Cover Image: Statue of Limitations

Statue of Limitations

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Member Reviews

Statue of Limitations is the first book in a new series by a favorite author of mine, Kate Collins.  I like the story, the mystery is filled with twists and was satisfying.  I look forward to getting to know the new characters and watch their development.  I love the writing style of this author and look forward to reading more books in this series.
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Statue of Limitations by Kate Collins is the first book in the new cozy A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery series. As with most cozy mystery series the mystery inside this first book will be fully solved so each book could be read as a standalone with only some character development carrying over and not leaving on cliffhangers.

The Goddess of Greene St. Mystery series introduces readers to Athena Spencer who after going through a divorce decided to move back to Sequoia, Michigan. Athena wanted a fresh start with her son and thought there was nothing better than to return to her large Greek family and begin helping in their garden center.

One night as Athena is finishing up and preparing to lock up for the night she hears a noise inside the center. Upon inspection Athena finds a man who claims to have been told to wait for help but as Athena questions him she begins to get suspicious of his motives for being in the center. Shortly after the strange encounter though Athena finds her hands even fuller after hearing of the death of a local which leads Athena on the path to find a murderer.

Statue of Limitations was a really solid start to a new fun cozy series. I easily found myself enjoying the characters and setting of this series with only one small complaint to those, I didn’t quite understand why we didn’t get to see Athena’s son involved. Kids can often make a cute addition but he was always off with someone else watching him while momma did her sleuthing. Overall though I would give this new series 3 1/2 stars and would like to see how things unfold in the next installment.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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I enjoyed the previous series by Kate Collins, Abby Knight’s Flower Shop Mysteries, and can say that she has created another delightful series that begins with Statue of Limitations. There’s so much to like – the coastal Lake Michigan setting, the quaint stores and community of Sequoia, a larger than life Greek family, and Athena herself. The family members are appealing, funny, caring, and a little crazy, which makes them all the more endearing. I especially enjoyed the sister named Delphi and would love to know her better.

Having returned to Sequoia after a divorce, Athena works in her father’s garden shop, where the plot centers around the questionable origins of a Greek statue and a mysterious stranger named Case. The chemistry between Athena and Case is wonderful and a romance is definitely brewing. The story’s pacing is steady and builds as Athena investigates two murders in an effort to prove Case’s innocence.

The mystery is well crafted and kept me eagerly turning pages. Tension arises as the powerful and controlling Talbot family moves forward with plans to tear down the Greek shops on Greene Street and build a condo complex. The seemingly accidental death of Talbot Sr., who had decided not to raze the Greek section, arouses Athena’s suspicions when his assistant is murdered. I wasn’t all that surprised at the revelation of guilt, but it was so much fun getting there!

Athena’s Greek blog adds a spark to the story – a blog which her family reads religiously and adores, but has no idea who writes it and fails to see themselves in the descriptive characters. Statue of Limitations is a delightful mystery and I am eager to spend more time with this family. The only negative for me was the totally unnecessary use of mild profanity, which lessened my enjoyment. A clean read otherwise.

I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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I loved this new series by Kate Collins.  It is well-written with characters that I'd like to get to know.  The mystery had some twists and turns.  I liked the setting of this one as well as reading about the culture in 'Little Greece'.  It had a very satisfying ending and I'm ready to read the next one!
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I found this book full of quirky characters and an interesting story I can't wait to read more from this author
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Statue of Limitations:  A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery
By Kate Collins
Kensington
February 2020

Review by Cynthia Chow

Over ten years ago Athena Spencer fled from her meddling and boisterous Greek family in search of big city life and a definitively non-Greek husband.  After gaining a son but losing both her career and her spouse, Athena is back home in Sequoia, Michigan working as a bookkeeper and fill-in staffer for her father at Spencer’s Garden Center.  While this is not the future she planned for herself, Athena’s protective instincts kick in when handsome stranger Case Donnelly breaks in and accuses their family of having a statute that he rightfully owns.  Athena is able to put off Case’s demands for the sales receipt of the Treasure of Athena, as she has a far direr threat looming over her family’s future.  Although real estate mogul Grayson Talbot Sr. had agreed to table the condominium project that would demolish the entire block of Little Greece, after his death by bathtub drowning Grayson Talbot Jr. is proceeding on it in just 13 days.  Since Athena’s maternal grandparents own The Parthenon restaurant right in the path of the bulldozers, she leads the charge in rallying Little Greece to halt the construction plans.  Athena had only been dating Kevin Coreopsis in order to stop her mother from setting her up with other Good Greek Boys, but for once the downgraded attorney-turned-legal aide may prove to be helpful.

