An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
This was a fun read. It was light and silly and kinda Lifetime-y movie at times, but I enjoyed it.
Dead, Bath, and Beyond follows amateur detective Katie as she tries to figure out who killed her former boss and planted his body in the bathtub of her friends' Bed and Breakfast. Along the way, she must juggle her struggle to balance her priorities in life, a new manicurist next door who's fumes are stinking up her shop, and a messy love life.
There's a lot to like about this book. The characters for the most part are lovable and relatable. I particularly felt sympathetic to Katie's struggles with her boyfriend since I had some relationship troubles myself while reading it. She's kind of a frustrating protagonist at times, like you want to shake her and be like "stop being so stupid!", but it was in a relatable way. It was the kind of stupid you'd expect from an amateur detective. She's actually very smart in other ways. I also liked Ray. He was pretty funny.
The plot was also pretty solid, which was impressive since there was a lot going on. At the end it all wrapped up nice and neat, which I was pretty impressed by. Bartlett builds everything up well and it has a solid foundation. I didn't feel cheated by the reveal of who-done-it in the end and I actually was able to keep up with most of the clues, which I enjoyed.
There were some faults to the story. The story got a little melodramatic sometimes. Like, it felt like a Lifetime movie. There was also a lot going on in it and I feel some of the plot points got in the way. Like, there's the murder, there's the new nail lady, there's Katie's personal problems, there's her relationship problems, etc. I feel like if one of those elements had been taken out, the story itself would have been a lot tighter and more enjoyable. There were also so many characters that some did come across as shallow, giving kind of an impression of "why are you in this story?". So it just needed some trimming down I think.
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars. It's a fun read and I'd be happy to read it again while on vacation.
Final thought: The cats were the best part.