3 out of 4 stars
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Patty Decker is the breakout star in Mary Lu Scholl's Camper Catastrophe. When Patty finds herself single once again after having been married four times, she is ready for a change in her life. She heads to Florida for the warmer weather and to be closer to her son. She moves into a retirement trailer park where she quickly learns that unexpected visits from neighbors are par for the course. Patty is a straightforward, no-nonsense woman who knows her limitations when it comes to social situations. She isn't used to having so much interaction with others on a daily basis, but forces herself to try to adapt.
It isn't long before she has her first clash with a fellow cranky neighbor. Albert is known around the park for liking things a certain way. Patty has no problem voicing her disagreement with him for anyone in the park to see. So when Albert turns up dead the next day and the police suspect foul play, it's no surprise when Patty finds herself on the short list of suspects. Having dabbled in writing a mystery or two of her own, she doesn't think twice about starting her own investigation into the mysterious circumstances of Albert's death.
I had a lot of fun reading this book and enjoyed Patty's character immensely. She was easily my favorite part of this book. Though she could be considered a bit of a curmudgeon, most of the time she just said out loud what everyone was thinking. She had a dry, self-deprecating sense of humor that pulled me in immediately. She was also self-aware enough to know that she may not be the world's friendliest person, and repeatedly tried to improve her social manners. Her attempts to play nice with others helped to develop her character throughout the book.
The one downfall of this book is that I did notice quite a few errors. They are easy fixes that the author should be able to work out with another proofread or two. Nonetheless, they did distract from my reading from time to time.
For me, this book was the epitome of what a cozy mystery entails. It had humor, an intimate setting, and quirky characters. The author also brought in a slight supernatural element which added an unexpected twist for me. Though the book was a quick read at under one hundred pages, it felt like a complete story and nothing was rushed. The book also hit on what it means to be a friend. What elements of other people's personalities are you willing to accept and at what point do you decide the friendship may not be worth it?
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The type of humor in it might not be for everyone and some might just see Patty as a cranky old lady. But if you like reading mysteries centered around a sassy older woman, this is for you.
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