Running from Scissors ISBN: 9781732135802, Better Mousetrap Books is a ‘Running Store Mystery’ copyright and written by T. C. Westcott.
Plot: Lacy Purdy, is a forty-five-year-old divorcee now working for a friendly couple in the new-for-her town of Cedar Hill, near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The actual town is mid-sized but with the quite definite ambience of, and ‘cliquish’ undertones associated with, those of a town of much smaller size. She is somewhat hesitant in initiating new relationships, but as an above average runner has joined a local running club entitled “Run For It” and owned by Marti and Chase Reynolds. She has acquired a close friend, Juanita Stax Best, the outspoken, shoot-from-the-hip owner of the local book store she had renamed from “Best’s Cellar” to “Read It or Eat It” after installing a small food service area overseen by her younger, also adopted, non-Hispanic brother who had some experience as a ‘fry-cook’. The adopting parents were a childless Caucasian couple who had retired and left the business to them. The story opens with Lacy thinking “Today’s the day I’m going to kill her…” and moves gradually from here into the plot where Marlene Petrick, lead runner of the group, disappears on a local run and Lacy, because of a contentious confrontation with her after a quite demeaning remark had been made about her. However, as time progresses, more questions evolve as more suspicious activity is indulged in by several other characters and Ruby Maplethorpe, one of the older members of the running store, befriends Lacy. Ruby is one of the well-known, but for some time retired, older detective mystery story writers a lá Agatha Christie. The mystery ultimately is solved, largely though Ruby’s diligent attention to detail that is verified by the legally acquired support obtained by the knowledgeable detective Bentley recently arrived from his former similar position in a large eastern city.
Discussion: The author has set forth this first in a mystery series that is replete with interesting characters and a complicated plot where clues shift constantly among several individuals and all are provided in a package that devotees of the style provided by the early authors of this genre will love. Specifically, It spells out each feature in minute detail and keeps supplying many interestingly designed ‘delays’ before delivering the ultimate culprit.
Summary: A well-plotted, well-written story with interesting characters provided in the delightfully charming style reminiscent of ‘another time’.
5* Delightfully charming mystery in a style reminiscent of ‘another time’.