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Fatal Solutions

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Becky Clark continues her Crossword Puzzle Mystery series with Fatal Solutions. I really enjoyed this 3rd instalment and I am interested enough to pick up book 4 when it becomes available.

After bombing out of the police academy in Denver Quinn Carr has arrived back home in Chestnut, Colorado and is currently living with her folks. As well as devising crossword puzzles for her local rag, she is employed as a waitress in a diner.

In this cold case, Quinn is sorting through her grandad's ancient oak rolltop desk when she comes across some papers relating to property owned by her mum, granted to her by police chief Myron Chestnut. Georgeanne won't discuss the matter with Quinn, so Quinn, along with her friend Loma visit the site the find a skeleton that has lain there for eons...

Quinn, although not faultless, keeps a sense of realism and humour as she is assisted by her police officer friend, Rico. Quinn is an OCD sufferer and I like the sensitive way the author portrays her. All in all, a great cozy mystery with some witty interludes and a fun bunch of characters. 😊

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley and this is my own unbiased opinion.
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Quinn is still wrestling with her OCD and working with a therapist. One thing that helps her focus is creating crossword puzzles for the local newspaper, The Chestnut Station Chronicle. She hopes to one day earn a living with them but, until then, she lives at home and waits tables at the local diner. On the side she gets involved in the occasional homicide. She's good at that, too.
While cleaning out her grandfather's desk she comes across an old land deed but, to her surprise, the name on the deed is that of her mother. When questioned about it, her mother becomes upset and refuses to speak of it. Quinn decides to look into it herself and traces it to land near a former WWII Japanese internment camp and the nearby museum. What she didn't expect? To find a decades old doll and an equally old body. Who is the question to answer and that leads to uncomfortable interactions that involve her family and the town.
This is the third in the series and works fine as a stand alone. With a well crafted mystery and a writing style that flows smoothly added to a main character who is so very human and likable, this is a cozy series I have enjoyed from the first book. I hope there will many more.
My thanks to the publisher Lyrical Press and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in echange for my honest review.
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Synopsis:

1 ACROSS: HUMAN REMAINS

Creating crossword puzzles for the Chestnut Station Chronicle won’t allow Quinn Carr to quit her diner waitress job any time soon. But it does provide an outlet for her organizational OCD, and also lets her leave subtle hints for police chief Myron Chestnut, an avid puzzler, when his investigations need some direction. Some mysteries, though, leave even Quinn stumped—like the property deed she finds in her grandfather’s old desk. The document lists Quinn’s mother as the owner of some land on the outskirts of Chestnut Station, but Georgeanne refuses to discuss it.

8 LETTERS, STARTS WITH “S”

Quinn visits the site, located near a World War II Japanese internment camp that’s since been turned into a museum. There she unearths a weathered Japanese doll…and a skeleton. Before she can uncover a killer, she has to identify the victim. Was it an inmate trying to escape? A guard? Or someone closer to home? As Quinn fills in the blanks, she finds an unexpected link between her family and Chief Chestnut’s—one that could spell more deadly trouble…   (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well rounded and well developed.  Quinn is still getting treatment for her OCD.  We got to know her therapist a little better and we found out more of Quinn’s  treatment.  She desperately wants to control her “monster” and lead a more normal life.  

When Quinn starts to clean her grandfather’s desk, she finds a property deed that has her mother’s name on it. When she questions her mother about it, her mom refuses to talk about it and gets very upset.  Quinn knows something is wrong and decides to figure it out.  When she visits the land that she figures her mother’s deed is for, she finds a dead body that has been there a while.  Now she really needs to find out what is going on with her mother and who the dead body is.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing  and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning.  The mystery was well plotted and it answered some questions about Quinn’s mother’s earlier life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  It was good to be able to catch up on Quinn’s life.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.
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Another enjoyable edition in this series featuring a diner waitress with OCD, who can't seem to catch a break, however, she does seem to catch mysteries and murder dilemmas.  An old skull is discovered near a museum which was formerly a Japanese internment camp, however, the bigger questions are why is it here, how did it get here, and why is it on property she thinks is owned by her mother?  

Never a spoiler in my reviews, here's what you need to know:  As usual, the characters are loveable, spunky, and engaging.  A small town and a diner are the main settings for this well-written, easy-to-read story.  Although it is the third in the series, you totally don't have to read the books before this to easily fall into the storyline, but you will want to go back to read the others after you've read this. 

This is a fun series that also at the same time addresses real and serious issues but in a tasteful and entertaining way.  Pick this one up, you'll be glad you did.
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The best books teach you something while entertaining you. I learned so much about internment camps and OCD that I didn't know and I am thankful for it. I knew about the larger, more infamous internment camps but am constantly learning about other, smaller ones that aren't really talked about. The mystery itself was a little different as it was a cold case (I'm still not sure how a body can be out in the elements for 30 years and no one found it) and had me guessing until the very end. Although this story started out slowly, the writing flowed well and kept my interest. I love the addition of the crossword puzzles within the book.
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This was a little different from the other two books in the series since it dealt with finding bones from a death in the 70s. Poor Quinn seemed to be able to get herself into a mess even if she wasn't trying. I just love the banter she always enjoyed with the group of older men who hung out in the diner and call themselves the Retireds. They loved teasing her mercilessly but all in good fun.

