Marriage and Murder, an-all new quirky and witty cozy mystery and the second book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid is available now!
I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #2
Published by Cipher-Naught on 2021-03-02
Length: 270 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Reading Challenges: COYER 2021
The Devil is in the details . . .
Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.
On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after?
And most importantly, who done it?
‘Marriage and Murder’ is the second book in the cozy mystery series Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries. It is best read after Winston Brothers #3, ‘Beard Science’ (which can be read as a standalone) and Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #1, ‘Engagement and Espionage.’
I didn’t think it was possible to love Cletus more than I already did, but I was wrong! I adore this fictional man! Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid is the second book in Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries featuring my favorite Winston brother and his girl Jenn. It’s been a year since the two were engaged, and Cletus is anxious to make Jenn his forever. However those plans are derailed the night of their engagement party when an unwanted guest winds up murdered. Now it is up to Cletus and Jenn to find the killer and clear their names.
Why Cletus Winston, are you getting a little anxious? This book starts with Cletus and his feelings about his upcoming nuptials. I do believe our boy is getting slightly cold feet. Not about Jenn, never about her, but over the ceremony itself. It has grown out of his control, and this man does not like feeling out of control. He’s angry with himself for losing some of his “omniscient” powers, however he refuses to give up any of his Jenn-time so it’s something he decides he will have to learn to live with. I love how Reid shows us a new side of Cletus. We see him vulnerable in a way we haven’t before. It humanizes him and made me fall in love with him more.
Jenn has changed so much from the pie queen we met in Beard Science. She is confident in her own choices and actions and resolved to do what she feels is right. I do believe Cletus is rubbing off on her. She is just as conniving as he is at times and ready to follow through on any plan he has. Nothing affects her more than her family being threatened, and with the events that occur, we see a new side of Jenn, one who is ready to fight and go down swinging if she must.
Overall I loved Marriage and Murder. This is a fun, cozy read that made me laugh and cry and feel all the emotion. Penny Reid is my most recent go-to author to help me laugh and escape reality if only for a little while. This one kept me guessing right to the end! I highly recommend this one for anyone that enjoys cozy mystery with a bit of steamy romance.
“Here.” Cletus suddenly appeared, looking devilishly handsome in the dim light and seemingly all put back together—like we’d been in here holding hands instead of. . .ANYWAY.
He held out my underwear. His eyes were bright even in shadow, and I could see they were half-lidded as they lazily trailed over me. He looked at me like he was hungry, and I was dinner. Despite all the encore orgasms I’d just had, the effect hit me right between my legs.
I wondered what he was thinking, watching as he licked his bottom lip and drew it into his mouth. Was he just as insatiable for me? And if so, was he okay with that?
Tearing my eyes away, I pulled on the lace and fixed my skirt, telling my body to settle down. We were getting married for hootenanny’s sake!
Cletus cocked his head to the side while I smoothed my hands down the red fabric, working to get a hold of all this raging want always coursing through my veins whenever he was near. Maybe it was because he was my first, and I guess, my only. Was that why I felt so crazed for him all the time?
“Miraculous,” he said.
I surmised he meant the dress. “Right? The wrinkles are hidden, if there are any. It’s ’cause they ruched the outer fabric at the seams, see?” I turned to the side to show him the seam, and he stepped forward as though he were going to investigate.
Instead, his hands cupped my face and tilted my chin back. He stared at me with a vibrant intensity I felt all the way to my fingertips. “No, Jenn. Not the dress. You.” Cletus gave me a soft kiss, ending it by gently nipping my bottom lip. “You are my miracle.”
I sighed. And I smiled. And I felt like I was walking on a cloud instead of in four-inch heels, which was also probably something of a miracle. “You say the sweetest things.”
“I think you mean, I say the truest things.”
I laughed, and he kissed my forehead. He held me there, in the dark with his lips pressed to my forehead. “I love you so completely, with every cell in my body. I wonder sometimes if I’d cease to exist—just evaporate or disappear—if anything ever happened to you.”
“No.” I anchored my hands to his wrists and squeezed. “Don’t think like that. We’ve got our whole lives in front of us. There’s nothing anyone can—”
Three bangs in quick succession pierced the quiet moment, and not a second later Cletus had me on the ground beneath him, covering my back with his body.
“Gunshots,” he whispered in my ear. “From the parking lot. Don’t move.”