Review: Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon

Posted October 17, 2015 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 16 Comments


Pane and SufferingPane and Suffering (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #1)
by Cheryl Hollon

To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed faΓ§ade. . .

After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .

My Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

One of my goals for this year was to read more cozy mysteries so when I came across this cute looking cozy mystery on netgalley I hit request immediately. Unfortunately the best way to describe my opinion about this book is that it’s just okay. Nothing really stood out or captured my attention. I did enjoy the book, but to me it fell a bit flat. Pane and Suffering has a fun and original setting in a glass shop, which I did like. Even though it’s a cozy mystery I felt like we got little feel for the small town setting and the mystery didn’t really work for me.

I am still finding my way in this genre, but I felt that the mystery had more potential. The mystery started of pretty interesting with a close and personal death as the main character Savannah her father has died of a heart attack and then his best friend Hugh follows closely. Then Savannah finds out a hint that hints to the fact they have been murdered. I did like how Savannah notified the police and the police did actually do work on the case. Savannah also runs her own investigation following clues left by her father.

From the start there are quite some possible suspects, but the mystery progresses very slow at first. Then towards the end of the book there as one hint, which might have been small, but for me immediately revealed the real killer. The whole explanation behind it felt a bit off. The pace didn’t quite work and there didn’t seem enough progression on the mystery, but beside that it didn’t feel like much happened either. There was an interesting set-up with her now owning the glass shop and slowly getting more attached to it and the town, but I just didn’t feel it.

Savannah was an okay main character, I didn’t really feel like we got to know her and because of that it was hard to connect to her or anyone else in this book for that matter. I felt we stayed very distant from the character, hearing what went on with them, but never really feeling the emotions. Beside that I thought it was a bit weird how Savannah basically runs around telling strangers she just met how her father was killed and sharing the hints he left her with them as well. In her situation I am sure I would be a lot of more scared and paranoid. It just felt like she trusted everyone a bit too easily, especially seeing how her father had just been murdered and the killer could be someone she knew.

There is an attempt to build the small town setting, but while I liked what we saw, it never really came fully alive. the side characters were fun, but stayed pretty flat. There is an attempt at romance, but it never really progresses much and I didn’t really feel their connection. The glass shop setting was interesting and original as a setting. There are two or so chapters from the point of view of a police detective, but I thought it had worked better if he had more chapters or wasn’t there at all. Now it felt a bit off with how he only had two partly chapters.

To summarize: Pane and Suffering was an enjoyable book, but I also had a lot of issues with it. My opinion on this book can best be described as okay. The plot and mystery progressed slowly and when a real hint was dropped I immediately figured out who the killer was. I wasn’t really engaged in the mystery and in the last few chapter sit suddenly progresses a lot faster compared to the rest of the book. I thought the explanation of the killer and why he did it was a bit weird. The subplots didn’t quite work for me or made me feel it. Savannah was an okay main character, but I never really connected or cared about her and I thought she trusted strangers a bit too easily. There is a small hint at romance, building the small town setting and the side character, but nothing really came alive for me. I did like the glass shop as setting. All in all this was an okay cozy mystery, nothing really stood out, but I did enjoy the read.



What aspect in a mystery novel is most important for you to enjoy the book?

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16 responses to “Review: Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon

  1. Red Iza

    The same thing happened to me with a cozy requested at Netgalley, “Killer run”. It was just OK and I was disappointed, but the next one I requested was really good, so I hope the next one you try will be better πŸ™‚

    • I do know I like this genre, but this book just didn’t work, it had some good parts, but overal it was just okay. The one I read after this was really good, so I am hoping the rest ones are good too.

    • At first there was lots of guessing and then one little hitn was dropped that made it super obvious to me who had done it, while the characters didn’t think of it. It still was a fun one though event hough the mystery was a bit in the end.

    • I really like reading mysteries, but it’s been hard finding books I really like in this genre. After this one I finally picked up a cozy mystery that got a 4 star rating from me, so I guess it’s just finding the right authors and books. I’ll definitely will keep reading books in this genre. Branching out into different genres can be difficult, but so far I have found some books in each genre that I like.

    • It’s been fun trying out a new genre and I’ve been in a cozy mystery mood lately and trying out a few of them. I recently read a great one Flipped for Murder which I’ll review next saturday. That was my first 4 star cozy mystery. I’ve been requesting a lot of them from netgalley so I can get a feel for the genre and what works for me. I really like the cute covers these cozy mysteries have.

    • Same here a vibrant cast of character can really add to the small town feel and make the town feel alive. It was a shame the cast didn’t fully came alive, maybe in the next book, but I am not sure if I will continue the series.

    • It had a lot of potential, but it just didn’t fully work for me. It wasn’t horrible, just okay. I agree with you that books like this are the hardest to review.

    • It was just so weird that she trusted so eaisly, I mean her father and friend got murdered and she’s new in town and in a few days told mutliple people about it. It just felt off. The glass shop was a fun though. I think borrowing it and see if you like it is a good idea.
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