Oh and that crazy Loma! Although at one point, she did something just typically a Loma thing that really upset Quinn and actually for a good reason, but good friends never stayed mad too long. Quinn always did the right thing when she felt like she'd wronged someone too. She did find out the answer to the long-ago death which was a little surprising but not under the circumstances.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
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This book is the 3rd in this series and it takes a different turn. A Japanese internment camp is close to the setting of an old skeleton. The background of the internment camp is addressed and is loosely involved in the murder search. I found this part very interesting but it didn’t weigh the story down. 

Quinn is still fighting her OCD and working as a waitress in the restaurant. She is cleaning out her grandfather’s desk and discovers paperwork which sets off the story in this mystery. This series has wonderful characters, I like the crossword tie-in and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
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Fatal Solutions is the 3rd book in Becky Clark’s Crossword Puzzle Mystery series, but can be read as a standalone. Ms. Clark has crafted a cleverly craft mystery, in an idyllic setting, with plenty of humor. The characters are well developed and I found myself rooting for Quinn to get past her OCD issues. I’m fascinated by the fact that Quinn creates crossword puzzles. I love to work them, but I’d never be able to create one.  Readers will find the information about  Japanese internment camps interesting and very sad. I enjoyed this book so much that I’m going to go back and read the first two in the series. I highly recommend this book to any cozy reader.

I received an advance digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Quinn Carr is back in this third Crossword Puzzle Mystery outing!

This series is always a pleasure for me to read – I love the small town setting of the fictional Chestnut Station, Colorado. The usual characters are all back, with a fair amount of time spent at the diner with the Retireds – some of my favorite chapters! An important setting in this book is the Japanese interment camp. Ms. Clark creates a fictional camp, but based on real history that happened in Colorado. Quinn finds a Japanese Daruma doll, and as she researches the doll we get a glimpse into the camps and their sad history. (Sadly, this was not a topic ever taught in my Colorado history class growing up, and I only learned about it as an adult. Ms. Clark gives the reader a good introduction and starting point to want to explore more about this chapter in our history.)

Fatal Solutions finds Quinn growing in many ways – learning to accept and find ways to manage her OCD, finding her place working at the diner among the Retireds (love the fun banter with these old timers!), and digging into her family history. The cold case she stumbles upon is personal to Quinn – was the skeleton she found an unfortunate accident, or was it murder? And if it was murder could her grandfather have been involved? Without any spoilers, I really liked the way this mystery wrapped up in the end.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries with quirky characters and humor throughout, give the Crossword Puzzle Mysteries a try. I’ve enjoyed this series, and Fatal Solutions is the best one yet! And don’t worry if you are new to the series, you can jump right in with this latest outing.
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I was so excited to read and review this book. For me this is the best of the series so far. Quinn is a delightful protagonist. I particularly enjoy her because she's so imperfectly perfect. Her OCD and her therapy are seamlessly integrated in the story. The rest of the characters are developing nicely and really what can you say about the Retireds and her mother's bizarre recipes. I love that Quinn creates crossword puzzles and sprinkles them with clues for  Police Chief Chestnut. If you enjoy smart cozies that are witty with a great storyline this book is for you.
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This book was enjoyable to read.  Again, Quinn Carr used her OCD to help solve a mystery.  This time it was the body of a man found outside the grounds of a Japanese internment camp museum close to the town where Quinn lives with her parents.  I highly recommend this book to other cozy mystery readers.
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An engrossing read from the mind and pen of Becky Clark.  She writes with such empathy of the two major themes that confront Quinn in this story:  that of her OCD which she is constantly battling but is learning of some techniques to assist her from her therapist and her discovery of the remains of an eight-letter word starting with S.  If you guessed Skelton, that is correct.  This discovery takes place next to the land of a former WWII Japanese internment camp.  With this discovery and information found in her grandfather’s desk, Quinn is determined to find the murderer of the police chief’s father.  Included are some recipes from Quinn’s mother and two crossword puzzles worthy of Will Shortz.   Thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Publishing and the author for providing me with an ARC of this book; this is my honest review.
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Fatal Solutions- Becky Clark
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: November 9, 2021
196 pp. 
	I adored reading Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark! I love when an author isn’t afraid to go somewhere new. Quinn, the protagonist suffers from OCD. Clark doesn’t just use OCD as a simple character trait, it does play a very important part in this mystery. Dealing with the possibility of the town’s police chief possibly murdering his father many years ago- Quinn is definitely on a mission and her ‘OCD Monster’ will not allow her to quit until she’s figured everything out. 
	I also learned I share a minute amount of Quinn’s OCD. I guess we all have our own “things.” It bettered the read because I was learning a little something while Clark had me laughing my rear end off, as she always does. 
Without needing to think about it, Fatal Solutions is a 5-star book for me. I hope this series has a very long run! I can’t wait to see what Quinn gets herself into next. (And how she continues to battle her OCD Monster) 
Coming up next for Clark is Police Navidad (Mystery Writer’s Mysteries book 4) releasing on December 31, 2021. 
Tracy X. Hartman – 
I was given an ARC from the publisher and author in exchange for my honest opinion through NetGalley. The comments are my own.
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I am so hooked on this series. Becky Clark does it again! I love this cozy mystery series, and I have enjoyed reading about Quinn, her OCD issues, and the mysteries she always finds herself in the middle of. I love all the quirks about Quinn, but what I love most of all is her crossword puzzle ability and how she uses that to get to the Chief. Looking forward to what Quinn will get into next!
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A terrific addition to the series. They have each gotten better. I am eager for the next one. This one has lots of OCD issues and Japanese internment camp problems. I recall telling a man that there had been a German internment camp in Iowa. He refused to believe me. Not a well-known fact in American history. Clever mystery. Thanks to the publisher and author for providing a copy via NetGalley.
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Becky Clark takes you into Quinn’s world once again with a historical twist! Relatable characters throughout and fascinating historical facts that keep you from putting the book down!
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The third installment of the Crossword Puzzle Mystery series follows Quinn Carr as she stumbles across another mystery, just begging for her to solve. After moving back in with her parents following completion of her degree, Quinn's life is not going in the direction she wants it to. Struggling to cope with her OCD while working at the local diner in small town Chesnut Station, Quinn jumps at the opportunity for a distraction. When she and her best friend Loma discover human bones in a field near a World War II Japanese internment camp-turned museum, Quinn has more questions than answers. Who did the bones belong to? Someone from the internment camp? Was it murder or an accident? Quinn follows the meager trail of clues as best as she can, only to find out that things might be more personal than she expected. Would solving the mystery bring more trouble than it's worth?

