Book Review: Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club by: Liz Stauffer

Rating: 2/5

Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group

Publication Date: June 28, 2013

Origins:  From Book Publicity Services for Review

Format:  Trade Paperback

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: 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.

Review: It took me a good long while to get into ‘Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club’ and even then I wasn’t invested in the story. Set in the sleepy hamlet of Mount Penn, it seemed as if the majority of the residents were 60+. It also felt as if the story were truly meant to be set in the past, like the 1950s, due to the dialogue and the unconventional police procedures (such as having the breakfast club ladies conducting interviews/interrogations). I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters and maybe it was an age thing, I don’t know. Also, I don’t like everyone being all in everyone else’s business, personally, so that aspect rubbed me the wrong way. ‘Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club’ may appeal more to those readers who enjoy extra-cozy mysteries.

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