Genre: Cozy Mystery/Woman Sleuth
“Emma Madison loves junkin’ for old baubles to turn into dazzling new creations, and launching her new career as a jewelry designer in the small town of Roseland, Georgia, is a dream come true. After making out like a bandit at a garage sale one morning, Emma goes to the Silver Squirrel antiques shop to share her fabulous finds with a fellow jewelry lover. She’s shocked to learn that a salesclerk friend, Tina, has just been found murdered.
When the police can’t get any firm leads, Emma decides to use her newspaper reporting experience to assist them. According to the local gossip mill, not everyone in town liked Tina, including her two siblings. Soon, the list of suspects is longer than a strand of opera pearls.
Someone is trying to stop Emma from helping, even going so far as to threaten her new business. While eager to get back to making jewelry, Emma is determined to find the person responsible for Tina’s death, even if that means coming face-to-face with the killer.”
“Angela McRae is a former newspaper and magazine editor who started her own freelance writing and editing business so she could play on the internet even more. She currently writes social media posts for local businesses and reviews and edits books. Her dream job would be to edit all those clever Facebook postings for proper spelling and punctuation. She enjoys gardening and pursuing her passion for teatime, frequently blogging about tea with friends around the world.”
Emma Madison was a newspaper journalist a few years ago. When the paper started downsizing she knew she needed to change career goals. Her love of costume jewelry and rhinestones leads her to discover she has a talent for designing new pieces of jewelry from old costume jewelry and beads. Her creations are designed by watching trends for color, style, and size. Finding old pieces at bargain prices at garage sales and thrift stores excite her. Every now and again she will find a real treasure to sell on eBay. Her creations sell well at the art market in the small tourist town of Roseland, Georgia.
Being an ex-journalist she has an inquisitive nature. To tell the truth she is up in everyone’s business. A real Nosy Nellie. When there is a murder at an upscale antique jewelry and bobbles shop, The Silver Squirrel, Emma vows to catch the murderer. Of course the police are on it, and Detective Shelton is perfectly capable. He’s smart, intuitive, and trying to keep Emma from becoming the next victim. He warns her time and time again to let him handle it. However, Emma thinks her unique perspective will help them solve the murder, and catch the killer. There are egos galore in Roseland. It is your typical stereotype of a small town.
The characters were well written, diverse, and unique. From tea sippers, pretentious artisans, talented weavers, painters, and talented jewelry designers. All with their own brand of sanity.
Much of this story read more like Woman’s Fiction than a Cozy Mystery. There were lots of descriptive prose that didn’t move the story forward. The middle of the book dragged for me. Since this is the first book of a series it is necessary that we meet the other shop owners. For one reason or another I didn’t feel a kinship with Emma. She is very talented and has a heart of gold, but she thinks a little too highly of herself.
Emeralds and Envy is book 1 of Angela McRae’s, Junkin' Jewelry Mysteries. There are also a couple of recipes at the end to try at your next tea party.
No significant issues with proofing or formatting.
Rating: *** Three Stars
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words