I really enjoyed this book! I have to admit, I didn't realize this was part of a series when I picked it up. However, this didn't detract from the story at all. I found it easy to follow along with the story and easily caught on to the character relationships.

I enjoyed the cozy setting in a small town with much of the story taking place in the local diner. Quinn was an easy character to follow with a very logical way of approaching the mystery. It was refreshing to see some good OCD representation in this book! I often read books that include some aspect of mental health, but rarely do I see anything related to OCD. I thought it was really well done, with the effects that OCD can have on a person's daily life clearly portrayed. Being someone who doesn't suffer from this condition, I can't say how accurate it is, but I really liked the perspective of attending therapy that was shown. There were some really good pieces of information shared in the conversations with the psychologist that are good to remember, even for people who don't have OCD.

The mystery in this book was interesting, although it definitely fits more into the 'cozy' category than the 'suspense' one. While I was intrigued about how things happened, I didn't feel like it was a big page turner. Regardless, the writing style is easy to read in large chunks and I finished this in only a few sittings. After reading the third book out of order, I think maybe I'll pick up the other two the next time I'm in the mood for a lazy afternoon with a simple mystery!
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I think this was my favorite of the series so far. I really got into the mystery and enjoyed the cold case and historical aspects of it. I so enjoy the scenes with the Retireds- what characters! I know so many real life people like them. I'll be interested to see if Chief Chestnut's attitude toward Quinn changes in light of some of the revelations in this book. And one of these days I'll get up the nerve to test out a couple of Georgeanne's funky recipes!
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Quinn can't figure out why her mother won't discuss the deed Quinn found in her grandfather's desk- a deed that indicates her mom owns land granted her by Police Chief Myron Chestnut.  So, of course, she along with her friend Loma, heads off to see what's out there and they find..a skeleton. The land is close to a camp where Japanese Americans were interned and Quinn wants to know, needs to know, if there's. link.  Her mom isn't talking.  I like this series because of Quinn, who is coping with OCD and who makes crossword puzzles.  The mystery here was a little more complicated than I expected and that's a good thing.  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  This is a fun series but this latest will be fine as a standalone.
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Quinn is still struggling with her OCD and living with her parents. While organizing her grandfather's desk she finds a deed to a property in her mom's name. Quinn and her best friend Loma go to check out the property. Quinn finds an old skull on the property. Not what she was expecting. As well as a doll called a Daruma.
The property is close to a WWII Japanese Internment Camp, that is now a museum.
Whose skull was found? Where they in the camp? Why is Quinn's mother being so secretive?
Can Quinn manage her OCD while looking for answers?
An interesting read as family secrets unravel.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.
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