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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
With her livelihood at risk, a novice apartment manager clumsily blunders her way through murder, exhibitionists, relationships, and cartons of ice cream in her desperation to maintain her new position in the hilarious sleuth mystery novel, French Vanilla & Felonies (Cambria Clyne Mysteries Book 1) by Erin Huss. Cambria needs to find a job and a place to live, as she and her small daughter are days away from being evicted from their home. Ignoring the fact that she knows nothing about property management, Cambria takes on the new position of apartment manager. Thrilled with having an income together with a home, Cambria figures she can Google how to run a housing complex. However, things don't go as smoothly as Cambria expects. On her first day, she falls into a dumpster while trying to retrieve a wallet and stumbles onto a dead man. From there, Cambria tackles midnight skinny-dipping, public urinating, illegal trade, and noisy lovemaking. The tenants are not impressed with her skills. They blame her for the calamities that have befallen their community and are threatening to move out. The police don't seem to be convinced of her innocence, and her boss isn't happy with the chaos. Believing the murderer is the culprit for most of her problems, Cambria sets out to unmask him.
French Vanilla & Felonies (Cambria Clyne Mysteries Book 1) by Erin Huss is a slapstick comedy involving murder and mayhem. With Cambria, the protagonist, literally stumbling from one absurd situation to the next, the story is laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end. Her personality is lovable, easy to relate to, and quirky. Cambria may be a real klutz, but her clumsy tactlessness mixed with her compassion for others gives her a genuinely human aspect, thus making her a fully fleshed-out character. The story structure is sound, the plot is well-formatted and keeps a nice pace, the story line is engaging, and the story arc is satisfying. The suspense escalates from the beginning and keeps you guessing until the disclosure. All these elements make this a stunning novel and an enjoyable read. It is a fun and entertaining cozy mystery, and will delight those who love amateur sleuth mysteries complete with humor and homicide.