Pomeranian Puzzle (Apple Blossom Bay Mysteries #1)
by Molly Maple
My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: not sure yet
When Hannah Hart moves to the small town of Apple Blossom Bay to look after her eccentric aunt, she doesn’t expect the first thing she finds to be a murder.
Apple Blossom Bay is known for its fresh seafood and peaceful beaches, so when Hannah uncovers a dead body on her first day in town, she doesn’t know who to trust. While her aunt has a questionable alibi, every claim out of her mouth is wilder than the last. The only friend Hannah can rely on is the stray dog who was found at the scene of the crime.
With a sweet toy Pomeranian in need of a new home, and Hannah in need of a friend she can trust, the two team up to figure out who could possibly have murdered a resident of Apple Blossom Bay. If she doesn’t get to the bottom of who murdered Barb, Hannah is positive she will be on next on the killer’s list.
“Pomeranian Puzzle” is an inclusive cozy mystery filled with layered clues and quirky moments, written by Molly Maple, which is a pen name for a USA Today bestselling author.
I picked up Pomeranian Puzzle when I saw it for free during a promotion. I liked the title and cover and was in the mood for a cozy mystery, so I grabbed a copy. Not long afterwards I started reading it. Pomeranian Puzzle reads at times a bit like a Women’s Fiction book with the main character Hannah moving to Apple Blossom Bay to live with her aunt and slowly starts to figure out who she is and what she enjoys doing. She also finds a dead body and gets involved in the mystery when her aunt becomes a suspect.
I thought the mystery wasn’t the strongest element of this book. I do like it starts quite quickly with Hannah finding the dead body right after she arrives in town, but the way the mystery progressed didn’t really make me curious to find out who did it or invested. The police seemed to do nothing, but focus on Hannah’s aunt as the suspect, their reasoning for that seemed pretty flimsy. I was way more invested in Hannah’s life than the mystery. There were almost no suspects and often when someone popped up who might be a suspects their name got cleared in a scene shortly after that. It felt like no one had a reason to hurt this character and then when the murderer does pop up I thought it was super obvious they were the killer. The reveal felt anticlimactic and the motive felt a bit flimsy.
Then again the rest of the book was great. I really liked reading about Hannah, the way she had low self esteem and was taught to not take up space and not make mistakes by her parents, who saw her as a failure and thus encouraged her to live with her aunt. It made sense why she was the way she was and seeing her slowly come out of her shell under the encouragement of her aunt and her new friend was awesome. I liked seeing her try and figure out what her passion was and what made her happy and who she wanted to be. The Pomeranian dog was adorable and I liked how Hannah and Cricket, the pup, interacted. The way they instantly grow close and the way the dog made Hannah feel alive was awesome to see.
The side characters and town were all wonderful to read about. Hannah’s aunt Em was awesome and a great person and I was so happy for Hannah that she had her aunt to help her find her way. Hannah’s new friend was there for her and liked how supportive she was. I liked how accepting everyone was and the whole town felt so cozy and friendly to read about.
To summarize: Pomeranian Puzzle was a great start to this new series. I really liked reading about Hannah and her struggles to find herself felt relatable. Hannah feels afraid to make mistakes and tries to take up as little space as possible, but when she comes to Apple Blossom Bay she slowly starts to feel more alive and do things that make her happy and try new things. The book almost had a bit of a women’s fiction vibe with the focus on Hannah. There is a mystery as well, but I felt this wasn’t the strongest part of the book. The mystery starts of right away, but the progression felt a bit off with almost no suspects and a lot of suspects that popped up got cleared shortly after. The reveal felt a bit off as did the motive. The character development of Hannah and her journey really felt like the highlight of this book for me as well as visiting this small town and reading about the colorful group of side characters.
Sounds good even if you did figure out who the bad guy was.
Mary Kirkland recently posted…Book Review: Captured By The Alien Warrior by Presley Hall
It was a good read and I hope to continue the series.