Thursday, April 7, 2022

Book Review: Miz Scarlet and the Imposing Imposter by Sara Barton

Miz Scarlet and the Imposing Imposter

Sara Barton
Series: A Scarlet Wilson Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Sara M. Barton (December 2, 2013)

Description: The first book in the popular cozy mystery series laced with humor and romance…

A financial Ponzi-style fraud costs the Wilsons everything but the old family manse. Turning it into the Four Acorns Inn sounds like a good idea, except for one thing -- someone is out to ruin them anyway possible, and that includes murder.

The elderly ladies at the inn have a better romantic life than “Miz Scarlet”, the forty-something innkeeper. Is she cursed when it comes to men, or is there something more sinister going on? What does it have to do with the Jordan family, who disappeared without a trace? When one of “Miz Scarlet’s" dogs digs up clothing belonging to the Jordan children, her fears are only heightened. Her old high school heartthrob, now a security consultant, arrives to take charge just as a second guest meets a gruesome death. As the tension builds in this psychological thriller, the wild ride sweeps her closer to a dark, sinister secret that threatens her whole family. Long buried secrets, like skeletons in the family closet, begin to emerge. Is there a killer lurking inside the Four Acorns Inn?

My Thoughts: Miz Scarlet Wilson is an innkeeper. After financial losses including getting caught in a Ponzi scheme, she has turned the family mansion into a destination inn for those who are handicapped or in need of medical care. But when a very suspicious guest is found dead, Scarlet finds out that she is in the middle of long-range and deadly plot.

There is a lot of family background to begin this story which introduces ancestors and tells the family history. Currently, Scarlet is living with her mother, her mother's cousin, and her twice-divorced brother Bur. There are also a variety of guests at the inn. 

Bur's friend and Scarlet's teenage crush is now a security professional who has been called in to look into the disappearance of a family from another of Scarlet's family's home. He is also interested in investigating where the family money has gone. 

The plot was a little bit all over the place. Things happened very quickly and involved a couple of Scarlet's old boyfriends who had a definite agenda for dating her. I thought the story tried to do too much. Plot twists kept appearing and making things more complicated. Then the story ended without really resolving a lot of the issues. 

While I enjoyed Scarlet's snarkiness, I didn't enjoy her relationship with her brother which seemed too juvenile for people in their late 40s and early 50s. Bur comes across as a juvenile prankster instead of a the well-respected professional that he should have been. I did like the budding romance between Scarlet and Bur's friend but thought it got too little page time. 

Favorite Quote:
Best case scenario? He'd be debonair and suave, a George Clooney kind of guy, but without the pet pig and the zillion girlfriends. Worst case scenario? He'd be like the Pillsbury dough boy, more than a little flaky, but "em-em good".
I bought this one December 18, 2021. You can buy your copy here.

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