Athena had already felt that the senior Talbot’s death was just a little too convenient to be an accident, so the murder of his assistant inside the Talbot mansion only reinforces her suspicions.  While the man caught on video fleeing the murder scene is a dead ringer for Case Donnelly, Athena can’t ignore the twinges of doubt she feels about his guilt.  It doesn’t’ hurt that Case is charming, attractive, and willing to tease her even when in danger, but the convenience of clearing the path for Talbot Jr.’s greedy plans is undeniable.  This leads to Athena making the iffy choice to disguise Case as a Greek fisherman-mystery writer, which not only allows them to question suspects, it yields hilarious scenes of Athena’s efforts to makeover Case without alerting the rest of the all-knowing Greek community.  Together they investigate a shady doctor, try to outmaneuver a flirtatious trophy wife, and resist the temptations of business payoffs.

While Kate Collins hasn’t completely left behind her floral roots to her bestselling Flower Shop Mystery series, this debut series focuses on Athena and her exuberant Greek family.  As a way to vent her frustrations with her expressive and intrusively relatives Athena writes the “It’s All Greek to Me” blog, which her sisters Delphi, Maia, and Selene all love but hilariously are unable to see themselves in it.   What is portrayed empathetically and entertainingly is Athena’s struggle with her Greek identity, which she once resisted but is growing to appreciate and embrace.  That her son wholeheartedly accepts his Greek roots often has Athena facing off against her grandparents, who think they know best and often do.  Athena is stubborn, quick to judge, and very protective when it comes to those she loves, so seeing her lower her guard to Case is a rewarding and satisfying delight.  The strong bonds of the Greek family and Athena’s efforts to find her place within them are relatable and fascinating, which is only enhanced by descriptions of delicious pastitsio and spanakopita Greek cuisine.  In Athena Spencer author Kate Collins gives readers a new heroine to root for, one surrounded by a family who exasperate, frustrate, and completely love her.
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A newly single mother  returns to her home town in Michigan to help with her Greek family's garden store.  She meets a stranger who's interested in a statue recently purchased by her grandfather.  This leads to their involvement in solving two murders!  A bit of romance, a bit of mystery, and a whole lot of Greek-American culture.  I enjoyed the latter--it made this mystery unique.  However, it was pretty obvious who the murderer was, and it also didn't seem like this woman spent any time at all with her son.  That didn't seem right.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  When Athena left home to make her own way she was escaping the cloying but loving expectations of her Greek family.  So when she returns home, after her divorce, to raise her son, it rife with trepidation and mixed feelings.  She is highly unhappy with the matchmaking efforts of her mother but she loves working with her father and giving her son the support of her close-knit family.
There is trouble on the horizon when a the local big wig is found dead in his bath and the agreement he signed with the Greek merchants on a block he owned is ignored by his son who intends to bulldoze the block and build an exclusive high rise condo.  As if that was not enough , Athena is confronted by a stranger in the garden centre who insists a statue her grandfather bought actually belongs to his family back in Greece.  Then the stranger becomes the prime suspect in a murder and Athena, against her instincts and better judgement, not only hides him but becomes his partner in investigating the murder(s) and trying to stop the destruction of Greek town.
In a way, her strength and courage in dealing everything becomes a coming of age saga, several decades late.  She is able to recognize her attributes and in doing so, becomes a spokesperson for her community.  It is all very empowering.
I enjoyed Athena and all the other characters and look forward to reading more tales.  Five purrs and two paws up.
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An excellent start for a new series.
Athena is a great MC and I loved the well thought and quirky cast of characters.
The setting is vivid and interesting, the mystery is solid and full of twists.
I can't wait for the next installment.
An engrossing and entertaining read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Great new start of a new cozy series. Athena and her crazy family will be a great addition to a chilly night by the fire, or a cool relaxation by the pool.
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Statue of Limitations by Kate Collins is the debut of A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery series.  Athena Spencer, recently divorced, returns home to Sequoia, Michigan with her son, Nicholas.  Her large Greek family is happy to have her back, though, Athena had to endure a few “I told you so’s” from them (they told her not to marry the bum).  While Athena loves her family, they can be a bit overwhelming at times especially her mother who wants to see her settled with a nice Greek boy (like Kevin Coreopsis).  She alleviates her frustrations with “It’s All Greek to Me” a blog she writes under the name Goddess Anon.  Athena is the business manager for Spencer’s Garden Yard (her father’s business).  One evening while working on her blog in the office, Athena hears a noise outside.  She believes it is Oscar, the raccoon, and is shocked to find a man fiddling with her grandfather’s newly acquired Greek statue “Goddess of Athena”.  Case Donnelly tells Athena that the statue, which was made by Greek sculptor, Antonius was stolen from his family in Greece.  He is trying to prove ownership.  Athena is quick to send Case on his way.  The next morning, Case is wanted in the murder of Harry Pepper, Grayson Talbot Sr.’s longtime assistant.  Athena finds herself hiding Case and searching for a killer while trying to protect her grandparent’s beloved restaurant from greedy developed, Grayson Talbot Jr.  I like how we are introduced to Athena in Statue of Limitations.  I thought it was clever and a unique way to introduce the protagonist.  This book is easy to read, and I like the theme of a large Greek family and community.  We are introduced to Greek culture, food, and language.  I thought Athena’s blog was humorous.  Her family loves to read it and they fail to realize that Athena is describing them.  Athena’s sisters are quirky (especially Delphi).  Her father is a sweetie.  I liked the interactions between Athena and Case Donnelly.  Sparks were flying between these two.  The mystery was fun to follow, but it is a snap to solve. There are floral tips at the end.   Cozy mystery readers will enjoy getting to know Athena’s family and the Greek community in Sequoia.  Statue of Limitations is a lighthearted cozy mystery with a meddling mother, a rascally raccoon, the charismatic Case, one big-headed blowhard, and a Greek goddess gumshoe.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been so excited about this new series from Kate Collins and she sure doesn’t disappoint.

