I catch up on a series I love today. Perfect for any holidays!
Liars & Lunatics in Goose Pimple Junction: A Goose Pimple Junction Mystery, book 5 by Amy Metz
It’s election season, and there’s a new candidate in town. Virgil Pepper is determined
to take the job from Goose Pimple Junction’s long-time mayor. Virgil is a charming and
charismatic candidate but someone who will say anything (and mean none of it)
to get what he wants. Three things top his list: to become mayor, to acquire Jackson
Wright’s land, and to make Caledonia Culpepper one of his many conquests.
Wynona Baxter is back, and she’s a new woman. Now Daisy has a new identity, new life,
and new business–ironically named Killer Cupcakes. But the town soon finds out that
isn’t the only kind of killer in town. Book five of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series
combines political hijinks, delicious cupcakes, Goose Juice moonshine, the ups and downs
of finding true love, and, of course, murder.
It is said that “It’s a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only
variable is about what.” Lying in politics, lying for personal and professional gain,
lying about an identity . . . What are the folks of Goose Pimple Junction willing to
lie for . . . and what are they willing to die for?
Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two grown sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest and Facebook, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy loves unique Southern phrases, cupcakes, and a good mystery. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Find out more at http://authoramymetz.com
The author provided me with an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review. This in no way influenced my opinion.
I have read and enjoyed some of the books in the collection, but I somehow missed number 4, and that, perhaps helps me tailor my comment also towards readers who might be considering reading this book without having checked the rest. Yes, the story is self-contained, although there are references to events that have taken place in previous books, and a lot of the characters will be familiar to those following the series, who will be in a better position to understand the background to some of the interactions and also the web of relationships and the ins and outs of life at Goose Pimple Junction. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I love the name of the place! So, regarding the issue of reading it as a standalone, I’d say one does not need to have read all the books in the series to enjoy it, but because some of the characters have names and nicknames (witty and funny, I admit), and their relationships are not always evident, it might get a bit confusing to follow the story if you are totally new to it. On the other hand, as I said, I had missed one of the books, and I could pick up the narrative without any problem. I am convinced, though, that reading them all in order enhances the experience, and it’s like visiting a familiar place where you always have fun and renew old friendships every time you go.
The way the story is told is quite interesting, and it adds to the mystery. We start with a murder (a new character, Virgil, who is in the race to become the mayor of the town, is murdered in mysterious circumstances), a confession, and then we go back to several months before the event, counting back to the time of the crime, and then moving forward with the investigation. It works well, because we keep mulling over in our minds how everything we read might relate to the crime (and there are other suspicious deaths as well), and this results in plenty of red herrings, more and more suspects and plenty of possible motives (Virgil is far from a nice man, as we discover. In fact, he is a narcissist who treats women badly, and his business practices and politics aren’t much better either). Although told in third person, the narration follows the points of views of several of the characters, without ever giving us an advantage when it comes to solving the mystery. We might think we know what has happened, and we are privy to some information the sheriff department don’t have, but things are, of course, not as straightforward as they seem to be.
As the mystery part of the plot advances, we also get to learn more about some new arrivals to the town (not totally new, but I’ll avoid spoilers), and also catch up on what has happened to those inhabitants we have come to know and cherish. There are romances developing, a new cupcake shop (if you’re on a diet, I’d take care with the book, as there are many reference to Killer Cupcakes, both the shop and the actual items), there are shady business deals (moonshine liquor, buying land with coercion and under false pretences), there is Oktoberfest to spice up things and bring in the party atmosphere (the fancy dresses, mostly wordplay related, bring in plenty of chuckles), and the ending is very satisfying, and it hints at even better times to come for Goose Pimple Junction. (Yes, I want to move there, or at least go for a very long holiday).
The story flows well, moves at good pace, and the combination of the mystery aspects with the lives of the characters is seamless. I highlighted so many parts of the dialogue, funny repartees, and quotes, that I was unable to choose just a few to add to this review, so my recommendation is to check a sample of the book if you’re trying to decide if you’ll enjoy it or not. I wonder if a list of characters, with their names, nicknames, and relationships might serve as a memory aid for readers visiting the town again, and might also assist readers totally new to the series.
The Southern-style sayings and the dialect of the region (Tennessee), the peculiar lingo and expressions of some of the townspeople, the new characters (I liked Daisy, but her mother, Kaye, must be my favourite new addition), and the quotes at the beginning of the chapter (all about lying and liars), give this book its unique flavour, and people who’ve read previous books in the series and loved them, will have a blast with this one.
I recommend this book to lovers of cozy mysteries, especially those who enjoy stories set in the Southern part of the USA and prefer their crimes laced with plenty of humour, wit, and local flavour. I think the novel works better as part of the series, and I’d recommend people who like the sound of it to start at the beginning, with Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction (you can check my reviews of the first three books in the series, here). I hope to keep on visiting the town in the future, that is, if I don’t manage to move there!
Thanks to the author for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to share if you enjoy it or know somebody who might, and above all, enjoy the holiday season!
