I read Terri Thayer’s Inked Up for the Cozy Mystery Challenge last week. It is the second of the Stamping Sisters Mysteries (book one blogged / reviewed).
The product description reads: Halloween is scarier than ever in Aldenville, Pennsylvania, when professional rubber stamper April Buchert discovers a dead body in a “haunted” corn maze. The police suspect the victim’s husband murdered her, but April knew the couple, and she and the Stamping Sisters are determined to find the real killer before he catches another in his murderous motif.
This book focuses a lot on Mitch who inspired by Jimmy Carter is constructing homes for impoverished families. The first family chosen is a Latino family (though second generation American), which sparks much anti-immigration hate and bigotry. Since Arizona’s anti-immigration law has been all of the news recently, this focus was very current event-ish. However, the book becomes very problematic in its portrayal of this theme because while April is constantly defending the rights of the Latino family to live in the area, the author portrays the Mexican-American community leader as a publicity-seeking liar out to help no one but himself. The contradiction of the messages there is confusing at best.
Subplots revolve around April’s coming divorce, her unexpected roommates, and the nuptials of her mother. Her relationship with the stamping sisters is explored a bit, but the class differences apparent within the group are still not really explored. I did find the mystery much harder to solve than I did in the first book, but the family dynamics were still way over the top.
It was a quick read, and I would certainly do the stamping activity at the end, but again, I’m just not sure what the political statement was about (or even was, honestly). But of course, if you read it, I wish you