has some element of diversity so I find it jarring when there’s been no attempt at all to give representation.

In closing

Hammers and Homicide is a great readalike for other small town cozy mysteries like A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril and Darci Hannah’s Beacon Bakeshop mysteries.

Thank you, Crooked Lane Books for the ARC!

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About Paula Charles

Paula Charles was always an avid reader but came to this writing journey later than many. A local genealogical library offered a workshop on writing family stories, so she signed up, wrote a few short stories and was hooked. Cozy mysteries were always her go-to when she needed an escape, so she decided to see if she had what it takes. At the age of 55, she signed her first contract. And a week later, she signed her second. It’s never too late!

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