Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Room with a Pew (Lucille Mystery) by Peg Cochran

Book four in the Lucille Mystery Series continues with the laughs in this cute cozy series that features a mature Italian-American woman and her extended family and friends.  Lucille follows in the footsteps of her namesake, Lucille Ball, and teams up with her Ethel, best buddy Flo, to get into all sorts of crazy adventures, all with the goal of solving a murder mystery.

The folksy narrative voice is from Lucille's perspective (3rd person limited narration), and the humor comes mainly from her sarcastic tone, silent prayers to saints, eternal dieting attempts, and a penchant for stealing vehicles of all shapes and sizes.  Don't take any of it seriously, despite the author putting in one medical problem, here and there, specific to mature readers.

 Book One

This is book four in the Lucille Mystery Series.  Here are all the books to date in the series:
  1. Confession is Murder
  2. Unholy Matrimony
  3. Hit and Nun (Reviewed on this site)
  4. A Room with a Pew

Book Two

A Room with a Pew (the title is cute but it has very little to do with the story) begins on Thanksgiving day with Lucille catering the holiday dinner for her family and friends.  Lucille is proud of her ability to handle the busy holiday:
...she may not be one of them executive types she read about in magazines all the time who wear pantsuits to work and order their lunch from fancy restaurants, but she knew how to roast a turkey and she knew how to care for her family.

Book Three

She is also proud of her ability to sort out criminals and crimes, despite always landing in a heap of trouble with her friend Flo.  The bad guys in this book are particularly bad, and the ladies have some very close scrapes to escape from.  There are family problems to deal with along the way, of course, in her working class family.

The series is a light read not just because of the humor.  The writing is kept simple with lots of dialog and minimal description.  There is a regular cast of characters, but the author is very good at bringing the reader up to speed on them, in case you haven't read the other books in the series, or you've read them a long while ago.

The author's other cute cozy mystery series - Gourmet De-Lite

From the book's description, A Room with a Pew:
Lucille Mazzarella is back, and this time she’s investigating the murder of her own poor cousin Louis. Tracking down a killer might lead the fifty-something housewife into the clutches of a Godfather she never wanted to meet.

When Lucille discovers the body of her cousin Louis in the church parking lot, her first thought is that he may have skipped one service too many, but when the cops shock her with the news that Louis was killed by a professional hit man, she realizes the Almighty had nothing to do with the deed.

Even more shocking is the discovery that the victim, who never had a penny to his name, had socked away a huge wad of cash. As Lucille and her best friend Flo follow the money trail, it leads them from a seedy strip joint to a high-stakes gambling ring and all the way to the mob.

As the thugs close in and threaten to end Lucille’s detecting days for good, she’s tempted to give in to the most dangerous crooks she’s ever faced, but then she remembers she’s got a little family thing of her own that means more.

Here is a direct link to the book at

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