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Hiding Gladys (Cleo Cooper Mystery, #1)

Author: Lee Mims
Series: Cleo Cooper Mystery, Book One
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: January 2013
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 242
Buy: The Book Depository

Book Description: Cleo Cooper is either about to strike it rich or lose it all. Discovering a huge and rare granite deposit is a geologist’s dream come true. The multi-million dollar quarry deal will also benefit Cleo’s friend Gladys Walton, who owns the rural North Carolina property. So what could go wrong? Finding a dead body in Gladys’s well, for starters. A hitchhiking rattlesnake and a near-fatal accident during the drill test convinces Cleo that someone is dead set on scaring her–and halting the project. The two likely suspects? Gladys’s greedy, grown children, Robert Earle and Shirley, who try every dirty trick in the book to cash in on the granite-rich land. But are they nasty enough to resort to murder?
Between romps with a hot geologist, Cleo devotes every fiber of her being to keeping Gladys safe–and keeping her dream alive.

First Line: “Did you know that rattlesnakes don’t rattle?”

*Book provided by JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review*

The Writing: For a debut novel, this is rather well done. The writing was short, sweet and to the point without losing the necessary descriptive detail. I enjoyed that it was also easy to read and made for a perfect fast read.

The Plot: I was intrigued by this geological mystery when I first heard about Hiding Gladys. What would have been nice was a less obvious plot twist. I had inklings near the middle of the novel and wasn’t too surprised about the mind behind all the shenanigans. I think I would have enjoyed this better if it had kept me more on my toes.

The Characters: Most of the focus is on the protagonist, Cleo Cooper. Problem with that, though, is I didn’t like her very much. She seemed nice at first but then I started to notice that she didn’t really act her age. She’s in her mid forties with children in their twenties, and yet she acts like a whiny teenager some times. I didn’t really make sense to me. I also didn’t like how she claimed to be all gun ho about strong independent women and not needing a man, but when the going got tough she would look to a man. And then near the end she just made some really stupid decisions that had me face palming.

Overall: Despite Cleo grating on my nerves, I did enjoy this book quite a bit. I liked the mystery (even if it wasn’t too hard to figure out) and enjoyed the action within. I found it to be a wonderful ‘I feel like reading a mystery this afternoon’ type of novel. You know those late afternoons or evenings when you want to read a short and sweet mystery with a delicious glass of wine (or beer or chocolate milk if that fits your fancy). I would definitely read book two should the occasion arise. 

My Rating: ★★★.5

 (to some of Cleo’s decisions)