Book Review Club

It seems I have taken yet another hiatus from this blog, given that it has been three months since I last posted. And my previous post (as this one is also destined to be) was a Book Review Club post. It seems the Book Review Club–and my need to keep you informed of my reading discoveries–is the only thing keeping this blog on track… So without further ado, I give you this month’s selection:

The Outsmarting of Criminals
by Steven Rigolosi

A brief summary, from Amazon:
After being mugged in New York City, Miss Felicity Prim decides to leave the big city and purchase a home in the country, where she will be safe from the dangerous criminals who call New York home. A devoted reader of crime fiction, Miss Prim believes that her reading experiences have given her the skills required to become an amateur sleuth in her new home of Greenfield, Connecticut. She gets her chance to prove her mettle when she finds a corpse in her basement. As Miss Prim searches for the victim’s identity and killer, she finds her father’s old journals, which create a crisis in her family. Meanwhile, Miss Prim’s young friend, Dolly, has become involved in a dangerous situation and needs Miss Prim’s help. Can Miss Prim, with her insights into human behavior and her steadfast refusal to rely on forensics and databases (which she considers the crutches of lazy investigators), save the day and bring everything to a happy resolution? Of course she can.

I am quite fond of the cozy mystery.  On condition that I like the amateur (or not so amateur) sleuth doing the detecting.  This one, I liked.  Quite a lot.  Miss Felicity Prim is retiring and has big plans to become one of those amateur sleuths she so admires with no more significant training (beyond some beginner self-defense) than a lifetime spent reading crime fiction!

(This reminds me of myself.  Once upon a time, I imagined that I could write a Regency historical romance novel after having avidly read hundreds of novels of the genre.  Very little research was involved.  But I did it!)  As such, I applaud Miss Prim!

She recognizes every element of the genre in her own personal mystery, even going so far as to pigeon-hole the people she meets into recurring characters in her burgeoning cozy mystery world.  For example, she identifies her wacky neighbor Loraine as the perfect zany sidekick after only moments of chatting.  This outlook provides a very humorous satire, while ensuring that the author includes all the elements cozy mystery fans expect.  The mystery itself was also quite clever and unexpected–solving it was quite a coup for Miss Prim!

I enjoyed getting to know all the characters in Miss Prim’s new hometown, and I expect she will shortly be ready to hang out her shingle as a sleuth for hire.  Definitely recommended.

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@Barrie Summy
Posted in book review club on 09/03/2014 01:39 am


  1. This sounds really cute, Alyssa. Thanks for the review.

  2. She moves to the country to get away from the dangers of New York and….finds a corpse in her basement?! Ha! This book really does sound good. Like you, I enjoy a good cozy mystery if the amateur sleuth is likable. Did you ever read any of the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries by Dorothy Gilman. I love them. The Outsmarting of Criminals (great title, too!) reminds me of those cozies. Thanks, Alyssa!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I’ve read several Mrs. Pollifax books, but it was a long time ago. Was thinking recently that I might want to pick one up again. :)

  3. Sounds like a fun book. Thanks for the review.

    P.S. I stopped by yesterday but it said comments were closed.

  4. A corpse in the basement? I think I would view that as a bad real estate decision rather than the start of a promising new career. :)

    I love love love the cover of this book. It makes me want to jump through the cover and into the story. I rarely read mysteries (usually when I do it’s from a book review on a blog), but I want to read this one.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      It is an excellent cover, Stacy, I agree! And it’s a really fun book!

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