Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review: Cut, Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan

At the latest crop, a scrapbooking event held at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Kiki Lowenstein and Dodie her boss from Time in a Bottle are thrown for a loop by their competitor Ellen. Ellen, owner of Memories First, takes it upon herself to usurp the privilege of starting the festivities instead of letting the hosting store do the customary welcoming speech. This pales in comparison to the brouhaha raised when Yvonne, one of the scrapbookers starts gagging and choking. Kiki yells for help as Yvonne scrambles for her epi-pen, only to find it empty. Emergency Medical Services crew arrives but it is too late. Yvonne, who just moments previously had been applauded as a scrapbooking star, is now dead from anaphalaxis.

When the police determine it is a homicide and not just an unfortunate accident, rumors abound. What could be the motive? Is it personal or professional? It seems Yvonne has left a trail of enemies in her wake over the years. Kiki also hears the rumor that Yvonne's husband may have had a gambling problem and a fling with his secretary. So, the suspects and motives are many. A perfect set up for an intriguing cozy!

When Joanna asked me if I would review her book, I read the synopsis and gladly accepted. The title alone would have grabbed me since I really enjoy a good cozy. This one did not disappoint in any way. About page two, I definitely knew this was going to be a great read. I finished the book in two sittings, anxious to know not only who "dunnit" but how Kiki would resolve some personal issues.

I found the characters to be greatly developed and best of all very believable. I really liked Kiki as a main character. She is a young widow with limited financial resources who is raising a 12 year old daughter. The supporting characters couldn't be better. Sheila, Kiki's mother-in-law is an absolute hoot. There are many scenes in this book that I was just laughing out loud. I don't want to give too much away but believe me, there are some very funny scenarios that any woman or homeowner can relate to!

The mystery itself is well paced with sufficient plausible motives that are revealed in a timely manner. Readers do not need to have any knowledge of scrapbooking to enjoy this one, just the desire to read a great story with friendships and a little romance thrown in with a teriffic mystery. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to the next book by Joanna Campbell Slan. In fact, I went right out and got the first in the series: Paper, Scissors, Death. Thank you so much, Joanna, for such a fun story. Highly recommended for scrapbooking as well as cozy fans. 4.5****
Be sure to come back for 2 chances to win Joanna's book. Giveaway to begin June 11th

Cut, Crop & Die is the 2nd in the Kiki Lowenstein series by Joanna Campbell Slan and will be available in early June of 2009. For more info on Joanna, her first Kiki book or lists of her scrapbooking books, visit her very informative website . She also has some recipes there and a chance to see some of Kiki's projects. You can also sign up to get a free quarterly online magazine she shares with Kiki.


  1. Wow great review. This sounds like a good fun Cozy. I will keep my eye out for this one (if I dont win it in your comp of course LOL)

  2. Sounds like a fun book :D
    And surely something my scrapbooking loving friend would enjoy

  3. Great review and probably a series that I would greatly enjoy. In another life (eg - before I became a teacher) I was a scrapbook consultant for 10 years. Unfortunately that enjoyable past time has given way to lesson plans. Some day I will return to it.

    In the meantime, I plan to check out the first book in the series.

    Thanks for the enticing review.

  4. A fun cozy is just up my alley too. I'll look for the giveaway but in the meantime I'm going to find the first book. Thanks for the splendid review.

  5. i really should read this being an avid scrapper!

  6. This sounds like a really good book. I really like the cover and title too!

  7. I'm adding this book to my TBR

  8. Oh, how fun - a scrapbooking mystery! If my son were younger I think I would be into scrapbooking.

  9. I'll be signing up for this contest! I love the humor. That cover got my attention right away too. Excellent review Kaye!!

  10. Kaye, thanks for the great review. You did a super job of explaining my book without giving away some of the big surprises.

    I don't know if you noticed the "coupon" in the book that allows you to have print 50 digital photos for you. There's a different code with the same offer in Paper, Scissors, Death. These have no expiration date--they're just a little sweetener from me to my readers!

  11. I used to scrapbook, but somehow haven't made time recently. I used to read cozies, but somehow they haven't made their way into my pile recently.

    I need to track down this series! I miss both.

    Thanks for the review, and thanks for the welcome message on my blog. I'm enjoying my beginnings in the world of book blogging.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.