Death of a Turkey
Author: Kate Borden
Copyright: 2005 (Berkley); 224 pgs.
Series: #3 in Peggy Jean Turner Mystery Series
Main Character: Peggy Jean (PJ) Turner, Mayor of Cobb’s Landing and proprietor of Tom’s Tools.
Setting: Cobb's Landing, a small New England town.
PJ is anticipating her favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. The house across the street from PJ is rented out to an angry woman named Prunella Post who seems to be PJ’s nemesis from the moment she arrived in town. Max, the wealthy financier who turned the economically failing Cobb’s Landing into a colonial-themed tourist town, has decided to turn Thanksgiving into a tourist day with a reenactment. To top it off, Chief of Police Stu McIntyre is coming back to town from time off, but first he needs PJ to tell his impossible mother that he is engaged and bringing his fiancée. The fiancée is hiding a dark past and somehow the obnoxious Prunella knows about it. Prunella Post is then found dead in the town square with a Turkey skewer sticking out of her – just like the kind PJ sells in her store.
PJ is a stronger female main character than many I have read and I liked that. She is an easy to like amateur sleuth who remains very close to her best friend from the age of two, Lavinia, who lives behind her and has a son who is PJ’s son’s best friend. The cozy factor is high in this series and that may appeal to some more than others, so beware. The very small town of Cobb’s Landing nicely comes to life to with details and its own past. The murderer and means were not difficult to deduce after enough information is revealed; it is the journey that is the story.
“The temperature had warmed to slightly above freezing, reducing the once glorious snow to crusty patches on lawns. The air was still, laced with a hint of bone-chilling fog. Peggy felt the damp of the wet concrete sidewalk seep through the soles of her boots and wished she’d worn her thick-soled running shoes. Too late to go back and change. She picked up the pace to keep the blood circulating in her slowly numbing toes. Buster trotted happily alongside, stopping occasionally to sniff a tree or leave his own mark – the canine equivalent of writing his name in the snow.”
The writing style is easy going and highlights PJ’s personality and outlook. All the subplots wrap up nicely for an overall enjoyable story and it seems to move along well without dragging. The deep friendship between PJ and Lavinia is well developed and a strong point of the book. If you enjoy your cozy mysteries for the entire cadre of characters becoming your family, as much if not more than the mystery itself, then this series is for you. If you want to delve into the Thanksgiving season before rushing headlong into Christmas, this book will put you into the turkey-day frame of mind.
Three-and-a-half armchairs out of five.
About the reviewer:
Ms. Heart is a