As you know because I keep repeating myself, I have a few books to read on my list and whilst I’ve been sharing my own writing I’ve accumulated a few reviews that I’m trying to catch up with. Today it’s my great pleasure to return to Amy Metz’s Goose Pimple Junction and share with your the fun and amusement of the latest book published in the series (although not the latest chronologically in the story). And, as I realised I hadn’t shared the review of the second book of the trilogy here, I decided to share all of them because we all need a laugh every so often and I’m sure if you missed the original posts you’ll want to know more (and also because as I took part in a blog tour for the first book, that post contains a fair amount of information in case you’re curious). But first things first. Here is my review of:
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction. A collection by Amy Metz
I was offered a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been following the series of Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries from the first book and have enjoyed them enormously. The quirky characters, the fantastic local atmosphere, the dialect and Southern sayings, the imaginative stories and the heart-warming relationships between the inhabitants are a breath of fresh air. After reading the stories one wants to live there, or at least to visit for a long vacation. And I challenge any readers to not end up quoting the sayings.
This small volume collects some short stories, vignettes that give readers more insight into certain characters and events (like how Jack and Tess got engaged) with a longer novella about the new sheriff and a missing elderly lady (Lou’s sister). There are further complications when somebody is impersonating one of the sheriff’s men, resulting in a less than warm welcome for the new man in the job. But with a bit of canine collaboration, everything ends up well.
The events taking place in this book fall between the two novels Murder & Mayhem and Heroes & Hooligans. It is filled with wisecracks and local expressions, and it’s a quick read that will leave you wanting more. I’m not sure it would be satisfying enough on its own right if you haven’t read the other books in the series, but it is a great addition to it. Ah, and don’t miss the delicious Apple Pie recipes at the end.
Just a couple of expressions I highlighted, to give you some idea:
‘Clive, if I was doing any better, I’d be twins.’
‘He’s so stupid, mind readers charge him half price.’
If you love good-humoured fun, a menagerie of odd but endearing characters, don’t hesitate and get the whole series.
As I said, I don’t want you to miss on the rest of the series, so I’m sharing my previous posts about the two novels in the series. A must read.
Murder & Mayhem in Pimple Goose Junction by Amy Metz’s Blog Tour
Today I’m pleased to take part in the Blog Tour for a great novel by author Amy Metz Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. I truly enjoyed the novel and I’m including my review later on. I leave you some details about the author and the book first.
About the author Amy Metz is the mother of two sons and is a former first grade teacher. When not actively engaged in writing or enjoying her family, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky and can be found at:
Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
Over one month on Amazon Best sellers lists Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is a humorous southern mystery that will keep you laughing and guessing until the very end.
Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction thinking she’s moved to a quiet little burg. Curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder, and suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery, which Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready. Amazon Best seller lists:
Top 100 in Books & Kindle Women Sleuths
Top 100 in Books & Kindle Mystery
Top 100 in Author ranking Books & Kindle Mystery
Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon from 125 reviews
“The author has created a cast of characters that are quirky and lovable. Their southern charm, crazy antics and hysterical dialogue will keep you in stitches.”
–Kathleen Anderson, Jersey Girls Book Reviews
“This book will soon be a favorite for all southerners. Very rarely do you find an author who can respectively capture the essence of the south and that quaint southern charm, but Amy Metz has done just that.”–Jennifer, of Southern Belle
“Enticed by a mystery, riveted to the swoon-worthy romance and tickled by the “countrified” life, I was thoroughly entertained on all levels.”–Carmen Pacheo, The Reading Cafe Book trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vIbieSgVjk
Publisher: Southern Ink Press
Kindle and Paperback: 256 pages
Word count: 93,000
Genre: Mystery, humor
Available from: online stores such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com (see links below)
Review of ‘Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction’ by Amy Metz. Cosy mysteries, writers, plenty of humour and Southern flavour.
When I read the title and the description of Amy Metz’s ‘Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction’ I knew I had to read it. And I’m sure if I’d gone by a place with a name such as Goose Pimple Junction I would have felt compelled to visit it. And the place and the book were worth the visit.
There are novels where you might enjoy the story and the plot (it might be a clever or complicated one, one that makes you think, takes you to fascinating places you’ve never been or teaches you new things), but maybe you don’t connect with any of the characters. There are books where you feel as if you knew the characters and they could be your best friends, but the story is neither here nor there (you just hope to visit them again when something more interesting is happening), there are books that are wonderful flights of fancy you might follow or not… There are books that seem to have a bit of all in the right amount, and you can’t think of anything else that could make them any better. And there are the books that seem to fit in perfectly with the type of reading you need right at that moment.
