Friday, June 10, 2016

New cozy mystery series for the Bunco set

Dumpster Dicing
Julie Cosgrove
Book review
Prism Book Group
June 10, 2016

Print $12.99 (208 pages)

A Bunco Biddies cozy mystery, book 1
As Janie and Betsy Ann go for their morning jog, the city sanitation vehicle follows its normal five-mile Tuesday morning route through their retirement community of Sunset Acres. The two Bunco-playing biddies spot a leg dangling out of the dumpster when the truck lifts the trash container high in the air. Someone diced up one of their newest residents—a grouchy loner named Edwin Newman. Did he unpack too much of his dicey past when he moved in last weekend? 

My review:
Betsy Ann and Janie are widowed friends in their retirement community, Sunset Acres, in Alamoville, Texas. They play the dice game of Bunco with several ladies, including special friends Ethel and Mildred, whose barking puppy, Poopsy, caused the new neighbor, the despicable Mr. Newman, to complain and even hit the poor thing. While Betsy Ann accuses Janie of being a walking know-it-all encyclopedia, Betsy Ann has a walking inventory of the residents and their particular physical and mental capabilities.

Out for exercise one morning on trash day, the ladies are taking a breather when they spy a blue-jean-clad leg as the dumpster is being emptied. Janie recognizes the newly-moved-in grouch Newman, and the race to solve the murder is on between the biddies and Janie’s son-in-law, an Alamoville detective, Blake Johnson, who truly needs to spend more time with the family. They vow to help Blake whether he thinks he needs it or not.

Soon the ladies have the neighborhood divvied up and begin interrog—um, visiting with the neighbors in the search for clues. They put their wits to the test and do research in back issues of newspapers to get to the bottom of their former neighbor’s cash reserves, foul temper, and mistaken identity. When the whole Bunco group starts to help the police, Blake in particular, find the murderer so they can all feel safe again, it’s Operation Bunco Biddies to the rescue.

Told in multiple viewpoints, the ladies add their detecting skills to the adventure, all in good natured attempts to help Blake get to his daughters’ special school year-end events, and learn more about themselves and their need to uplift and support each other in the process. First of a series. Nicely done. Lots of fun for those who enjoy chatty senior citizen-set mysteries.

Visit Julie B Cosgrove's website to learn more about the author and her work.

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