An extended Italian family, lots of food, and four murders are at the heart of Joanne Guidoccio’s A Season for Killing Blondes, a cozy mystery set in Sudbury, Ontario. While followers of my blog and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads know that this is not my usual genre to review, every so often, I like to read something different, just as while my preference in cinema is for small, independent, international films, once in a while I watch with complete enjoyment a rom-com, or a Hollywood blockbuster.
And enjoyment is what A Season for Killing Blondes gave me. It’s a fairly quick read, at 264 pages on my iPad Kindle app, perfect for a lazy Sunday or as a beach book. Competently written and plotted, it gained points for me by not only being set in my home province, but by its protagonist being middle-aged. Gilda Greco is fifty-ish, setting up a new business as a career counsellor after winning a major lottery, when a body is found in the Dumpster behind her office. The investigation reunites her with police detective Carlo Fantin, a high-school crush of Gilda’s. Family secrets, rivalries and jealousies factor into the escalating crimes. Can Gilda clear her name while helping to find who is responsible?
There are sufficient clues dropped, along with a few red herrings, to keep the reader engaged in the mystery and at the same time guessing. I had a minor niggle with a plot point which I felt rang untrue, and characters tend to be a little two-dimensional, but no more so than they are in an Agatha Christie mystery, so that’s not really a criticism. A nice addition to the book is the inclusion of several recipes at the end. Overall, 4 stars.