Willow’s Review Murder in a Teacup by Nancy Curteman
Reviewed Copy: Provided by WLC for an honest review.
When Corporate Trainer, Lysi Weston, leaves liberal San Francisco to present a sexual harassment seminar in Big Sky country. She isn’t surprised at resistance from Montana “Marlboro Men,” but the murder of her partner stuns her. She sniffs out a maze of suspects and tracks each one with the single-mindedness of a bloodhound. Cheyenne detective, James Tennyson, tolerates Lysi’s meddling until it jeopardizes his investigation. He orders her to stay out of his case, a directive she ignores. Things get hotter than a Montana heat wave when Weston finds herself immersed in a hostile world that includes a lecherous redneck, a corporate Casanova, a sex-obsessed judo junkie and a terrified gay victim. Somewhere a killer lurks. Weston needs to find the killer before the killer finds her.
I love mystery novels, so when I read the description for this book, I knew I had to check it out. Unfortunately, I found myself struggling to keep reading. Short attention span cat syndrome struck again I’m afraid. As much as I liked the characters and found the plot an intriguing one, the book itself dragged! It honestly felt like there were too many unnecessary events going on aside from just the main murder investigation. On the whole, it took me a full week to finish this book and there were a couple of times where I considered putting the book down and walking away…something which hardly ever happens.
I really enjoyed Curteman’s characters. She did an excellent job of making each one, main and secondary alike, standout. It was very easy to like Lysi. I found her to be a strong woman who genuinely seemed to what to help the people around her. James Tennyson was an interesting mix of over-protective yet sympathetic. And Bill Pitt and Hank Jones are the perfect men that you want to initially smack upside the head because of their behavior. Now mind you, these aren’t all the characters involved in this story, but they are the ones that stood out the most for me and earned my sympathy by the end of the book.
Besides the interesting mix of characters, I also found the plot to be an engaging one. At least at first. Like I said, by about chapter 10 my attention began to wander and the book started to lose its initial pull on me. I loved the idea of a murder investigation surrounding a sexual harassment seminar. There were so many different directions that Curteman could have gone, that the initial desire to know what the book was about became a mystery all on its own. However, between the secondary case of trying to find out who was harassing Denny, one of Nerium’s employees, the growing attraction between Lysi and James, and the various diner scenes with the local town gossip, the book just became too much for me to handle.
So why the three paws? Well, I think the book has a lot going for it if you can get past all the secondary events to get to the answer of “Who done it?” Plus I felt like Curteman did a fantastic job of keeping the reader guessing regarding who the true murderer was. Just when you thought you had everything figured out, Curteman throws a twist that leaves you back at square one. So yes, for all that the book dragged for me, I think mystery fans will like it when all is said and done.