We meet Athena Spencer who has come home to her big Greek family in Sequoia, Michigan with her son Nicholas after her divorce. Her grandparents have a Greek restaurant and her father owns the local garden center. Athena and her sister work at the garden center with her father. The center also has a resident troublemaker in the form of a raccoon that makes himself quite at home.

The patriarch of a prominent Talbot family has passed away and Athena’s pappoús (grandfather) brought a valuable statue at the estate sale. Because of the statue’s size, it was brought to the garden center until her grandfather finds the perfect place for it.

But a hunky stranger surprises Athena late one night stating his family is the rightful owner of the statue. As if Althena needed another problem to solve. With his dad out of the picture, Sonny Talbot has decided to move forward with a previously dead plan to demolish all the shops know as Little Greece on Greene Street including her grandparent’s restaurant. His decision draws the rath of the whole area and raises suspicions that maybe the senior Talbot’s death was not due to natural causes. When another man linked to the family is killed Althena feels the heat to not only save her family’s restaurant but to bring a killer to justice.

____

Ms. Collins has served up a big cast of Greek characters. They are unique and genuine and we have just scratched the surface at getting to know them. Like all families, especially Greek families, everyone has an opinion about Athena’s love life.

In addition to the Spencer family, we meet Case Donnelly. There is a spark between Athena and Case but her family believes her destiny is with Kevin Coreopsis, a lawyer who has also recently returned home to Sequoia. Athena has a special way of dealing with her overbearing family though, and I love it. She writes a blog “It’s All Greek to Me”  under the name of Goddess Anon. Her family loves the blog not knowing that it is penned by their own Athena.

