Bowled Over Americano by Carolyn Arnold

It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Bowled Over Americano by Carolyn Arnold. Many thanks to Lori from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the invite.

Title: Bowled Over Americano (A Sara and Sean Cozy Mystery #1)

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Published on: 11 April 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bowled Over Americano is the first book in Carolyn Arnold’s Sara and Sean Cozy Mystery series.

Sara, a detective with Albany PD goes for a walk in the park. Her neighbor’s dog Magnum is running around, it’s owner nowhere to be seen. Sara takes the dog back to her neighbor. She sees the door open, so just to be on a safer side, she announces she’s from Albany PD and walks in to find the owner lying dead on the floor.

Detective Davenport, Sara’s colleague and senior, is in charge of the case. He questions her multiple times as to how she found the body. When she’s about to leave, she asks about the dog and Davenport responds that it’s not his problem. She takes Magnum home.

Sara’s mum calls her a couple of days later and says one of her book club friends is a main suspect in her boyfriend’s murder case. But her mum insists the friend is innocent but a nasty detective from Albany PD is sure Gladys is the murderer. Sara learns Gladys and Magnum’s owner/murder victim Cliff were a couple.

Annoyed at Detective Davenport’s incompetency at solving crimes, Sara and her handsome partner Sean start to dig deeper into Cliff’s murder case.

There are so many things I loved about this book. I am familiar with Arnold’s police procedural series, and this is her first cozy series I have read. The series features two detectives from Albany PD doing a spot of sleuthing by the side. It’s not their case but when Sara becomes involved in it somehow, Sean decides to help her.

They have another case in hand – a man was fatally shot. He left behind a wife and two children. Sean and Sara have to find out who killed him and why. This side story takes an interesting turn halfway through.

Sara and Sean also investigate Cliff’s murder – they know Davenport is not doing his job well and is adamant that the victim’s girlfriend did it. Sean and Sara are ready to go undercover, if necessary, to hunt for clues.

There’s another side story – something to do with the demise of a businessman. This side story took a very interesting and unexpected turn in the second half. Things changed a lot for someone who was associated with the deceased. Apart from the murder mystery that kept me guessing till the end, the second favorite part of the story is this one, i.e., the one relating to the businessman.

Though a cozy mystery, this had a police procedural feel to it. Two reasons for this: 1) the main characters are detectives 2) they go through formal channels – paperwork and obtaining warrants from judges before blazing in with guns.

This is a Carolyn Arnold novel, so it goes without saying that storytelling, plot-to-story development, and character portrayal is simply excellent.

Bowled Over Americano by Carolyn Arnold is a fabulous cozy series debut. Things end on the very good note for the detective duo, so I am looking forward to knowing what’s next for them.

There’s a giveaway for this tour. Enter Rafflecopter giveaway here.

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