Crime & Punctuation

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

This is the first book in the Deadly Edit mystery series and I thought it was just a cute cozy mystery.  The heroine, Mikki Lincoln, is a retied widow who moved back to her hometown and decided to open a bsuiness editing books and manuscripts.

Unfortunately her first client turns up dead and the book has clues to a scandal and Mikki thinks it's related to her death.  I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

Thanks Kensington Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Crime & Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett is the first book in the new cozy series: Deadly Edits. I had read other books by this author and enjoyed them, so between that and the wonderful cover, I could not resist. I am glad that I did. I enjoyed this book and look forward the next in this series.

Mikki Lincoln is 68 years old and a recent widow. She lives with her cat Calpurnia, Cal for short. After buying back her childhood home in the Catskills, which needed a lot of work, Mikki's retirement budget is stretched a bit too thin for comfort. Being a retired English teacher, she begins her own business working as a freelance editor. Tiffany Scott, her newest client leaves her manuscript with Mikki and is found dead a few days later. What initially looks like an accident, after reading what Tiffany had written in her book, Mikki thinks it may be a murder. She decides to conduct her own investigation when the local police start focusing on the wrong suspect.

I love the characters in this book! Mikki is a retired, senior citizen, but feisty, incredibly intelligent and observant. She rekindles relationships with several others she went to school with back in the day. Darlene becomes her partner in crime. She has crippling arthritis, but doesn’t let it slow her down. Using an electric scooter, walker, and wheelchair, she gets to where she wants to go. Together they make an amazing team. The rest of the supporting cast is just as quirky and lovable as Mikki. I love Calpurnia; she had a few situations that cat lovers will both smile and gasp at. The story is a fun mix of humor and sleuthing. The plot moved along at a nice pace, with a few suspects and some surprises. The ending was wonderful, I never suspected the killer until just before the final reveal. This is a great beginning to this series and I recommend it to any cozy mystery lover.
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I enjoyed the first book in this new series by Kaitlyn Dunnett. Mikki returns to her home town and buys the house that she grew up in after the death of her husband. She discovers that the house needs a lot of repairs and in order to be able to afford to do them, she decides to start copy editing to supplement her retirement income. Tiffany shows up at her door with her manuscript and wants to hire Mikki to edit it for her. Mikki agrees, but before she can do much work on it Tiffany dies under mysterious circumstances. Mikki takes it upon herself to try to find out what happened, but a lot has changed since she moved away. I was taken in by the town and the characters and look forward to reading more in this series.
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I had never heard of Kaitlyn Dunnett before reading this book. Now I learn that she has published many, many books. How did I miss her all these years?

She obviously has mastered the challenge of how to tell a story and develop characters. We learn slowly, not in a "text dump" all about our protagonist as the story unfolds. Mikki is an older woman of undetermined age, we learn that she attended her 50th high school reunion, so we know she is probably over 68. She is a widow and has no children. She grew up in the town she is currently living in and actually grew up in the house she now owns. Some of her classmates still reside locally. 

She was an English teacher and now needs an income so she has become an editor for writers who want to get their works ready for publication.

As a woman who just had her 50th high school reunion in a town where many of my classmates still reside and a person who is known to friends as a "Grammar Nazi" as I constantly correct errors (I know, I know, not all moments need to be teachable moments, but it is so very hard!), I identified with Mikki.

Mikki is approached by a young woman who has written a novel and wants it edited. She leaves the manuscript in a padded mailing envelope with her. The next day, Tiffany is found dead. Mikki's business card was found on her body. The police first think it is suicide, but there are a few inconsistancies. After being questioned by several people if Tiffany left anything else with her (she isn't aware of anything other than the manuscript which the police took when she was questioned), when discovers a thumb drive down in the bottom of the envelope. Mikki is naturally curious and opens the documents. 

Mikki sometimes seems to still be in high school. Some of the interaction between the classmates is no better than if they were all still 17 years old. I find this to be true in life. Some people never grow up. Some people never change. This added to my identifying with Mikki and her life in general.