‘Murder & Mayhem’ was the type of book that fitted perfectly with what I wanted and needed at the time. Life was a bit too serious for me, and the novel gave me a good laugh. I kept looking forward to Pickles’s T-shirts, to the trips to the dinner to try and guess what the orders would sound like, and to the fantastic conversations, and pratfalls. It has mystery and an interesting story that kept my thoughts engaged (and took me away from some not so nice topics), but not so complicated that it made it impossible not to lose track. It also expands through several generations and follows the families and events that have made the place and the people what it is. It has a gentle love story where the protagonists are writers of a certain age and with backstories but both the salt of the earth (what woman would not love Jack, and Tess is also irresistible), it has unforgettable 4th of July celebrations, strange family liaisons, food, dogs…
Author Amy Metz manages to juggle all the balls and doesn’t let them drop. She keeps the pace of the story, turning from past to present, mixing local flavour with mystery and shady dealings, and creates realistic characters that keep surprising you by refusing to be caricatures or one-phrase jokes. The novel is a good old-fashioned mystery, a great romance, a fun book (without nastiness or bile) and it will leave you with a smile on your face.
If you’re looking for gritty, realistic and bloody crime books, you dislike local character, or expect heavy sex scenes; this will not be your book. But if you’re looking for a fun book, that will keep you reading, laughing and thinking, and will take you away from your day to day life, do not hesitate and read this book. I know I’ve already booked a space for the whole series in my Kindle.
Publisher: Southern Ink Press, an imprint of Blue Publications; 1 edition (December 17, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Cozy mystery, general fiction (humorous)
Body of review:
Another fun filled wander through Goose Pimple Junction
I had the good fortune of taking part in the blog tour for Amy Metz’s first novel in the Goose Pimple Junction Series. To tell you the truth, when I received the e-mail inviting me to take part and read the title of the book ‘Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction’ I had to find out more. And once I read the premise, I knew I could not resist.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book. As you’ve probably noticed if you follow my reviews, I don’t read in specific genres (I have some favourites, but if there’s something about a book that grabs my attention, I’m willing to give it a go). Thrillers and horror books are among the ones I read more often, and I don’t mind how hard core they might be, but I also enjoy the somewhat old-fashioned pace of good mysteries of yesteryears.
I loved Amy Metz’s first novel and, somewhat surprisingly for blog tours organised by others, I did exchange a number of e-mails with the author. When she kindly alerted me to her new book I put it immediately in my ‘to read’ list, although circumstances dictated that a few months passed before I managed to get to it.
Having read and loved ‘Murder and Mayhem’ I was a bit concerned that the details of the first book would not be as fresh in my memory as I’d like them to, but soon enough I felt at home in Goose Pimple Junction, a charming Southern town, with a gorgeous bookshop (that features less centrally in this book than in the first one), a diner with one of the most entertaining couples I’ve met in any books (and fab descriptions of foods), a new chief of police (and very dashing), and a mystery or two. I was happy to revisit two of the main characters in the first story, the two writers, Jack and Tess, and see how their romance was progressing, although this time the mysteries centre around Martha Maye and her estranged and fairly narcissistic husband, Lenny, and some odd robberies.
My impression is that a reader who hadn’t read the first book in the series would be able to follow this novel, although would probably feel intrigued, as there are several times when the events of the first novel are referred to without giving many details.
I enjoyed the Southern proverbs and use of dialect as much as I did the first time around, although like everything that’s quirky and adds to the atmosphere rather than the plot, it might not be to the taste of all readers.
If I had to compare it to the first novel in the series, I’d say ‘Heroes and Hooligans’ is a much easier read, as there are no different time frames or stories taking place in different historical periods. There are also fewer characters being truly involved in the case and the family connections are far less complicated, although I think that added to the texture and experience of the first one. The two main characters, Johnny, the new chief of police, and Martha Maye, are easy to like, and in the case of Martha Maye due to the family connections and our previous knowledge she feels very familiar. We don’t know much about Johnny other than he is besotted with Martha Maye, but he plays the hero part with aplomb, and seems perfectly matched with her. I still felt closer to Tess and Jack, but I always like writer characters.
On the side of the hooligans, Lenny is thoroughly creepy and unlikeable as I already mentioned I think he fits into the category of narcissist too. His brother is a strange character, somewhat more complex than Lenny and the murderer… Although there are some clues, who the guilty party is, is far from evident. (And I won’t spoil the mystery).
The two mysteries and the secondary characters (Pickles and his T-shirts, Martha Maye’s fabulous family, including the fantastic Lou and her aunt), the fabulous titles of songs and the Oktoberfest (that easily rivals the 4th of July celebrations of the first novel, if not surpasses it) will give most readers the right amount of intrigue and humour and will keep them coming back for more, as will the quality of the writing.
A fun, light read, full of unforgettable characters. I’m eagerly waiting for the third novel.
What the book is about: Several mysteries taking place in a small Southern US town. Full of character and humorous.
Book Highlights: The proverbs, the Southern language, the characters and their relationships.
Challenges of the book: Might miss some of the complete experience if read alone and not after reading the first one. The ‘Southern charm’ must be lost on some readers.
What do you get from it: A good time and an escape into a gentle (most of the time), nicer way of life.
What I would have changed if anything: I’d like a bit more background to Johnny but maybe that will come in time.
Who Would I recommend this book to?: Anybody who enjoys cosy mysteries and likes to visit small-towns full of character in their reads.
Ratings: Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5 Made Me Think: 4/5 Overall enjoyment: 5/5 Readability: 5/5 Recommended: 5/5 Overall Rating: 5/5
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