Welcome to another Mystery Mondays review! This week I've got a fun one for you... Boston Scream Pie, by Rosemary and Larry Mild, which is the third book in their Paco & Molly series. Don't you love that title? I will also be participating in the Omnimystery Tour for this book and will be sharing an interview with the authors on Saturday, July 11th--I'm so excited! Be sure to stop back by for that, but for now here's a taste of what the book is about and my thoughts on it...
Title: Boston Scream Pie
Author: Rosemary & Larry Mild
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery
Pub Date: August 2008, Hilliard & Harris
Trade paperback, 180 pages
Seventeen-year-old Caitlin Neuman, a Maryland high school student, is plagued by a series of bizarre nightmares about a horrific car accident on a snowy road. The lone survivor of a car crash that claimed both her parents and twin sister years earlier, Caitlin was too young to remember the details of that fateful night. But are these present-day nightmares simply Caitlin’s mind working out the past, or is there more to these vivid images that haunt her every waking moment?
As the harrowing images escalate, Caitlin takes matters into her own hands and seeks out the one source she knows can solve the mystery of the nightmares: retired Baltimore detective Paco LeSoto.
For any other detective, such a case would seem impossible. But for Paco LeSoto, nothing is impossible. Paco, after all, has both a keen ability to solve mysteries, and the loving support of his wife and biggest cheerleader, Molly, a woman whose deliciously skewed language, exquisite culinary skills, and shrewd cleverness are equaled only by her girth.
As Paco and Molly set out to find answers, they’ll uncover a string of unsolved deaths and a case of mistaken identity buried deep in the past. As the clues mount and the tension builds, Paco and Molly are led to a nearby family embroiled in a crisis of its own.
Newlyweds Newton Boston and his blonde bombshell wife Delylah are mired in their own family turmoil as Delylah’s adult children churn up trouble that threatens this already-fractured family. But what Newton doesn’t know is that four dead husbands lie in Delylah’s past. When another Boston family member dies under suspicious circumstances, all clues point to murder.
Can Paco and Molly stop another killing, bring justice to the culprits, and right an egregious wrong from the past—before it’s too late? As they uncover the sinister clues, Paco and Molly will either shed light on a long-hidden secret, or stir up a recipe for disaster.
I have to admit, the title alone was enough to sell me on the book, though the cover leaves a bit to be desired. This was another one of those stories where I had a difficult time following the story initially because the scenes switched back and forth between characters that seemed to be totally unrelated. However, the Milds slowly bring everyone together in what I thought was a pretty slick plot line--one that I will also not divulge because it really is key to the story.
Boston Scream Pie is one of those mysteries where you can piece together information and figure out who the culprit is, but there are so many mini-mysteries that you never really can have the full story figured out. Actually, one of the main mysteries is really uncovered with little fanfare, but there is so much to the story (and the reader likely has that part figured out, anyway) that I didn't mind this to be the case. Honestly, what makes this book (and probably the series, though I have only read this title) is the characters. The Milds do a great job portraying all of the family members and possible suspects of the various murders and it becomes interesting to debate who has the most likely motive. Truth be told, Molly and her "Mollyprops" (or malapropisms) really steal the show. In the beginning, it was amusing to see her misuse and mangle various words and phrases, but by the end it was hysterical, as the "slips of tongue" really grew to have double entendres or were just plain amusing in their tone. One of my favorites was "defacation of character" as opposed to defamation of character.
Overall, Boston Scream Pie was an easy, light read that provided a lot of laughs. The relative simplicity of the mystery may disappoint some diehard mystery lovers, but the plot and outcome were all carefully drawn with a resolution that I am sure will satisfy most readers. I should also note that there is a bit of sexual content as well, though nothing very graphic or gratuitous--I felt that it was pertinent to the storyline.
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