As is the case in most first books in a series which spends a great bit of time introducing characters, the mystery while well-crafted was pretty easy to solve. That being said I was completely captivated by it. I enjoyed the way Case and Athena worked together. There were twists and tension and plenty of humor too. The pacing was perfect, it was hard to put the book down.

This series is off to a splendid start. Statue of Limitations was a fun and entertaining read filled with characters I can’t wait to visit again.
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If you thought you had a loud boisterous family. you need to meet Althena and her Greek family.  It is reminiscent of My Big Fat Greek Wedding - so if you have seen that movie you will understand.  The nosy sisters, the overbearing mother, and the love that can be found despite everything.

Althena is divorced with a son and living back in her hometown with her family and working at the family garden center.  She is the secret author of a blog that features her family but they don't know it even though they read it every day.  One day they are going to realize it is about them!  Althena is dating Kevin.  Kevin is not going to win any awards with Althena but she can't figure out how to extract herself from him without hurting him or having her mother start back down the matchmaking path.  Everything is going along swimmingly until Case Donneley appears inquiring about a statue in their garden center.  He claims it was stolen from his grandfather's museum.  Is he going to try and take it back?  Will he be able to find the provenance to prove his claims?

This is a fun new series that had me giggling and trying to figure out the mystery.  I had my suspicions in regards to the killer but couldn't decipher how they were involved until near the end as nuggets of clues were dropped into the story.  I felt for Althena dating someone like Kevin that she obviously doesn't like but doing it to keep the peace in the family.  Case could be an interesting new twist because I think there is some chemistry between the two and will be interested to see how a relationship plays out for them.

We think this is a great start to a new series and can't wait to see what is in store next for Althena and Case.  We give it 5 paws up.
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This is a charming new series by the  author of the Flower Shop Mysteries Kate Collins.  Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the opportunity . My review opinion is my own.  This is a well crafted fun mystery that has likable charcters and will be a favorite of cozy readers. Our new favorite protagonist is Athena Spencer. She has recently had endured a divorce and come home to the coast of Michigan to return to her families garden center to work.  She has a son and her pet is a raccoon who adds many laughs to the book.  Her family is a large Greek  family that owns multiple businesses including a restaurant .  The restaurant is under threat as a powerful family in the area wants to tear down the shops .  Her family and Athena vow to fight the threat and soon are embroiled in old  animosities .  When a murder occurs in the powerful family suspects are many and suspicions fall even on her family.

When she is closing the business one night a man appears who expresses a interest in a particular statue her Grandfather bought. As the conversation progresses she becomes suspicious of him and his reasons for wanting more information on the statue and its origin.  At the same time she found him charming and wanted to know more about him.  When she finds out that he is a suspect in a local  murder she decides to stop up and help clear his name. As they work together the clues abound and soon Athena has multiple suspicious circumstances that may have led to the victim's death as well as her rambunctious  family to deal with and the mystery surrounding the statue that may tie into the murders. 

This was such a enjoyable read and a well crafted mystery. I loved the rich charcters and Athena proved to be a savvy protagonist. I look forward to the next in series.
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Athena Spencer is a divorced, single mother who decides to return to her large Greek family and their garden center business in Michigan. Her mother wants to match her up with a new guy, but Athena has ideas of her own. What her parents, grandparents and sister s do not know is that Athena secretly writes a blog. Her family loves it, but how would they feel if they knew she was the author?

There are bigger mysteries for Athena and her family when the wealthy Talbot family is prepared to tear down the businesses in “Little Greece” which would mean disaster for her family and friends. When the Talbot’s patriarch turns up dead under suspicious circumstances, they find themselves at the mercy of his greedy son.

To add to her troubles, a stranger claims the valuable statue her grandfather bought actually belongs to his family. The stranger is accused of the murder, but Athena isn’t buying it. She vows to prove his innocence. Athena has her work cut out for her as she tries to prove ownership of the statue and find a murderer at the same time.

Kate Collins is an author I’ve been wanting to read for the longest time. She writes the Flower Shop Mysteries. I haven’t had a chance to read those so when I heard she was starting a new series, I couldn’t pass it up. I’m so glad I read this one.

