Marriage and Murder, an-all new quirky and witty cozy mystery and the second book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid is available now!
I received this book for free from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid
Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #2
Published by Cipher-Naught on March 2, 2021
Genres: Adult Cozy Mystery, Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Social Butterfly PR
The Devil is in the details . . .
Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.
On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after?
And most importantly, who done it?
‘Marriage and Murder’ is the second book in the cozy mystery series Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries. It is best read after Winston Brothers #3, ‘Beard Science’ (which can be read as a standalone) and Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #1, ‘Engagement and Espionage.’
Download your copy today!
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“Here.” Cletus suddenly appeared, looking devilishly handsome in the dim light and seemingly all put back together—like we’d been in here holding hands instead of. . . ANYWAY.
He held out my underwear. His eyes were bright even in shadow, and I could see they were half-lidded as they lazily trailed over me. He looked at me like he was hungry, and I was dinner. Despite all the encore orgasms I’d just had, the effect hit me right between my legs.
I wondered what he was thinking, watching as he licked his bottom lip and drew it into his mouth. Was he just as insatiable for me? And if so, was he okay with that?
Tearing my eyes away, I pulled on the lace and fixed my skirt, telling my body to settle down. We were getting married for hootenanny’s sake!
Cletus cocked his head to the side while I smoothed my hands down the red fabric, working to get a hold of all this raging want always coursing through my veins whenever he was near. Maybe it was because he was my first, and I guess, my only. Was that why I felt so crazed for him all the time?
“Miraculous,” he said.
I surmised he meant the dress. “Right? The wrinkles are hidden, if there are any. It’s ’cause they ruched the outer fabric at the seams, see?” I turned to the side to show him the seam, and he stepped forward as though he were going to investigate.
Instead, his hands cupped my face and tilted my chin back. He stared at me with a vibrant intensity I felt all the way to my fingertips. “No, Jenn. Not the dress. You.” Cletus gave me a soft kiss, ending it by gently nipping my bottom lip. “You are my miracle.”
I sighed. And I smiled. And I felt like I was walking on a cloud instead of in four-inch heels, which was also probably something of a miracle. “You say the sweetest things.”
“I think you mean, I say the truest things.”
I laughed, and he kissed my forehead. He held me there, in the dark with his lips pressed to my forehead. “I love you so completely, with every cell in my body. I wonder sometimes if I’d cease to exist—just evaporate or disappear—if anything ever happened to you.”
“No.” I anchored my hands to his wrists and squeezed. “Don’t think like that. We’ve got our whole lives in front of us. There’s nothing anyone can—”
Three bangs in quick succession pierced the quiet moment, and not a second later Cletus had me on the ground beneath him, covering my back with his body.
“Gunshots,” he whispered in my ear. “From the parking lot. Don’t move.”
Now normally I don’t really read a lot of cozy mysteries. But pretty much anything that Penny Reid writes I will read, and probably love. Of course I loved the first book in this series, Engagement and Espionage, so I was extremely eager for this second book. One thing that I know is different, I think, from most cozy mysteries, is that we still have the romance aspect with Jenn and Cletus, and I mean the sexy romance aspect, like we get in Reid’s romance stories.
What’s perfect is how we get the recap of the first book and it’s not really an info dump, instead it works out naturally through a conversation with characters that might not have been much in the first book and characters who were there. And because I adore Cletus so much, having more books from his and Jenn’s point of view make me happy. What was a little unusual for Cletus in this book was how he didn’t know a lot of things. It seems his time with Jenn is maybe keeping him from some of his “nefarious” activities that kept him abreast of all things going on in his town. Not that he was completely out of the loop or anything, he just had some blind spots.
The murder in this one was a tough one for the main characters to deal with. Because while it might have been someone that we all loved to hate, they still had direct emotional ties to Jenn and her family. But we got to hate some other people even more than we had before. And I have to say that I’m really irritated that the police/FBI whoever it was didn’t accept who the real murderer was at the end, causing at least one character’s life to have to change.
Then we had Jenn’s mom who really got a chance to live and find some happiness in some way in this story. I also loved when Jenn was doing her own sleuthing or figuring things out and caught Cletus unaware that she knew more than she was letting on.
It’s hard to say much about the story without giving things away, so I’m going to stop here with anything specific to this story. Instead I’m going to talk about how I really really can’t wait for Jackson James story now, and I’d also like Jenn’s brother Isaac’s story too! Now to sit and wait for the next book in this series. Another whole year? 🙁
About the Author:
Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.