A Literal Mess

A Literal Mess

by J.C. Kenney


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781516108596
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 188
Sales rank: 158,795
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

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A Literal Mess 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous 15 hours ago
Anonymous 5 days ago
Carstairs38 6 days ago
Allie Cobb has returned home to Rushing Creek, Indiana for her father's funeral. While his death wasn't a surprise, it has still hit her hard. She's not prepared for tragedy to strike her small town a second time when the body of Thornwell Winchester is found. He was one of Allie's father's literary clients, and also the father of Allie's best friend, Sloane. When Sloane becomes the police's chief suspect, Allie steps in to find out the truth. Can she do it? This book is more serious in tone than many of the cozies I read, but given what brings Allie home, that is completely appropriate. I never found that overwhelming, and the book doesn't dwell on it. After all, this is a mystery, and it isn't long before we are off meeting Thornwell and the potential suspects. I was intrigued by the red herrings and enjoyed the twists as we headed toward the logical climax. The suspects are strong, but I was really impressed with the series regulars. They have pasts and baggage that brought them to the page fully formed. I'm interested to see how that dynamic plays out as the series progresses.
VWilliams 7 days ago
Yes! A cozy with a NYC literary agent as the protagonist. Her father, also a literary agent had a large contingent of strong clients, but has passed away without Allie Cobb being able to return to Rushing Creek, Indiana prior to his passing. She is overwhelmed with emotion and fighting guilt. Books, authors, their editors, and agents. It's an intricate network of people with whom Allie must now work to help shut down her father's agency, as she'd promised her mother. The story plants strong sentimental ties between the characters who one by one is well-fleshed. Her best friend, Sloane Winchester, lends her shoulder to cry on, but before Allie can get through the funeral for her own father, Sloane's father is found--murdered. The Police Chief happens to be her sister's ex who appeared to be a bully when married to Rachel. Growing up, she was never terribly close to her older sister who now has twin boys. But Allie has made a name for herself in the literary world of New York, can stand on her own, and she has "short persons syndrome." Oh, and also, she enjoys the fine art of kickboxing. Whether this is a female protagonist that exhibits aggressive tendencies due to being crafted by a male author, or it's a subtle expression of her implied New York background and stature, this little lady is no shrinking violet. She is purposeful and methodical as she works through the possible suspects and the twists and red herrings. The well-paced plot allows no down time. Working with a Police Chief who is slightly beyond his element is pushing disbelief, but is explained plausibly. Loved the author's characterization of the mid-west rural Indiana location and the people preparing for the "fall leaf peeping" festival." Allie feels that tug, the nostalgia for the community feeling, friends, relatives, and Brent. 4.5/5 I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read this unique and enjoyable first in his series. Recommended as a fast cozy, easy escapist reading.
KrisAnderson_TAR 8 days ago
A Literal Mess by J.C. Kenney is debut book in An Allie Cobb Mystery series. Allie Cobb is awakened during the night by a phone call from her brother, Luke. Her father has passed away from pancreatic cancer, and Allie quickly heads home to Rushing Creek, Indiana. The day after her father’s funeral, Sloane Winchester (her best friend) arrives at the Cobb house in distress. Her father and famous author, Thornwell Winchester was found dead under the Rushing Creek Bridge. It is a shame that someone killed him just when Thornwell was turning his life around. Police Chief Matt Roberson (and Allie’s ex-brother-in-law) has Sloane at the top of the suspect list which puts Allie into investigator mode. The mayor is pushing Roberson to quickly close the case before the Fall Festival begins and the leaf peepers arrive in town. Allie is not about to let Sloane get railroaded for a crime she did not commit. Allie uses her deductive skills and keen eye for detail to work on clearing her friend. There are various suspects including Thornwell’s ex-girlfriend, a local literary agent and the mayor. The killer is not happy with Allie’s sleuthing and attacks her to warn her off the case. Allie is not to be dissuaded and redoubles her efforts to identify the murderer. When not sleuthing, Allie is keeping up-to-date on literary clients in New York, catching up with her family and friends, and working to close her father’s agency as he requested. Allie also meets local genealogist, Brent Reynolds who proves to be a distraction along with the delicious hot chocolate served up at Creekside Chocolates. Can Allie locate the killer before she becomes his next victim? A Literal Mess takes us to the small town of Rushing Creek, Indiana where Allie Cobb grew up with her parents and two siblings. Allie went away to college and then moved to New York City to have a career as a literary agent. She wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps who ran his own literary agency out of their home. I enjoyed the descriptions of the cozy town which has a new chocolate shop that I would love to visit. There are a variety of characters for readers to like and dislike. The disagreeable residents are perfect murder suspects especially Mayor Larry Cannon. The mystery was interesting with red herrings, multiple suspects and good clues. Readers should have no problem solving the crime long before Allie confronts the killer. I was surprised that Chief Matt Roberson asks for Allie’s assistance on the case and hands over case details plus video footage. I found it be farfetched, but it does aid Allie’s investigation. I was happy that the case was completely wrapped up at the end of the book. There is some repetition of information and inconsistencies. Allie has a boyfriend, Lance who at one point she states they have been dating a year and later says a couple of months. I found A Literal Mess to be nicely written with various pacing. I found the story to drag throughout the middle, but it does pick up again later in the story (could have used more action). I like that the author set the stage for this book and the series by describing the town and various residents. There is a cute tortoiseshell cat named Ursula plus a sweet dog named Sammy who takes a shine to Allie. A Literal Mess is a light cozy mystery with a quaint small town, friendship, a close family, adorable animals, enticing chocolates and a mystery for readers to solve.
