Down in Flames (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery)
6th in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
A fatal hit-and-run in front of Savannah Webb’s glass shop proves to be no accident . . .
A highlight of Savannah’s new glass bead workshop is a technique called flame-working, which requires the careful wielding of acetylene torches. Understandably, safety is a top priority. But as Savannah is ensuring her students’ safety inside, a hit-and-run driver strikes down a pedestrian outside her shop.
The victim is Nicole Borawski, the bartender/manager at the Queen’s Head Pub, owned by Savannah’s boyfriend Edward. It quickly becomes clear that this was no random act of vehicular manslaughter. Now the glass shop owner is all fired up to get a bead on the driver—before someone else meets a dead end.
Down in Flames is the sixth book in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. The mystery in the story is self-contained, but I would recommend reading this series in order. The relationships between the characters and the character development over the previous books will allow you to enjoy this story so much more. Savannah Webb has her hands full. She has a new class going on and Amanda, her store manager and teacher of beginner classes is spending more time with her mother who is in hospice. This causes Savannah to be pulled in many directions, but when Nicole, her friend and the manager at her fiancé’s pub next door is run down, things get even more dicey. Once again, Savannah is hired as a consultant and the investigation begins.
Savannah is a great protagonist. She is a well-developed character who is friendly, outgoing, helpful and relatable. Edward Morris, Savannah’s fiancé, is the perfect man for her. He is understanding, caring and works with Savannah when she is investigating. I love that he cooks when he is stressed and tried all kinds of crazy new recipes while dealing with trying to run his business after Nicole has been killed. Jacob is one of my favorite characters in this series. He is a high functioning autistic eighteen year old who has a support dog, Suzy. He is extremely observant and helps Savannah a lot when she is investigating. There are many other characters who are regulars in the series such as the quirky and eccentric Rosenberg twins, Officer Joy Williams and Detective Parker. There were a few instances where there was some discrimination toward homosexuality and I liked how this was handled in the story. It is at timely issue, as well as an important one. The artistic storyline was two-fold. There were the glass workshops which I always find interesting, but also the graffitti aspect with the contest and community it encompasses. The mystery and investigation take some time to get moving, but once it was determined that it was a murder, not an accident, then Savannah and Joy went full on. There were several suspects, at one time I had three different people in mind, plus a red herring or two. I did have my suspicions about the killer and that made the ending a bit anti-climactic for me, but that is my only concern. Overall, I enjoyed this story. The setting, the wonderful characters, the well-written plot, the mystery and mayhem as well as the art storylines all mesh together to form a great story. Thanks for another great entry into the Webb Glass Shop Mysteries, Cheryl Hollon. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
FROM CHAPTER 2
A Channel 9 news vehicle pulled over and a reporter lunged out the passenger door before the white van had come to a complete stop. “What’s happened here? How bad is she hurt? Did anyone see it?”
Savannah responded with an are-you-kidding-me? scowl and turned her back.
Undaunted, the reporter waved to the driver, who turned off the ignition and walked around, opening the back of the van to grab a microphone, which he tethered to a large camera. He handed the microphone to the reporter, who stood in front of their van so that the logo was in the shot.
Savannah ignored the news van and watched the paramedics as they wrapped a brace around Nicole’s neck and strapped her onto a board.
Nicole’s purse had been thrown to the curb by the impact. The contents were strewn in an area over six feet long, except that her phone was still in an inside zippered pocket. Savannah scooped the contents back into the bag and put the crossbody strap over her head.
“I’ll take that along, miss,” said the paramedic, a sturdy young woman with short black hair. “She’s going to be needing that for insurance and identification.”
Savannah took off the handbag and offered it over.
“How does it look? Will she be all right?” Savannah felt the catch in her voice.
The paramedic headed toward the driver’s seat and looked at her teammate. “We can’t tell yet, but it is very serious. We’ll be taking her to Bayside Medical Center. You should get her family there as soon as you can.”
About the Author: Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.