Death Comes to Town - K.J. Emrick

Reading Death Comes to Town reminds me of being in the kiddie pool with my granddaughters. Yes, it’s cool water on a hot summer day and that’s nice but boy, there’s not much to it. If someone asks you if you were at the pool today you’re probably going to say “just barely.”


Death Comes to Town is the story of Darcy who inherited her aunt’s house and bookstore and apparently her ghost in some unnamed northern state. Her sister Grace and Grace’s husband also live in Misty Hollow and Grace is a detective on the police force. One of Darcy’s close friends and members of her book club is murdered. When Darcy and her ex-husband begin to look into it, another murder follows.


Things that made me go “hmmm.” At one point it is mentioned that because Misty Hollow is a small town and you can walk across it in 15 minutes, there aren’t many cars in town. In my experience living in small towns, EVERYONE owns a car, precisely because the town is so small. You have to go somewhere else to do most of your shopping or for any kind of entertainment. Also, the book “And Then There Were None” is brought up by the ghost several times making me think that there could be some real potential for Agatha Christie’s classic plot to have some relevance to the mystery at hand. Unfortunately, that was not the case.


All pretense of reality in the murder investigation is given up in this book. Even though Darcy is a civilian, her sister and her sister’s partner Jon include her in every phase of the investigation. She and Jon stay up late together one night working on the case. Really? A police detective stayed up late working on the case with his civilian girlfriend instead of his detective partner? Even the other people in town are asking her how the case is coming. At one point she responds with “We have a very strong suspect. Jon and Grace thing we’re close to solving the case.” We? When did Darcy join the police force??


There was one brief moment of dialogue that gave me hope for some depth. Darcy runs into her sister coming out of the coffee shop and asks what she’s doing. Her sister says, “Well, I don’t know Darcy. Maybe I was digging for gold or working on my car or something. What do you think I’m doing here. It’s a coffee shop. I’m getting coffee.” But then the writing descended into things like “Inside Anna’s cozy little home, death had visited” and “I’m getting signs from my sixth sense that I need to solve Anna’s death.”


There are at least two TSTL moments. One occurs when Darcy wakes to a figure standing over her bed whom she assumes is the murderer. She throws a book at it. Great defense strategy there. Fortunately for her, the figure is also TSTL and flees when assaulted with a flying book. There other occurs when she breaks into the house of who she believes to be the murderer. Alone. Though a window that she barely fit through.


Because there’s a ghost and Darcy has visions I guess you could call this a paranormal cozy which is normally not my thing but it’s a very light touch. Nothing offensive. In fact, that would be the description of this book in general. Nothing offensive. Nothing offensive is why I gave it three stars when I wavered between 2 and 3 stars. Just be aware this isn’t even comfort food reading, it’s cotton candy reading. Super-lightweight, most readers will finish it in less than two hours.