This guest review by Sal of Reason for Concern: A Mrs. B Mystery is made possible by a review copy provided at no charge.
Reason for Concern: A Mrs. B Mystery
This book was a pure joy to read. It was filled with humor, fun and interesting characters and, of course, an impressive and compelling murder mystery.
Elderly sleuth Mrs. B becomes concerned when a friend from her local senior center turns up missing. No one else in town seems to believe that Alice is even really gone. Of course, the ever-tenacious Mrs. B takes it upon herself to find what has become of her friend, whether she likes the ultimate answer or not.
Anita Kulina’s writing was masterful and addictive. Mrs. B’s character reminded me a bit of a slightly more cheerful Mrs. Marple. That character type– an older woman who ends up, for whatever reason, becoming a crime-sniffing detective, is right up my alley and one of my favorite character types to read. So, it’s safe to say, I greatly enjoyed this novel.
This is the second book in the Mrs. B series, which, if this book is any indication, combines a mixture of a quirky leading lady, zany situations, adorable side characters and a great mystery. I really loved the vibe of the town that the author has created in this series. All of the side characters just seemed very alive and they all contributed to the story in their own unique and interesting ways. The little neighbor girls, Kelly and Blossom were probably my favorite side characters. They were just so cute and spunky! I laughed all the way through their parts in the story.
Kulina really has a way with words that keeps you coming back for more. She uses a lot of description to really bring the characters and setting to life in a way that makes you feel immersed in the story. I certainly hope that she’s a fast writer, because I want to read the next book in this series as soon as possible! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!
About the Book:
- Title: Reason for Concern: A Mrs. B Mystery
- Author: Anita Kulina
- Print and ebook: 240 pages
- Publisher: Brandt Street Press
Mrs. B is back on the case with a new mystery to solve!
People don’t vanish into thin air. Yet no one has seen Alice since St. Mary’s Senior Center had their Supper Club outing on Sunday. As Mrs. B learns more about her friend, the disappearance seems to involve a burglary, an emerald necklace and maybe even a motorcycle gang.
Where in heaven’s name is Alice?
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Reason for Concern: A Mrs. B Mystery Excerpt:
“I’m almost done with the decorations for my tote bag,” Myrtle said when they sat down to eat. There was a big jar of sweet relish at the corner of her tray. It was covered with dew so she must have brought it straight from the Senior Center refrigerator. She put it in the center of the table, then wiped her hand on her pink shorts. “I just need to finish the big red flower for the middle.
They’ll all be so pretty when they’re done, don’t you think?”
Rose said, “Anne’s will be the prettiest.”
“Oh, Anne’s will be so nice!” Myrtle turned to Mrs. B. “Ed, Anne’s got a navy tote bag and she’s putting white daisies on it.” She turned back to Rose. “I like yours, too. That pink and purple look so pretty with the yellow. It’s so cheerful.”
Rose looked pleased.
Myrtle said to Mrs. B, “Thursday morning the teacher’s coming back, she’s going to show us how to glue the flowers on the tote bag. Then they have to sit for a couple days and then we can take them home. So next week we can take them home. I think I might keep mine in my living room. I can put all my ladies magazines in it. That way they won’t be all over the place. They’re all over the place now. If I put them in my tote bag, the living room will look all nice and redd up.” She spread her hands, palms down, to illustrate, then reached for the relish.
Rose said, “It was nice of the dollar store to donate those bags for us to decorate. I bet it was Father Sean got them to do that. He’s a sweet boy.”
“I bet Father Sean paid for them himself,” Anne said, biting into a carrot stick.
Rose looked surprised. “Do you really think so?”
Anne nodded. “I don’t think he’d tell us if he did. And you know that guy who owns the dollar store. He watches everyone like a hawk while you’re in there.
And then he talks to you all nice when you get to the counter to pay.”
“I didn’t think about that,” Rose said.
“I like Father Sean more than ever now,” Myrtle said. “I just love that Irish accent. I can’t understand everything he says but all his sermons sound so adorable. I want to pinch his cheeks sometimes, but you can’t do that to a priest. Why did they give us carrots and celery sticks today? We usually get beans with a hot dog.”
“I expect they were out of beans,” Mrs. B said. She opened her little carton of milk, then turned to Anne. “Alice wasn’t at crafts, was she?”
“No. I asked about her, and nobody’s seen her since Supper Club. Carmella was sitting next to her, and she said Alice got up to use the ladies room and never came back. She figured she must have gone to sit by someone else.”
“People did shift around a lot after we ate,” Mrs. B said. “Don was next to us, remember, and he took his lemon meringue pie down to the far end of the table.”
“People always do that at Supper Club,” Myrtle said. “You want to talk to all your friends.”
“So no one’s seen Alice at all?” Mrs. B said.
“None of the ladies at crafts had seen her. Did you ask the card ladies?”
Mrs. B’s pinochle foursome was the one serious card game at the Senior Center. Playing 500 Rum, especially with ladies who chattered throughout the simple game, held no fascination for her. She much preferred the challenge of pinochle, even if she did have to play with the men.
“I didn’t think to ask them,” Mrs. B said. “But I probably would have seen her. I did ask Old Mike if he knew who she went home with. He said he didn’t see Alice after dessert came.”
“Everybody moves around at dessert,” Myrtle said. The mound of relish on her hot dog had spilled onto her plate. She dipped a carrot stick in it.
“I still have Alice’s purse,” Anne said.
“I thought you gave it back yesterday,” Myrtle said, sopping the remains of the relish with a celery stick.
“Alice wasn’t home,” Mrs. B said. “I think we had the right house.”
“Eleanor Street is so small,” Myrtle said. “I bet it’s the only house with yellow awnings. You don’t see awnings anymore, not like you used to. Why is that, do you think? They keep the house so cool. We don’t need them on my side of the street because we get the morning sun. The other side of the street, they could use awnings. Our porch is nice and cool.”
“Let’s go back up after lunch,” Anne said to Mrs. B. “If Alice was shopping or something yesterday, she’ll probably be home today.”
Mrs. B took a bite of her hot dog and nodded. Anne was right. Alice was probably home. She was probably fine. Today when they knocked on the door, she’d probably be there. Mrs. B took another bite. She would feel so much better if Alice answered the door this time.
About the Author: Anita Kulina has been writing since she was nine years old and kneeling, pencil in hand, at the coffee table in a house very much like Mrs. B’s. Nowadays, she writes mystery books. When she’s not writing, she helps people tell their family stories. Anita’s other books are Millhunks and Renegades and A Question of Devotion: A Mrs. B Mystery.
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A complimentary copy of Reason for Concern: A Mrs. B Mystery was received in exchange for an honest review.