The characters are well-developed. Not stiff like some new characters and series can be. Athena’s family is fun and sweet. They are a big family who truly cares about each other. I enjoyed every minute of getting to know them.

The storyline is fast-paced. I wasn’t too surprised at who the killer turned out to be, but it is fun getting through all the puzzle pieces and fitting them together to get all the answers. I hope this series will be going for a long time. I want to meet up with the Spencer family once again.
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Divorcee Athena Spencer has returned home with her son to the welcoming arms of her parents who own Spencer's Garden Center in the heart of "Little Greece." To save a little of her sanity caused by an over-zealous family, Athena (Thenie) has created a blog she calls "It's All Greek to Me" by Goddess Anon in which she vents some of her frustration from time to time. Tidbits of comedy. The rest of the family has no idea she is writing it and they love to read and comment.

She is writing on her blog one night at the garden center after it's closed when she confronts an intruder, Case Donnelly. He's come to claim the statue that her grandfather had purchased in an auction from the local money mogul Talbot Sr. Receipt.

The Talbots (senior and junior) want to raze Little Greece to build a condo, but senior changes his mind. The problem is, he died in a suspicious accident about the same time as his signed document disappeared. It's not long before an additional death occurs and caught on home security video is Case Connelly. 
...Uh oh...

This is an amusing and immersive start to a new series. Strongly character-driven while hatching red herrings, twists, and some amazingly bizarre scenarios. She and Case (now Dimitri) are full-on trying to keep him out of jail while getting to the bottom of the whodunit. Of course, we know whodunit, but not all the reasons why or how. Enter more absurd characters. 

So, can they expose the real perp, save Little Greece, and manage to keep their beloved, but very valuable, statue? I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative right through the conclusion where the climax definitely heated up.

We received this digital download by the publisher through NetGalley and really appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Light, fun, hoot of an entertaining read and I'm looking forward to reading Book 2. Highly recommended.
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STATUE OF LIMITATIONS by Kate Collins
The First Goddess of Greene St. Mystery

When Athena Spencer hears a noise in the garden shop after hours she things it's the mischievous raccoon who has been hanging around. Instead she finds a handsome stranger who claims the statue her grandfather bought actually belongs to him. If that wasn't enough a greedy businessman wants to tear down Little Greece to put up condominiums. Taking a chance, Athena joins forces with the stranger, now a fugitive, to stop the town tyrant and find justice.

You have to take a leap of faith in the first Goddess of Greene St. Mystery. Athena goes well out of her way to help Case...someone that is trying to take her grandfathers statue as well as being wanted as a murder suspect. That's somewhat implausible. But once you accept that Athena is acting rationally, or at least in the best interest of her family and community, everything falls into place. And a delightful place it is!

I loved just about everything in STATUE OF LIMITATIONS. A fantastic group of characters liven up the pages. Athena's eccentric family is charming and fun from her ditsy sister Delphi who "sees" things, to her meddling mother, even her son who knows more Greek than she does. Then there are the despicable characters-the Talbot family and their minions and the traitors among the Greek community. There's a bit of romance and a darn good mystery!

I love the Greek details woven into the story, particularly the language. I think Athena's blog is hysterical, more so because of her mother and sisters comments about it. I appreciate how Athena picks up on things that are incorrect, but necessary for the plot, like why there wasn't an autopsy on Talbot Senior, and weaves it into the story.

Athena wanted some space from all things Greek, but finds herself embracing her culture and her family as she fights for justice and Little Greece. STATUE OF LIMITATIONS is a delightful mystery that left me with a smile on my face.
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Statue Of Limitations is the first book in the A Goddess Of Greene Street Mystery series.

Recently divorced Athena has returned to her hometown of Sequoia Mi with her son Nicholas and is working at her father’s garden center. Athena comes from a large Greek family and what she’s not looking forward to is her mother trying to convince her to find “a good Greek boy”. She’s been dating a young man that her mother has set her up with, but she doesn’t feel that it will go anywhere. 

