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Fudge and Murder*

Slow-Moving Cozy Mystery

When the book opens, Grandma Mary and grandson Tripp are enjoying a relaxing weekend in a cabin owned by the parents of one of Tripp’s friends. At a swimming party later, one of the dads falls off the roof to his death. Is this simply an accident or has the man been murdered? Officer Preston will be leading the official investigation, but Mary and Tripp can’t help joining the investigation.

I enjoy cozy mysteries a lot. I will admit that I’m used to certain pacing and conventions in them. For instance, the murderer or foul play usually happens pretty quickly, usually within the first 8% to 10% of the book (and sometimes even sooner). That was not the case here. In this book, the man didn’t fall from the roof until around 27%. The time before that was spent showing Grandma and grandson’s evolving relationship as well as the newly forming relationship between the friend’s entire family and Mary and Tripp. I felt like I kept waiting for something to happen. I knew this was a cozy, I knew from the blurb that a murder was involved, so I felt like I kept turning pages waiting for the story to really start. The pacing of the rest of the book—the part after the murder—felt slow to me. Because so much time was taken before the murder, I didn’t feel like there is enough space left to build the suspense, throw in red herrings, and otherwise develop the normal plot devices needed in a mystery to keep you turning the pages.

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