Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Review - Leave Tomorrow Behind

Leave Tomorrow Behind: A Stella Crown Mystery

By: Judy Clemens
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781464202025
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: January 10, 2014

In this fun book, Leave Tomorrow Behind by Judy Clemens, Stella Crown finds herself in the middle of a murder at the fair when all she wanted was to enjoy watching her young friends in the dairy judging events. From the very beginning of the fair nothing goes as planned in this quirky mystery and the surprises keep coming to the very last page. The first night Stella and her fiancé Nick are at the fair, they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and discover that a local up and coming country singer, Rikki Raines, has been murdered and thrown into the manure pile. The enjoyable week at the fair is gone as Stella is now constantly confronted by police, detectives, and the Greggs who are not liked by many fair families for their cheating ways in the dairy cattle barn.

If trying to piece together clues of a murder are not enough, Stella is also having to constantly confront her wedding crazed future sister-in-law, Miranda, who insists on helping with every detail of the wedding plans. For Stella, going to the court house in jeans and t-shirt would work just fine but of course Miranda will not hear of that. Against her will Stella is dragged to the salon for a spa day and battered with prices, cakes, dresses, and details that almost cause her to strangle her future sister-in-law. At times she finds herself thinking, do I really have to deal with the family too or can’t I just have Nick by himself?

When I looked at the cover of the book the story I was confronted with was not what I had expected, it was better! I absolutely adored the character of Stella and her tough, no nonsense personality with just a touch of softness at certain times. Her attention and support of her young friends at the fair with their various events for me was completely heartwarming. For eight years I also competed in livestock fairs and Clemens does an outstanding job of showing the support, friendships, hard work, and bonds that are made when raising an animal for showing. From the dirty jobs of cleaning stalls to the nervous feeling of taking an animal into the show ring, everything is included perfectly. In addition, it was wonderful to have a strong female protagonist who had me constantly laughing at her raw sense of humor, which I thought was great! Every situation Stella faced had me glued to the writing waiting to see what quirky, smart comeback she would have and each time I found myself routing for her with great intensity. This was the first book I had read of the Stella Crown mysteries and I have to say I am looking forward to reading some other adventures of Stella’s.

Quill says: Here is a story that would be a fantastic read for almost any book lover, for in addition to its main character, it has strong and confident aspects combined with soft and heartfelt moments.

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