Book Review: MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT by Christy Fifield

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Series: A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Release: March 6, 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher

Glory Martine has inherited her uncle’s Florida souvenir shop, one stuffed with collectibles, mementos of times gone by–and ghosts–who, like her customers, refuse to let go of the past. But things take an even more unexpected turn when a local football hero dies far too suddenly and suspiciously. Now, Glory has to uncover the truth before someone makes her history…

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MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT is a very enjoyable start to a new paranormal cozy mystery series. What pulled me in first was the setting. Glory Martine runs a souvenir shop in the sunny town of Keyhole Bay, Florida. Her store brought back memories of my yearly trips to the Florida Panhandle as a child, though Glory’s Southern Treasures sounds nicer than the trinket shops I remember. She inherited the store and a cantankerous talking parrot named Bluebeard from her great uncle. The parrot was hilarious – with a mouth like a sailor. (Though, there’s no actual foul language in the book. Bluebeard’s cursing is written as “#^$&*&.”)

After Keyhole Bay’s top high school football player dies in a car crash, Glory suspects that Bluebeard is trying to tell her that it was no accident, and his squawk sounds very similar to her Uncle Louis who died decades ago. It seems like his ghost is haunting the souvenir shop and speaking to her through a bird! With the police convinced Kevin Stanley’s death was an accident, and his own fault at that, Glory decided to do a little investigating of her own.

I enjoyed the mystery and finding out about the possible suspects. I did feel like there were holes in the plot, with one major element of the mystery that was never wrapped up. Because it was specifically about Kevin Stanley’s death, I don’t see how it would carry over to the next book, but maybe it does.

For me, the characters in this book stole the show. Glory and her group of friends were realistic and likable. There’s Karen, Glory’s best friend and a reporter/radio personality at WBBY; Ernie and Felipe, the fun couple who owns the local antiques shop; and, of course, there’s the quirky parrot Bluebeard. We’re also introduced to Jake, the cute owner of Beach Books. He’s the new boy in town, but there’s already a romantic spark between him and Glory.

MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT is a delightful cozy mystery, and I will definitely be reading more of the series. Yummy recipes of traditional Southern dishes are also included.

Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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