Title: On Borrowed Crime (Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #1)
Author: Kate Young
Published on: 6th October 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
On Borrowed Crime is the first book in Jane Doe Book Club Mystery series by Kate Young.
Lyla Moody works as a receptionist for her uncle Calvin’s PI agency in Sweet Mountain, Georgia. Lyla’s overly controlling mother wants her to settle down and have a couple of babies (Which era are we in?) but Lyla has other plans.
Lyla reaches home one evening to find a suitcase at her doorstep. Thinking it to be her friend Mel’s lost luggage, she drags it in. The next day Mel returns and says it is not her luggage and there seems to be something rotting in the suitcase. They open it to find one of the Jane Doe Book Club members stuffed – dead.
Having read Kate Young’s Marygene Brown series, I kept my expectations high on this one. Sadly, On Borrowed Crime did not live up to my expectations.
As a series debut, I expected the story to start on a slow note – you know, get along with the character introductions first and then proceed to solving the mystery. Frankly, the characters are annoying. Lyla’s dad is a shrink and her mum is bossy and controlling. I wonder why Lyla’s dad did nothing about his wife’s toxic and controlling nature. The only person in Lyla’s family who seems to understand her well is her gran.
There are a whole lot of characters in the story. Carol, the victim, had a tiff with her stepbrother. Over an inheritance issue, he’s manhandled her; meanwhile, her husband ( a judge) insulted her at a party. I don’t understand why women in this story are portrayed as powerless human beings. It’s not just that, one of the book club members offends Lyla and Lyla’s cool about it.
Speaking of book club members, the group meets often. The group is chatty enough and they all have their opinions about Carol’s murder. At times, I was lost. It’s like a fish market scenario – everybody is talking and you do not know who said what.
At times, this didn’t feel like a mystery. Emotions all over the place, people are busy spewing venom or gossiping, banter and petty fights, I was lost. Completely lost! This was a disappointing read for me.
The story had a lot of potential. A murder linked to a series of Jane Does found on Highway I-85, this is an excellent plot. However, trying to fit in too many things in a story, that too in a series debut, ruined the fun.