I am hopeful that Ms. Dunnert with continue with the Deadly Edits books since Crime and Punctuation is listed as #1. I look forward to reading more about MIkki's life and friends but in the meantime will read some of Ms. Dunnert's other works.
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Thanks to NetGalley and to Kensington Books for an advance copy of Crime and Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett. This was the first in a new series, Deadly Edits. 

The story follows the main character Mikki after her return to her childhood home having been newly widowed. She's set herself up as a freelance editor, but a crime drops into her lap, as so often is the case. I really loved this whole idea and looked forward to starting a new cosy series.

I felt there was too much exposition and back-story before any of it became relevant. It might have stayed with me better had the past been revealed in smaller chunks as and when it became pertinent to the current story. It was a little slow for me, not very pacy, and I'm afraid a bit obvious who did it - I did hope it would be someone else once I realised who it was, but it was not to be.

I also disliked the main character correcting my grammar for me. I was reading a book for pleasure, not writing a dissertation.

Saying that, I did enjoy the setting and the characters, including the cat. And I'll look out for number two in the series. It was a nice, easy read.
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This was a good book! I truly enjoyed it and look forward to more by this author. It was a fun, quick read. I would recommend it.
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I tried to read this book and just couldn't get into it. I think it would be a good read for an older audience.
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I found this to be an enjoyable easy read. I really like that the main character was an older woman and that she had purchased her childhood home. The characters were well written and this is a great introduction to a new series. I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
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This Deadly Edits mystery is the first in a new series by Kaitlyn Dunnett. Mikki Lincoln returns to the town she grew up in and is remodeling her childhood home.  She also runs a business out of her home as an editor.  A new client drops her manuscript off at Mikki's home for her to review and dies a couple of days later.  As Mikki finds clues to allude to it not being a smatter of a simple death, strange things start happening with old friends ands and nemeses from high school, and how bullies never really fade away from childhood.
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This book wasn't quite what I was expecting. The pacing was slow and predictable. I did like that the heroine was in her sixties though. It was something out of the norm.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book, which I voluntarily chose to review.
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3.5 stars. I love books with reading or writing-related plots, so I have been excited about reading this one. While it was a solid story, it didn't live up to my expectations. The book was a little slow moving for me. It was too easy to set this down and not pick it back up for a couple days; I like a book that is fast moving and makes me want to carry it along so I can read in every spare minute. I also didn't click with any of the characters. I am a character-driven reader, so this was a big deal for me. A great character will convince me to stick with a series even if a story or two aren't a good fit for me. Without a strong character connection, the plot of book 2 will have to really grab my attention for me to continue with this series. Readers who enjoy a solid mystery with careful descriptions and lots of setting and secondary character references may enjoy this mystery.
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Overall this was a fairly strong start to a new series. The plot itself was good, although the mystery was fairly easy to figure out. I found the pacing to be a little odd at first, but it improved as the story went on.
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What first drew me to try this new cozy series was the front cover to this book. I love the book spine motif! Cozy mysteries always have interesting covers, but this is one of the best I have seen in a long time! Once I started reading, I also fell in love with the characters. Great start to a cozy series!

Mikki Lincoln is 68 years old. She lives in a 3-story home with her calico cat, Calpurnia. Cal for short. After buying back her childhood home in the Catskills, Mikki's retirement budget is stretched a bit too thin for comfort. So, she starts working as a freelance editor. Editing manuscripts will not only keep food on the table for her and the pampered cat, but also help pay for the renovations to the 110-year old house. When her newest client, Tiffany Scott, is murdered, Mikki discovers similarities to Tiffany's manuscript and an actual past crime. She decides to conduct her own investigation when local police start focusing on the wrong suspect. Mikki discovers that amateur sleuthing can be quite dangerous. Will she crack the case before the killer cracks her?

I love the characters in this book! Mikki is older but feisty, incredibly intelligent and observant. She joins forces with several other seniors she went to school with back in the day. The supporting cast is just as quirky and lovable as Mikki. The story is a fun mix of humor and sleuthing. The plot moved along at a nice pace, with a good number of suspects, twists and surprises. The ending caught me a bit by surprise, but it was perfect. Great story-telling!

