Review: Guidebook To Murder by Lyn Cahoon


Title: Guidebook To Murder {A Tourist Trap Mystery #1}

Author: Lynn Cahoon

Published: Kensington Books April 2014

Status: Read from April 16 to 17, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Set in the small coastal town of South Cove, California, Guidebook To Murder begins with the death of an elderly woman befriended by local bookstore/cafe owner, Jill Gardner. Detective Greg King, is of the opinion that Miss Emily’s passing was due to natural causes but Jill is suspicious and insists on an autopsy which reveals Miss Emily was murdered. Convinced that the sleazy developer that had been putting pressure on Miss Emily to sell her home could be responsible, when Jill discovers she has inherited Miss Emily’s house, she risks becoming his next victim.

The story of Guidebook To Murder is surprisingly busy despite only a single murder taking place. Jill finds herself juggling extensive home repairs in order to meet a council order with attempting to solve the murder of Miss Emily, locate some missing art and defend her reputation from Miss Emily’s scheming relatives, all while receiving regular death threats. And if that wasn’t enough, Jill is also trying to reign in her meddlesome, if well-meaning, aunt, search for her missing best friend, and fight her attraction to the handsome, but off-limits, Detective King. Though Cahoon manages to tie everything up neatly in the end, the story feels a little overcrowded and despite the plethora of suspects and motives, the plot of Guidebook to Murder is still fairly predictable.

I liked Jill well enough, once a city lawyer, Jill moved to South Cove on a whim after her divorce, investing her life savings into “Coffee, Books, and More”. We are told by Cahoon that Jill is a bit of pushover but I don’t really see evidence of that, she has no problem standing up to the developer, the council or even the detective when he writes off Miss Emily’s death as natural causes.
We don’t learn too much about the other characters, Amy, Jill’s best friend, is missing for much of the book, and her Aunt Jackie is busy running the store while the villains are little more than stereotypes. I never quite worked out the Mayor’s role in the story, nor why the developer was so desperate for Miss Emily’s land.

I did take issue with few small details within the story too, for example, probate usually takes two to three months (and generally longer) to complete, whereas Jill had control of her inheritance in days.

Guidebook To Murder is the first novel in Lynn Cahoon’s, ‘A Tourist Trap Mystery’ series. I found it to be a quick, and easy read but not a particularly exciting one.


Guidebook To Murder is available to purchase from

Kensington Books

All Romance, amazonkindle, Apple, BooksOnBoard, Blio, Diesel, Google, Kobo, Nook


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