About The Book:
Statue of Limitations (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery) by Kate Collins
In this delightful new series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mysteries, Athena Spencer comes back home to work with her crazy big Greek family at their garden center. But she never expected a return to her roots would mean protecting her family from murder . . .
After her divorce, Athena has returned to coastal Michigan to work in her family’s garden center and raise her son, while also caring for a mischievous wild raccoon and fending off her family’s annoying talent for nagging. Working alone at the garden center one night, Athena is startled by a handsome stranger who claims to be the rightful owner of a valuable statue her grandfather purchased at a recent estate sale.
But she has even bigger problems on her plate. The powerful Talbot family from whom her pappoús bought the statue is threatening to raze the shops on Greene Street’s “Little Greece” to make way for a condo. The recent death of the family’s patriarch already seemed suspicious, but now it’s clear that a murderer is in their midst. Athena will have to live up to her warrior goddess namesake to protect her family from a killer and save their community from ruin . . .
“Drop that knife and don’t move a muscle.” I thrust my phone forward, the beam pointed at his face and my trembling finger on the home button. “I’ve got the police on the line.”
If only that were true.
The hanging lights flickered, threatening to go out again.
“Okay,” he said in a calm voice. “No problem.” Moving slowly, he placed the knife on the ground and raised his hands above his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to alarm you.”
“You broke into our shop. What did you think that would do to me?”
“Hold on a minute,” he said in a rising voice. “I did not break into the shop. I was told to stay here until someone could help me, and that was”—he tipped his wrist to see his watch—“over twenty minutes ago.”
I gave him a skeptical glance. “You’ve been out here for twenty minutes?”
“Over twenty minutes. Again, I’m sorry for alarming you, but I was just doing what I was told.”
Undeniably good-looking, the man had dark hair that was parted on the side and combed away from his face, big golden-brown eyes, a firm mouth, and a strong jawline. My gaze was drawn down to his expensive tan suede bomber jacket that showed off his muscular shoulders, dark blue jeans that revealed an athletic build, and noticeably pricey navy leather loafers.
His expression seemed sincere, but the truth was that I was alone with a stranger behind a big barn on Greene Street, the main thoroughfare of our small lakeside town, with only my phone and my wits to protect me.
The other shops had already closed and any tourists who’d stuck around would no doubt be comfortably seated inside a restaurant or one of the local sports bars. With the storm quickly approaching, who would hear my cry for help?
I jumped at a sudden clap of thunder. With all the bravery I could muster, still holding my phone, I pointed toward the lane that ran behind the shops on Greene. “You need to leave right now.”
“Will you at least give me a chance to prove I’m telling the truth? If you don’t believe me, I’ll go.”
A strong eastern wind blew through the garden area, shifting the hanging lanterns, and causing my long blue sweater to billow out around my white jeans. I could smell the rain coming.
Brushing long strands of light brown hair away from my face, I said, “Make it fast.”
Athena Spencer has returned home to small town Michigan a divorce. While working in the family business, she has to raise her young son, come to grips with her probably too close-knit of a family, and find a way to save the homes and business of her family and friends from a slimy developer. When she catches a handsome stranger after hours at the family garden center she gets launched into an investigation of two local murders, the outcome of which could have disastrous effects on her community and Athena herself.
Athena is a nicely written character. She is quite flawed and very human yet she has hidden strength and a great capacity for growth. Her biggest flaw is a lack of self-esteem. She has allowed her former boss, her ex-husband, and to some extent her mother and boisterous siblings to make her feel powerless and invisible. Still, she faces life with tenacity and a great sense of humor which finds its outlet in an anonymous blog she writes about being a part of a large Greek family. Her outrageous family never quite catch on that they are the stars of their favorite blog and they offer just much advice and meddling to her alter ego as they do to her.
As she sets out to prove Case Donnely innocent of the crime he is accused of, she falls back on the resourceful habits from her former career in journalism. She asks the right questions, follows the leads her gut offers and finds her way through the mystery. Case is a terrific character and wonderful foil for the man Athena’s mom has picked out for her. Her mom, Hera, is just one of a stellar cast of secondary characters that light up this book. She is just this side of the deep end and perfectly balanced by her husband, John, and his no-nonsense approach to his family and Greek in-laws. Athena’s son Niko and his enthusiasm for his family heritage beautifully offsets Athena’s reticence in that area.
While I do understand Athena doing everything she can to stop the demolition and redevelopment of her neighborhood, I am still not quite clear exactly how she thought accepting Case’s plea for help would lead to that conclusion. Also, I will say that even I wanted to hide from her larger-than-life clan by the end of the book. Still, it was an enjoyable and captivating read and a series that I am looking forward to continuing on with
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I received a complimentary evaluation copy of this book. All opinions and insights are my own.
About The Author:
Kate Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mystery series. After publishing numerous historical romances, Kate penned the long-running mystery series, three books of which were made into Hallmark movies starring Brooke Shields. An Indiana native, Kate graduated from Purdue University with a master’s degree in education. When not growing roots at her computer, Kate loves to garden. Other passions include yoga, reading, spending time with family and friends, sampling great wines and fine dark chocolate, and enjoying every moment of life. Kate lives in Northwest Indiana and Key West, Florida. Visit her online at KateCollinsBooks.com.
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January 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
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January 31 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
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February 2 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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