Today’s Cozy Read is by a new author to me, Carla Neggers, called The Spring at Moss Hill. This is 7th in a series called Swift River Valley. I found it in the library in my building and there are several others by her on the shelf there.
If a cozy read is defined as a romance that is easy to read quickly and has a happy ending, then this certainly qualifies. The premise is that a young author/illustrator, Kylie Shaw, is hiding out, a bit of a recluse, in a small New England town where she has a loft apartment in a remodel of an old straw hat factory now called Moss Hill. She writes children’s stories about a badger family under an assumed name and at the beginning, she’s a bit paranoid about people finding that out. Enter an LA private eye, Russ Colter, who is installed in the loft across the hall from her, a security measure against the impending visit of a famous Hollywood designer whose great, great, grandfather owned the factory and had donated the town library. The designer, Daphne Stewart (also a pseudonym), had spent 3 years living in the town, working in the library, and defining herself and her dream in an attic room in the library unbeknownst to anyone at the time. She will be presenting an event with a lecture in the morning and an afternoon workshop on designing for the theatre and movies and there are rumours circulating that the building might be unsafe and the event, cancelled.
I can only say that this was a disappointment. I found Daphne a far more interesting character than Kylie. Although they both have misgivings about the upcoming situation, Daphne’s uncertainty about returning to a town where she had spent time escaping from an abusive background is easily understood and creates an empathy for a character who enjoys playing the diva, has a sharp wit, is generous with her time, and enjoys her friends. Kylie, on the other hand, is totally paranoid about having her secret pseudonym revealed, assumes that Russ has figured out it — based on what? no idea — and had one date with a guy who also figured it out somehow, and then she outs herself to a gathering of about a dozen people as if it’s nothing. Which of course it was all along. The romance after the event was rather anti-climactic and went on a bit too long. I might try a book from one of her other series but not anytime soon. * *
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