Tiffany by Robert Kelley is a mystery novel set in a small town where the Chelsea Murder Mystery Club is founded to prove a women who appears to have short term memory loss is indicted for the murder of her husband. There are a lot of red herrings in this fun cozy mystery encountered by the two leads of the CMMC, Atticus who is the retired Sherriff (who was actually fired) from area and a top of the class Harvard lawyer turned Matlock who both even end up in their own courtroom litigation before the conclusion of this novel. The end is unexpected and you’ll be flipping pages until you get there!
The most fantastic part of this book is the characters. The psychiatrist who puts the Chelsea Murder Mystery Club into existence is a strong, determined, and smart character but possibly a little eccentric. While she doesn’t show up much in the actual footwork of putting the case together I loved her personality and the relationship between Joyce and Jack made me love her more. Jack and Atticus make a hilarious team and really run into some rather comedic situations. I could easily see them starring in their own television show. They were simply perfect together. I also really admired Wendell for the work he did as we saw the new Sherriff who half heartedly took the easiest course despite the need to consider any of his choices and frequently denied the rights of his prisoners. He was a great foil as an upstanding police officer. I’d love to read more adventures from the Chelsea Murder Mystery Club.
The plot is also another home run for this mystery. The opening scene of the book for me was perfect! Two kids with a rigged toy car find a dead body while trying to scare a cat send the police flying to the scene. It was interesting in the approach and instantly had my attention. The subplots are numerous, although as I’ll address in a moment they may have been a little too adventurous, but include two love interests that kindle through the book, the litigation of half the Murder Mystery Club, and numerous suspects that link together through the most uncommon of ways. Atticus is right in saying the heart of the story was finding out how each person’s part fit into the entire picture.
The plot was great and there were plenty of red herrings and twists that left me wondering where on earth this was all going to end up at. My only disappointment was with how the red herrings were handled in that they never really quite ended up resolved for me. There were certainly a lot of characters holding on to illegal drugs by the end of the book and while each crime individually made sense to me the commonality between them all and the fact that there were so many doing the exact same crime in the small town left me with a raised eyebrow. There’s certainly a drug epidemic among our nation now so a little further writing to wrap together the red herrings would have easily tied everything together nicely. That’s my only complaint. The writing style and editing are also professional and well done.
Overall this was a brilliant mystery that kept me guessing until the end. The only other complaint I would have is Atticus is named after a book, not a movie!