Kaitlyn Dunnett is a pseudonym of author Kathy Lynn Emerson. As Kaitlyn she writes the Liss MacCrimmon mysteries as well as this new Deadly Edits cozy series. I will definitely be reading more by this author! 

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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Kaitlyn Dunnett's Crime and Punctuation is the first book in the Deadly Edits series.  Sixty-something Mikki has returned to her childhood home.  In order to pay for the renovations and supplement her income, she begins editing manuscripts.  She is approached by Tiffany who has never let anyone else read her completed novel.  Mikki's new job comes to a complete halt when her newest client is found murdered.  Mikki is pulled into the mystery when she becomes a target herself.  While I did guess the killer before it was revealed, the mystery was still strong.  The cover was so clever and drew me toward the book.  The story moved along well for the start of a series, and I look forward to the characters' growth as the series progresses.
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I don’t read cozy mysteries as much as I used to, but the premise of this book made it hard to pass up. I found the storyline to be a nice departure from many of the cozies I have read in the past. First, the main character, Mikki, is a retired school teacher and not a young, 30-something. And, she has uprooted her life in order to move back to the town where she grew up. Not many at her age would contemplate such a thing. So, my interest was immediately piqued.

I found Crime & Punctuation an enjoyable read. The characters are fairly well developed and there is plenty of backstory to help the reader understand their relationships. In some cases the backstory seems to go on forever and that could have been presented a little better.

The mystery itself was okay, although when the book came to its final conclusion the motivation for the crime seemed a bit flimsy. While the story moved along fairly well, there were a few times that it became bogged down with too much information about the characters and their histories. In the end, the immediate mystery is resolved, although a larger issue is still looming.

I enjoyed the characterizations and the fact that Mikki has begun a second career as a book editor (although, without much effort, her business has bloomed rather quickly, which seems less than realistic). There are random comments about grammar and punctuation that I found amusing as well as informative.

I think most cozy readers will enjoy this book. The first book in a new series can be dicey. The author has a lot of ground to cover, with the establishment of new characters and locations. This book shows great promise and I’m looking forward to revisiting Mikki and her friends.

All in all, I would give Crime & Punctuation 3.5 stars.

Many thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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Recently widowed, Mikki Lincoln leaves Maine behind and returns to New York to purchase her childhood home.  To pay the bills, she decides to become an editor for hire, and her career starts off with a jolt when her first client, young Tiffany Scott, is found dead with Mikki's business card in her pocket.  There's quite a bit going on behind the scenes in Lenape Hollow, and Mikki's inquisitiveness puts her life in danger more than once as she tries to discover what really happened to Tiffany.   Was the story she'd left in Mikki's care the reason for her untimely death, was it a horrible accident, or could it even have been suicide?  Very nicely crafted, and the ending definitely leaves the door open for future installments. Crime & Punctuation is a lovely start to Kaitlynn Dunnett's new Deadly Edits series, and I hope there will be many more books to enjoy!
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Widow Mikki Lincoln comes out of retirement to work as a freelance editor after she buys her childhood home in the Catskills. She sets up a webpage to attract aspiring authors, to help them polish their manuscripts. She doesn't expect one of her first clients to come from Lenape Hollow, where she lives.

First-time novelist Tiffany Scott has written a murder mystery using info from Lenape Hollow's past. Soon after, Tiffany turns up dead, and the police show up on Mikki's front doorstep when her business card if sound in Tiffany's pocket. The police think the death was accidental, but Mikki is not so sure. So she starts asking questions, and finds herself drawn into local politics and a plan to open a theme park, that not everyone is thrilled about.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this story. It was strong and steady, to use a phrase. You get the sense that Mikki, who has been gone from Lenape Hollow for fifty years, still cares about her hometown. She wants to give Tiffany some closure, and the ways he does it, through reading and research, is perfect for her character.

There is a wonderful cast of characters that include people Mikki knew while growing up in Lenape Hollow. There were great scenes that showed how things that happen in high school can come back and bring out feelings that still have to be dealt with later in life.

The mystery was tight, and the ending surprised me, which is always a plus in my book.