WisReader 10 days ago
I love discovering new series and getting to know new characters. This one has added appeal as the heroine is a book editor and want to be writer herself. Having moved from her very small home town in Indiana to chase her dream among the bright lights of the big city, New York City, Allie returns home for her father`s funeral. Sadly, the day of the funeral, her best friend`s father is murdered. The relationships between fathers and daughters could not have been more different but it seems that Sloane, the best friend, has more than a few secrets she has kept from Allie over the years. That does not stop Allie from doing all she can to find a killer, despite her turbulent relationship with the resident city chief of police. Leaving no stone unturned, and putting herself in the line of vision, and within reach of a killer, Allie needs to solve this crime before a Fall Festival begins and before her own bereavement leave is over. Fast paced and exciting, with a wonderful cast of people you`ll want to get to know better. Hang on for a wild ride as Allie has to figure out her future and manage to stay alive to have one.
Anonymous 11 days ago
I received a free copy of A LITERAL MESS by J.C. Kenney in exchange for an honest review. Allie Cobb planned to visit her ailing father, but she set her return for a week too late. Instead, she has to take bereavement leave from her employment as a literary agent so she can return to her hometown for her father’s funeral. Since her father had his own literary agency, Allie plans to spend her time home wrapping up his business, commiserating with family and friends, and catching up on town news. Instead, one of her father’s best friends and long-term clients is found murdered. When law enforcement focuses on the man’s daughter, Allie’s own best friend, as the primary suspect, Allie vows to find the real killer and exonerate her friend. Investigations, confrontations, and peril ensue. I liked this book. If you like book-type cozy mysteries, you probably will, too. #ALiteralMess #NetGalley
CozyMarie 11 days ago
I have been looking forward to this book for awhile now – ever since I had the pleasure of sitting down to interview the author at Malice Domestic. I really enjoyed Allie as a protagonist. She was relatable – broken, yet strong. I love that you can see how her deceased father (her hero) continues to shape her life, even after his death. The story was fast-paced and I found myself saying, “just one more page” many times as devoured the book in about 48 hours. A strong cozy mystery debut for JC Kenney. I can’t wait to see where he takes Allie next!
TheBookwyrm627 12 days ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I like Rushing Creek, Indiana. Ursula the cat and Sammy the golden retriever are my favorite characters. I liked learning about what literary agents do. I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley for an honest review.
ArizonaJo 12 days ago
A Literal Mess by J.C. Kenney was a good beginning to this new cozy series. Allie Cobb is a literary agent in New York City. She left home after graduation from high school so that she could make a name for herself in the world of publishing. She's come home to Rushing Creek, IN for her father's funeral. She is heartbroken as she didn't get to say goodbye but determined to make it up to her family for being gone for so long. The murder of her father's client and her best friend's father has Allie reeling. She promises to find the culprit and return her small town to it's peaceful setting. Mr. Kenney has done a good job of fleshing out all of the characters in this book. I liked Allie and admired her strength as she doggedly pursued answers to her questions. The secondary characters added more depth to the story and to Allie as they see her differently than she sees herself. A quickly paced plot, several suspects, twists and turns that kept me guessing until the reveal. I won a copy of this book from a Kensington giveaway on Goodreads. All of the above opinions are my own.
chefdt 12 days ago
A Literal Mess is the first book in the An Allie Cobb Mystery series. I find that sometimes with the first book of a new series the author will weigh the reader down with an excess of backstory. But, J. C. Kenney, for me, provided just enough information on the community of Rushing Creek and it’s interesting residents. Allie Cobb, a literary agent, has come back to Rushing Creek for her father’s funeral and to help close down her father’s literary agency. After the funeral family and friends gathered at the Rushing Creek Public House to celebrate Mr. Cobb’s life. Allie and her best friend, Sloane, were sitting outside by a fire pit when they heard an argument. When they got in a position to see who was arguing they could see that it is Sloane’s father, Thornwell, and Suzette, a literary agent that had worked for Allie’s father and had started her own agency and was trying to get Thornwell to sign on with her. Later in the evening, Thornwell has another confrontation, this time with his research assistant, Daniel Godwin. The next morning Allie learns from her ex-brother-in-law and police chief, Matt Roberson, that Thornwell’s lifeless body in the creek running by the Community Center. Sloane, whose run-ins with her father during his drinking years becomes a person of interest. Allie, not believing that Sloane could kill her own father begins her own investigation. In addition to looking into the arguments Thornwell had that she heard, she also sees Thornwell’s girlfriend, Charlisa Moody, and his ex-wife, Kathryn, maybe what appeared to be a reconciliation had not been going well. She also is learning more about a genealogy researcher at the local library, Brent Reynolds. Reynolds is new Rushing Creek and seems to appear out of nowhere as Allie is investigating. I really enjoyed this new series and felt it was a well-told and plotted story with a very interesting cast of characters. I’m eagerly waiting for the next book in the series to learn more about the quaint town of Rushing Creek and it’s interesting residents.