Running From Scissors (A Running Store Mystery #1) by T.C. Westcott
How could I possibly pass up this Advanced Reader’s Copy with this blog name, Blunt Scissors Book Reviews, and my Instagram handle, @thatgirlrunswithbluntscissors ?
I’m also a runner so a murder mystery that takes place in running group based out of a local running store was really appealing. Add to that, Staxx, the best friend of the protagonist, Lacy, owns a local bookstore that she and her brother inherited from their parents.
- Scissors – check
- Running – check
- Books – check
Lacy, recently divorced, starts her life over in a small Oklahoma town. As part of her fresh start she takes up running. Her local running store hosts group runs on the weekends as well as during the week for all levels of runners.
There are the usual group dynamics that are a part of any group including the queen bee and her friends. Marlene is not well liked outside her own little group of friends and even that is a bit questionable. Lacy has made her dislike of Marlene quite clear but remains a part of the group.
Someone starts sending Marlene messages in the form of barber scissors; most notably a pair stabbed in her car tire. This is obviously troubling to Marlene and but life continues on.
Then on a long trail race, Marlene never crosses the finish line.
The whodunit commences here with a cast of characters from the running group and store all being examined for their motives.
Ruby, one of the group’s older and slower runners, was a best-selling mystery author in her former life. She still has her mystery solving skills and ropes Lacy and Staxx and running a parallel investigation to the police investigation.
From there, suspects are brought in, then eliminated, and brought back again once Marlene’s body is found and the missing person investigation intensifies into a murder investigation.
This was my first exposure to the “modern cozy mystery”. If you’re unfamiliar with the genre, it’s basically a murder mystery without the gory details of violence and mystery solving using detective skills rather than the latest and greatest forensic testing.
Ruby added an Agatha Christie flair to the plot which I enjoyed immensely as a life long Christie reader.
This was a quick read with quirky characters in a quirky town. It was a nice change of pace after reading several sad and/or intense books.
What I enjoyed about the book: the return to the cozy crime fighting methods. It was executed well in this book and Ruby was a wonderful character to bridge the gap between the old style and the more modern style of the genre.
What I enjoyed less about this book: this is small because a character is who they are but Staxx, a character intended to be a bit over the top and rough around the edges, irritated me at times. Again, this is small in the grand scheme of things but I did find myself skipping some of her dialogue toward the end because I already knew that whatever she would be saying would be grating to me.
Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who loves running (or not), appreciates the quirks of runners, and likes the cozy mystery genre. An Agatha Christie fan would be at the top of my list of someone to recommend this book to.
This was a quick and fun read and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Thank you to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader’s Copy that I received for free in exchange for my honest opinion.