Fun, fresh and entertaining, I found this to be a fast read that left me very satisfied. I look forward to the second book in this series.

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mikki London was a school teacher, she retired and then her husband passed away. To fill the time and make some money to help with her home renovation she becomes a freelance editor. She makes most of her contacts online so she is surprised when Tiffany Scott shows up at her home with a 500-page manuscript. She gets another surprise when she looks over the first few pages and is drawn in by both the story and the lack of grammatical errors. The story is a little graphic for her taste but is intrigued by its local theme.

When the young author dies 3 days later, just like the victim in the story Mikki immediately suspects foul play but it has been ruled accidental, maybe even a suicide. She tries to work with the police but gets nowhere. Then Tiffany’s grandmother is arrested, accused of killing her granddaughter. Again, Mikki tries to convince the police they have arrested the wrong person. Unfortunately only the killer is paying attention. Mikki may be joining her husband in the great beyond much sooner than planned.

I am sure Mikki London would cringe at all the typos and grammatical errors I make every day on this blog. I don’t do it on purpose. I always received good grades in English but I have forgotten so much of what my teachers tried to cram into my brain. I like that Mikki is an older protagonist, complete with hearing aids, something new for me in a cozy.  She is taking great strides to carry on her life without her husband. Buying and renovating her childhood home is a huge undertaking. She hires help for the things she can’t do and takes on the projects she can complete, mindful that it is going to take time to get everything just right. She is also a reluctant sleuth. When she finds what she thinks must be a key piece of evidence she is not sure how to handle it but quickly finds herself digging for answers.

There is a character a lot like me, Darlene – challenged by our body’s betrayal. Mine due to an auto accident, her due to crippling arthritis. She doesn’t let it slow her down, electric scooter, walker, wheelchair, she gets to where she wants to go. She deals with a scary moment and my heart was breaking for her. She handled it just like I would have, thankfully her friend Mikki had her back. Together they make an amazing team.

The other characters in the story were well developed as well. I also enjoyed that Mikki has a feline companion, Calpurnia.

I found the mystery to be very interesting with a limited number of suspects. The pages were turning at a speedy pace. I followed along with the twists and turns, solved the mystery and reached the end. Surprised I had read the entire book in one sitting.

I really like Mikki and Darlene. I am hoping to visit them again soon.
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A winning cozy mystery debut.  This is the first book in this fabulous series .  I was thrilled to read this debut series that features a protagonist of a certain age as most of us readers !  It is a very refreshing change to read about such a real protagonist . 
Thank you for the ARC which does not influence my review. 

Mikki Lincoln is 68 and  has decided to  move back to her childhood  town in the New York Borscht Belt.  She has also decided to purchase her childhood home. Now that she has moved into her old home  and  subsequent new home, she needs to make many necessary repairs.  As a former school teacher she decides to utilize the internet to do advertising of editing  of manuscripts to bring in extra cash. She proves to be a skilled editor with her first client who brings her a book manuscript. 
When the client is soon murdered she decides to investigate on her own and in doing so finds out all is not idyllic in her old hometown. I loved her character, a smart savvy independent women of a certain age. How she is independent, driven and compassionate. I enjoyed how as a reader I see great potential for her as a protagonist in the next book.  Her cats antics are adorable as is the name,, Calpunia.  She is interesting and very real protagonist.  She does not suffer fools and takes control of her life and of the sleuth.   I love that she does not doubt herself , she strides forward with confidence. 
This new series has everything I love  in a cozy  mystery - well developed characters that all add to the plot, a engaging location and a well crafted mystery with many twists and turns to the reveal . I loved it and look forward to further books in this wonderful series. A winning debut ! 5 stars for this new cozy debut.
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This book, Crime & Punctuation, was the first I hope of more in a series.  The protagonist is an older woman who moves back to the town she grew up in to find that some things and people are the same and some are vastly different.  One of the biggest tasks she is undertaking is renovating her childhood home.  She has become a ‘book doctor ‘ to help earn some money for this tremendous project.  I enjoyed reading about her sleuthing efforts and would definitely pick up book #2.  #crimeandpunctuation
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