Regular readers of this blog will know that Rebecca M Douglass is the author of The Ninja Librarian and Return to Skunk Corners, both of which have been reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed by me!  Now Rebecca has leapt firmly into the cosy mystery genre, with her latest blockbuster:

Death By Ice Cream

Meetings of the High School PTA would have been as relaxed and enjoyable as life on the rest of Pismawallops Island, on Puget Sound, were it not for the shenanigans that follow Letitia LeMoine everywhere she goes.  So when the JJ MacGregor’s son is one of the kids who find a dead body stuffed in the school freezer, everyone has a motive, but JJ has more than that – since the murder weapon appears to be her scarf.

JJ’s motivation to help the local law enforcement solve the case is heightened when her estranged husband wants a divorce – and custody of their son – on the basis that Pismawallops is no place for the young man to grow up.  And the advice to keep herself strictly celibate whilst divorce proceedings continue leads her self-control to bursting point since the law officer is as interested in her as she is in him.

Will JJ solve the case or will the local cop chain her up?

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My Review

One of the things  I dislike about cosy mysteries is the way well-meaning civilians trample over police evidence and butt in when they should leave it to the pros.  Rebecca Douglass has solved both those problems by providing a law officer in desperate need of help, and the evidence right in front of everyone’s noses with little need for trampling.

This is a well constructed mystery with plenty of pressure points – the divorce, the deadline for the school yearbook,  necessarily abandoned by the deceased, who appears to have done nothing about it despite meddling in everybody else’s business.  The kids are engaged to help sort it out which gives the adults suitable assistance when it comes to all matters computerised.  I loved the way whole families got involved – a story not just of the protagonist but of a beautifully drawn community.

The reader is carried along with JJ MacGregor’s investigation, and is engrossed in the tour of the island and the tensions emerging as the story unfolds.  There are delightful character sketches, believable teenagers,  realistic confrontations – and a hot cop!  The tension builds as still more problems are thrown at JJ, and this reader empathised with her all the way.  The author cleverly reveals whodunnit to the canny reader just as JJ gets drawn into the trap, heightening the nerve-jangling finish!

It’s an excellent story, beautifully told.  Full marks to Ms Douglass – more please!

I received an ARC from the author in return for my honest review.

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About the Author

RMD croppedRebecca Douglass was raised on an Island in Puget Sound only a little bigger than Pismawallops.  She now lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area, and can be found on-line at and on Facebook as The Ninja Librarian.  Her books include the tall tales for all ages, The Ninja Librarian and Return to Skunk Corners.   Rebecca likes to spend her time outdoors, when not writing or working to make the schools the best they can be.  She spends her free time bicycling and running, and her vacations hiking, camping and backpacking.

Death by Ice Cream is published on Monday (24th March 2014) and is available on Amazon, B&N, etc.  Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

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Book Review: Death by Ice Cream by Rebecca M Douglass
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11 thoughts on “Book Review: Death by Ice Cream by Rebecca M Douglass

    • 22 March, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Hi Sue Ann! It is a lovely story – highly recommended 🙂

  • 22 March, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Jemima, what a lovely review! Thank you, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    • 22 March, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      You’re welcome! My pleasure, in fact 😀

  • 22 March, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    This sounds like fun read. Very nice review. My favorite flavor of ice cream was chocolate for a long time, but now there are days when only Vanilla Bean will do.

    • 23 March, 2014 at 5:24 am

      I can’t seem to get away from chocolate, though additional flavors (like peanut butter and brownie) mixed in are fine. I’m glad you stopped by to take a look.

    • 24 March, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I prefer vanilla, too – although there used to be a fab pecan and maple syrup by Haagen Daaz – don’t think they do it now, though.
      I’m very partial to stem ginger ice-cream.

    • 4 April, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Christine–and thanks Jemima for writing the sentence 🙂

      I’ve got more plans for that community 😉

  • 20 April, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    TBR’d on GoodReads. Wish I had seen this in time to enter the contest. Maybe next time! 😉

  • Pingback:May I Suggest… | Jemima Pett

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