Author: Barbara Early
Series: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2016)
Description: Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father’s vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality—and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.
The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz’s business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who’s playing for keeps.
Now, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled for the neighborhood kids if Liz can't wrap up the case in Barbara Early's delightful debut Death of a Toy Soldier.
My Thoughts: In this story Liz McCall returned home when her police chief father was injured in the line of duty. Now he is retired and the two of them have opened a toy store featuring vintage toys. When a man is found murdered in the toy store and Liz's father is discovered nearby with a head injury, Liz has to investigate to keep her father from becoming the prime suspect.
This story gave us lots of possible villains from the family of the man who owned the toys and who want to get their fair share of his estate to the wife of the victim who might have wanted him dead for his life insurance. Along the way in the investigation Liz meets two elderly sisters to live next door to the toys' owner and the owners new, much younger, ghost hunting wife. Then there is the owner of the toy museum who has a monster crush of Liz's father.
Of course, Liz has some romantic issues of her own. Her high school boyfriend looks like he wants to rekindle their romance or is he only interested in finding out what she knows about the murder? Then there is the new chief of police who also seems interested in Liz.
There are lots of amusing parts of this story. Liz's sister-in-law works with her in the toy store and is a notoriously bad cook. Liz's father is particularly prone to making puns and Liz does try to keep up with him.
I enjoyed this cozy mystery and will admit that the villain came as a surprise to me. Fans of cozies will enjoy this one.
Every head at the table pivoted toward Dad so quickly, we might have been able to qualify for a group discount on a whiplash case from a friendly personal injury attorney.I got this one in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.