Thursday, April 28, 2016

Line Up for Murder: Review

Bonnard's Department Store is celebrating is 100th anniversary over the New Year's holiday and, just as every year at this time, they have advertised some spectacular bargains--everything from an entire living room suite to a floor-length mink to a top-of-the-line refrigerator to a state-of-the-art camera/film-maker's dream in addition to bargain prices throughout the store. Every year patrons line up days in advance to have the first shot at their most desired items, bringing sleeping bags and carryalls full of supplies for the wait. Dorrie Witson loves waiting in the queues. She's a good-natured, inoffensive busybody who loves to people-watch and make friends with anyone and everyone around her. This time she isn't waiting in line for herself, but as a favor for friends who have their eye on the fridge and can't afford to miss work to wait in line. Also in the queue is Lucy Bone (alias Lucinda Bonnard, daughter of the Bonnard empire) who has had a falling out with her widowed father over his intended remarriage to a younger woman. She's brought along an undesirable, intense, and possessive boyfriend and the tension caused by these two, a self-centered gentleman ahead of Dorrie who doesn't seem to mind who he insults, a couple who would like nothing better than to ditch the self-centered gent and play board games with Dorrie, and a rather nice young man with an interest in the camera well as in Lucy makes this one of Dorrie's least favorite line-ups.

But is there more to the tension than just abrasive personalities grating upon one another? Lucy is obviously planning some sort of mischief to either embarrass her father or otherwise cause a scene. And someone in that line has murder on their mind. One has a gun and another arranges for an odd concoction to be brought to their place in line...poison, perhaps? Dorrie manages to inadvertently foil several plots and save the day on many fronts....and still grabs the refrigerator for her dear friends.

Line Up for Murder (aka 1980 Queue Here for Murder) by Marion Babson is gentle mystery. Full of charm--it was a delight to read. There is very little action in the generally accepted mystery sense of the word, but Babson draws such vivid characters and sets the scene so expertly that one doesn't really notice. The big mystery is finding out exactly what the plot is, who's behind it, and who is the intended target. ★★★★

This counts for "Building" (other than house) for the Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt card.

All challenges fulfilled: Vintage Mystery Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, 100 Plus Challenge, Outdo Yourself, My Kind of Mystery, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies, Mystery Reporter, Women Challenge, Lady Detective, 52 Books in 52 Weeks, Mad Reviewer, 


Jacquie said...

I only just brought this book up from my basement "stash" last week with the intention of reading it shortly. And here you just reviewed it. I'm so happy to see you gave it 4 stars! Can't wait to get onto it now! I continue to really enjoy your reviews. Your opinion so often matches my own, except that you say it better!

Bev Hankins said...

Jacqueline--I hope you enjoy it. The four stars are all for her writing, the characters and their interactions. Not a whole lot of the usual mystery stuff going on--so if you're expecting a real puzzler, this isn't it.

Jacquie said...

Thanks, Bev. I liked Babson's books years ago and thought it was time to revisit her work. I'll keep in mind that the mystery is not the point. If I enjoy a book otherwise, one usually with humor or is clever, I don't mind that.

fredamans said...

I love mysteries that keep you guessing and this sounds like it fits that bill.