BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER
When the summer heat gets too oppressive, grab the second book in Macy’s delightful Teddy Bear Mystery series — you’ll be transported to small-town Michigan in the fall! The clever use of the teddy bear theme all over town adds to the cozy atmosphere of the book, even if it does get almost too kitschy at times. Of course, that’s part of the charm of this particular genre so it’s certainly not unbearable. The mystery is very well plotted and nicely paced, revealing new layers at just the right moment to keep readers guessing. The victim and the prime suspect are both intensely dislikable characters, but Sasha and her circle of friends and family are easy to embrace and invest in for the long haul. A dash of romance rounds out the story — just enough to please the romantic reader without overpowering the mystery.
Silver Hollow is gearing up for “Oktobear Fest” with local artists, business owners and the community all embracing the teddy bear theme. As manager of the popular Silver Bear Shop and Factory, Sasha Silverman is delighted to participate. Even if the return of Holly Parker, a high school nemesis (and current competition), puts a damper on Sasha’s mood. Since Holly appears willing to do anything to put Silver Bear out of business, Sasha decides to stay clear of the toxic woman. A decision which is derailed when Sasha stumbles on the body of Holly’s assistant, stabbed to death in a parking lot. First the mayor and then Sasha’s ex-husband become prime suspects, and time is running out to find the real killer before Oktobear Fest goes into hibernation. (KENSINGTON, Jun., 288 pp., $15.95)