Review of Pains And Penalties


Pains and Penalties

A Geeks And Things Cozy Mystery Novella, Book 1

Sarah Biglow

4 Stars


A new amateur sleuth is on the case in the first book of this Cozy Mystery novella series.

When Kalina Greystone returns home to the small town of Ellesworth, MA in the wake of her father’s passing to take over the family’s comic book shop, she never expects to reconnect with her old flame, Detective Christian Harper. But when elderly Mrs. Davies winds up murdered at the annual Solstice Fair, Kalina can’t help but get swept up in his investigation and solving the case. While Detective Harper runs his investigation, she cozies up to the dead woman’s best friend, Mrs. Grant, and learns that she and a third woman, Ms. Ellicott, might be targets. Someone has sent them notes with the cryptic warning ‘Lying is a mortal sin’. As Kalina digs deeper into the women’s shared past, she unearths the perjury that sentenced an innocent man to prison. After discovering Ms. Ellicott dead in her home, Kalina and Detective Harper must race to unmask the killer before vengeance can be sated. (Goodreads)


This novella was very entertaining.  It had all the elements that I look for when reading a cozy: suspense, humor, likable characters and a small town setting.  

The characters were well developed and I look forward to learning more about them.  I liked the fact that Kalina and Chris have a history and that they may try to rekindle their romance.  I enjoyed reading about the small town atmosphere, and having one of the murders take place at the Solstice Fair was a nice touch.  I thought the mystery was carried on well throughout the novella and there were enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.   I was surprised when I learned who the killer was.

I would recommend this novella to anyone who enjoys a well crafted read.  I would have been happy if the story was longer and I could have spent even more time with the characters but I did enjoy the read.


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