When Clare Ballard sports a new bruise on her right cheek the day after a contentious town meeting, the ladies of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club suspect her husband Roger of abusing her. That same day Hester Franklin, another breakfast club lady, is called to rescue her grandson Patrick after he is arrested for transporting drugs. Proclaiming his innocence, Patrick threatens that those who set him up will pay. Roger Ballard is high on his list. But it's when Lillie Mae Harris, the club's leader, discovers the body of the local drug dealer on the nearby hiking trail, that the community is upended. Roger Ballard, the primary suspect, goes missing, and when his body turns up in his own back yard, Clare Ballard confesses to his murder. No one believes she did it, but Clare insists she's guilty and mysteriously refuses to talk to her lawyer, the police, or her family and friends. The Thursday Morning Breakfast Club ladies believe she's protecting someone, and they vow to find out who it is. Charlie Warren, the town's homegrown policeman, using unconventional means, collaborates with the breakfast club ladies to draw out the real criminal. But danger lurks. Alice Portman, the matriarch of the breakfast club, is struck down in her own yard and is sent to the hospital. Then others in the small community start to disappear-one after the other. As the ladies get closer to the truth, they get closer to the danger. With no time to cry over spilled coffee, they form a plan to capture the true culprits before someone else is murdered.
This was a cozy and fun murder mystery story. The characters were entertaining and easy to relate to. The setting was a small town with picket fences and the everyone knows everyone mentality. As the clues were given as to whodunit the list of suspects grew longer and longer. At one point I think I had almost every character on my list. Then I was able to start checking some off and was hoping I was heading in the right direction. I wasn’t! I love that I had was wrong in who I thought was the killer. Once the truth was told at the end I had that ah hah moment. It was worth every minute I spent reading to find out the whodunit.
I loved that the police asked the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club to help solve the crimes. Watching them question each other and draw their own conclusions was so entertaining. Some of the questions were unrelated, but I suppose not being real detectives might have had something to do with that. Most of the dialogue was fun, some of the words were used to much (dear). I work with a lot of senior citizens and could picture them having the conversations.
I will look for more books from Liz Stauffer and will happily recommend this one to anyone looking for a fun and cozy read.
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