To keep her mind off her personal life she’s been writing a blog about a Greek family, which sounds awful like her own. Luckily her mother hasn’t caught on. One evening as she is working on her blog at the garden center she hears some noises outside, but she thinks it is just a young raccoon that been coming around in the evenings. Finally, she goes outside and finds someone inspecting a statue that her grandfather has recently purchased at an estate sale. The man identifies himself as Case Donnelly. Donnelly claims that the statue was stolen from his family in Greece. He soon leaves but the next morning Athena sees his image on a news report leaving the home of Grayson Talbot, Jr., where the late Grayson Talbot, Sr.’s assistant had been murdered making Donnelly the prime suspect. Athena believes Donnelly innocence and hides him while they try to find the killer.

Also, Athena is very concerned about the pending demolition of the block of Little Greek businesses. Talbot, Jr. is planning on building a condo once the buildings are torn down. But, reportedly, Talbot Sr. had agreed to cancel the development of the condo, but no can find the document. Hopefully, the document will be found before the demolition is started.

I always enjoy reading Collins’ books and this new series is no exception. The story is well-written and reads at an even pace. It also has a cast of well-developed and believable characters.

Floral tips for longer-lasting arrangements are also included in the book.

I will be watching for the next book in this interesting new series.
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Statue of Limitations kicks off a brand new series from Kate Collins, and cozy mystery fans will love it! It’s full of great characters, humor, and mystery!

Some minor spoilers ahead.

Athena Spencer loves her big Greek family, but since moving home, she feels like she’s losing her individuality. The “Greekness” of Athena’s family (especially her mother) can be overwhelming. Her mom insists on teaching Athena’s son, Nicholas, Greek; and though that’s not a bad thing, it makes Athena feel like she’s losing control. Her mom’s already fixed her up with “a good Greek boy” whom Athena just tolerates for the sake of keeping the peace. She writes about all of these things in her blog which her family faithfully follows. However, they’ve got no idea that it’s Athena who’s writing the blog, and the way they react to the blog is hilarious especially since she’s writing about them!

Well, as in all good cozy mystery books, the main character (Athena, of course) gets caught up in a murder investigation when she has a run in with the falsely accused suspect, Case Donnelly. Though the two start off on the wrong foot, Athena and Case make a great team, and their friendship leads to a budding romance (which, of course, we all see coming!). They work together to find the real killer to clear Case’s name. Since he can’t be seen around Little Greece (his face is everywhere since he’s a murder suspect!), Athena disguises his looks and creates a new persona for Case. Thankfully it (mostly) works, so they can question suspects, gather clues, and solve the mystery.

I really enjoyed Statue of Limitations, its characters and the Little Greece of Sequoia, Michigan setting. I’m looking forward to bonding with these characters and solving new mysteries with them.
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Statue of Limitations
A Goddess of Greene Street Mystery, Book #1
Kate Collins
5 Stars

Synopsis:

In this delightful new series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mysteries, Athena Spencer comes back home to work with her crazy big Greek family at their garden center. But she never expected a return to her roots would mean protecting her family from murder . . .

After her divorce, Athena has returned to coastal Michigan to work in her family’s garden center and raise her son, while also caring for a mischievous wild raccoon and fending off her family’s annoying talent for nagging. Working alone at the garden center one night, Athena is startled by a handsome stranger who claims to be the rightful owner of a valuable statue her grandfather purchased at a recent estate sale.

But she has even bigger problems on her plate. The powerful Talbot family from whom her papous bought the statue is threatening to raze the shops on Greene Street’s “Little Greece” to make way for a condo. The recent death of the family’s patriarch already seemed suspicious, but now it’s clear that a murderer is in their midst. Athena will have to live up to her warrior goddess namesake to protect her family from a killer and save their community from ruin . . .   (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  Athena is a hard worker, she is smart and she loves her family.  And what a family she has.  They are boisterous, meddling and very loving.  I enjoyed the interactions between Athena and her family a lot, and it brought a lot of humor to the book.  I really enjoyed that Athena writes a blog and no one knows that she is the owner of the blog and that the inspiration comes from her family.  I thought that was very funny. 

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the book from the beginning.  The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read.  The mystery was well plotted and carried on well throughout the story.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series and getting to spend more time with Athena and her family.  

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.
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