A phantom lurks in the shadows of Run For It, the local running store, terrorizing an unpopular run group leader with an arsenal of sharp, shiny scissors. Lacy can’t stand mean-girl Marlene and everybody knows it, so when she mysteriously disappears in the middle of a run, Lacy suspects foul play.
Everyone else suspects Lacy.
Enter Ruby Maplethorpe, an acerbic senior citizen who befriends Lacy and her feisty friend Stax, an indie bookseller. Ruby warns that someone in their circle is not who they seem, and they’ll need her help if they want to stay one stride ahead of both the killer and the law.
And she should know about murder, because Ruby is none other than classic mystery novelist Pearl Oakley, who spent a lifetime devising her own intricate plots. Finding herself cast as a character in someone else’s story, Ruby’s more than happy to accept the challenge.
But Lacy isn’t sure if Ruby is reading the clues correctly. Is the course they’re on rocketing them towards a final solution or a dead(ly) end?
Join the running store ladies—Lacy, Ruby, and Stax—in a race against time to unmask a diabolical killer before Lacy becomes the prime suspect. . .or the next victim.
What a charming cozy mystery! The story starts on a slow note, with Lacy reminiscing her past (the life before her husband divorced her) and her new-found love – running. The story picks up pace when Marlene, a fellow runner, disappears in the middle of a run. Marlene is pretty ‘famous’ and is well-known for her tiff with Lacy. So when Marlene disappears, Lacy suspects foul play.
Stax aka Juanita is Lacy’s best friend. Ruby is a senior citizen who used to write novels – Inspector Butterwell mysteries – under the pseudonym Pearl Oakley. Ruby reminded me of Miss Marple. Nosy but smart and intelligent old lady. There was also a slight tinge of Poirot hidden somewhere in Ruby – she knows the identity of the perp but chooses to reveal it all in the very end! In the end, like Lacy, even I was curious to know the identity of the perp and I just wanted Ruby to hurry up with her explanations!
Marlene, as a victim and probably a perp in her earlier days, played a good role in the story. Her dark past chose to haunt her years later and finally killed her. I really liked Stax – the woman does have a funny/quirky side in her! And finally, Lacy – a murder suspect to solving the mystery (almost), I liked her too. Detective Bentley and Lacy – woohoo! That was something! A slight tinge of romance brewing in the deep corner of Lacy’s heart… or was it Bentley’s heart?
Scissors as a murder weapon and a tool for blackmail was a brilliant idea. Hats off to the author for that. The trio – Stax, Lacy, and Ruby make a wonderful team. Their meetings and not to forget Ruby’s delicious recipes was like a cozy detective club in the making!
The author’s writing style is unique, and although I took some time to get used to the writing (especially the use of brackets to describe an emotion or a plot), I must say that I liked it. Forgot Whodunit, have you heard of Howdunit?
“Whodunits are commonplace. Some are trickier than others, but usually it’s a simple matter of following the evidence back to the culprit. The Howdunit, however, is a far more unpredictable animal. You see, when investigating a Whodunit, you learn to trust the evidence and your instincts about what the evidence tells you. That’s how you catch your man. But when you find yourself up against a Howdunit, the evidence will lie to you and lead you down dead-end alleys. Or, even worse.”
The ending was pretty good and unexpected. The perp was in the suspects’ list so that was a tad bit disappointing. I wanted the perp to be someone who was not on the list – someone who was too good to be a criminal! But this doesn’t change my opinion in any way. Running with Scissors is one of the best stories that I have read. Unique and engaging Cozy mystery with an even unique murder weapon.
Character Development: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Running With Scissors (A Running Store Mystery #1)
Author: T.C. Wescott
Publication Date: 5th July 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery and Thrillers
Featured Image Credits: NetGalley
Thank you, BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.