A shoe-in read for fans of Ellery Adams and Kate Carlisle, On Borrowed Crime is the first in Kate Young’s new Georgia-set, sweet tea filled, Jane Doe Book Club mysteries.
The Jane Doe book club enjoys guessing whodunit, but when murder happens in their midst, they discover solving crimes isn’t fun and games…
Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle’s private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she’s always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla’s front door.
Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol’s heart condition, the coroner rules Carol’s death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla’s best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend’s name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club’s studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer’s next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.
Hey everyone and welcome back to my cozy nook, where I discuss my opinions about comics, manga, and my love of certain book genres. In this nook entry for today, I’m going to be talking about “On Borrowed Crime” by Kate Young, a cozy novel that hinges on the edges of being a thriller novel that even James Patterson might even applaud. This isn’t a regular cozy novel, as it packs a lot of red herrings, and elements that would indeed be found in a thriller type novel. However in cozy mysteries things usually stay to the light of heart side and mostly comedic.
This daring and new novel from Kate Young definitely took me on a ride of my life, even when the culprit was already right in front of us.
DISCLAIMER: Before someone jumps the gun, no, this novel isn't being made into a movie and neither are these actors or actresses I'm using below are being filmed for a TV series for it. From the descriptions of the characters in the books, the celebrities I use are who I envisioned as the characters in the novel. Thus, it is my own opinion on how I imagined them, now that that's out of the way. let's get started!
When we meet Lyla J. Moody, she seems to be already up and down with the roads of life, being in her early 30s she has broken free from the typical ‘southern belle’ personality that her mother expects her to have. She’s brash, outspoken, and she doesn’t act as ‘lady-like’ as her family would like her to be, considering that her family name is a big deal out in Sweet Mountain, GA. She’s our main protagonist and damn is she a wild rage of fire and scathing whiskey, while she may keep her cool in some instances for the sake of the public eye, she knows where and when to step up and serve someone a can of whoop-ass when they speak down to her or her family.
I’m not fond of Quinn, I’ll get that out right now, as his idea of what Lyla should do and be drives me insane and also Lyla. These two have a past history, and albeit, I don’t know all the details and I’m glad that the author didn’t push further on it considering how I have an awful disliking to his character. While the two dated back in college, there was something that they didn’t seem to agree on, and throughout the course of the story, Quinn made some gender-based remarks that marked him off as an asshole to me and also Lyla. He’s the Chief of Police of Sweet Mountain, and both Lyla and I aren’t very happy with the fact we will more than likely see him around more than we want to–Considering he also still has the hots for her as well.
This man, okay, I love him and his character and how he sees Lyla as an equal, he doesn’t kowtow to being delicate on words and he’s straight and narrow with her. We meet Brad in the story due to Jane Doe case that has interwoven itself into Lyla’s life following the death of a fellow member of the Jane Doe’s Book Club. Brad seems to be stern and also has a dominant side that I don’t dislike, considering he makes ample sense when he speaks about crimes and how motives work. Brad is part of a cold cases unit with the FBI in Georgia, and while he seems cold and aloof, he’s more passionate and wise than one expects. I want him to kick Quin’s ass >__>.
I adore Melanie, and her quirks are also memorable as she has a unique way of showing her nervousness and anxiety. Which is by laughing. I’m not joking, and this isn’t as uncommon as people think. I’ll explain in the actual summation of the plot, but Melanie is the best friend that you need when you’re going through rough times and need a partner in crime. I adore her and Lyla’s friendship as they both harrow through thickets of dangerous scenarios and overall, support one another through thick or thin. With cookies!
Throughout Lyla’s investigation Calvin Cousins aka PI Cousins is a driving force of advice and help for her, as she puts together the pieces of the case and her life in order. We only brush the tip of the iceberg with Calvin in the story but his presence is immense and is not easily forgotten. He does his best to teach Lyla about the world of private investigations, but protecting her is another matter. While Uncle Calvin can seem headstrong and scary, he is, since he’s probably seen stuff none of us know about–and he’s always off doing private cases including helping out his Navy Seal friends!
And Then There Were None
The story for Lyla J. Moody is actually a roller coaster ride and not your regular funny and punny type of ordeal that we usually get to read in a cozy novel. One thing that sets this book apart from others that I’ve read is that it wasn’t afraid to teeter on the bloody or horrific details of death. When we come upon the mystery of a Jane Doe that happens to be intertwined with a death of a member of Lyla’s book club. Things turn from light hearted to intense as terrifying things start to happen within the novel.
I would say this is a refreshing take on cozy novels as it treads the line between both a thriller novel that James Patterson would be proud of, and it’s evenly balanced with the aesthetically comforting romance of how another cozy mystery author, Ellery Adams, writes as well. The novel does keep you on your toes, and there is plenty of red herrings to throw you out of the loop and feel lost. However, the clues that are left behind and the hint of the book, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie… You know the killer is hidden right in plain sight.
GRAY’S COZY NOOK
This book is without a doubt one of the best cozy novels I’ve read this year, it kept me turning page after page until the very end. I was actually beginning to lost hope that there would be a cozy novel that didn’t wrap me up and have me burn the midnight oil again. Kate Young truly delivered in this new series, and I sincerely recommend those who are cozy mystery lovers to please check out this book when it comes out in October.
STAR RATING: 5/5