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Picture Perfect Frame–art with a twist

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Picture Perfect Frame

by Lynn Cahoon

Spring has arrived in South Cove, a small coastal town in California. Tourists are showing up, and businesses are gearing up for the St. Patrick’s Day Street Fair and the many festivals that will follow. Jill, avid reader and owner of Coffee, Books, and More, stays busy juggling her personal life centered around Emma her Pomeranian and Greg her boyfriend who heads up the police department. Her staff, including a new member Evie, work well together sharing responsibilities and functioning as a family. Jill’s best friend Amy is a bit of a bridezilla as she sets ups a second attempt at the perfect wedding; her fiancée’s family cancelled on the first scheduled ceremony.

Despite Jill’s acclaimed lack of creativity, she and Greg attend a painting event at the new Drunken Art Studio. Jill is unable to follow the directions that should result in a seascape, but her strengths as a nosey informal investigator are in full display when one of the guests shows up dead at the studio the next day.

Esmeralda, who handles administrative tasks for Greg, is a self-proclaimed psychic and also Jill’s neighbor; she is accused of the murder. Jill is convinced that the laid back Esmeralda, who catches flies and drives them to the mountains to release them, is innocent. Jill devotes herself to finding the real killer. In the process she discovers that some of her suspects have pasts they want to keep hidden as well as motives for killing the victim. Clearly, one of them is a murderer, and the identity is a surprise. There is also a happy personal twist at the end of Picture Perfect Frame that both provides closure and segues into the next book in the series.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #12 in the Tourist Trap Mystery Series. Lynn Cahoon is good at providing background so it could be read as a standalone, but there are a lot of references to characters in previous books. My advice: Go back and read some of the earlier books in the series first. It is worth the time and effort.
2. Includes a delicious sounding recipe for “Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake.”

Publication: March 16, 2021—Kensington

Memorable Lines:

“As a lawyer, a lot of times the decisions the courts made weren’t about the truth. I don’t want someone to die and have the wrong person in jail for it. Or worse, for no one to be brought to justice. It doesn’t seem right.”

“I’ve always heard you can’t run from your problems because everywhere you go, you’re still there.”

“Of course we’ll schedule that lunch.” And then she opened the book and started reading. As a reader, I knew a dismissal when I saw it. I’d done it to others before too.


  1. WendyW says:

    Nice review, Linda. I love a good cozy mystery sometimes. My favorite quote is “I’ve always heard you can’t run from your problems because everywhere you go, you’re still there.” So True!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carla says:

    Wonderful review Linda. I enjoyed this one as well. It is nice she is still adding books to this series as it is the first of hers I started reading. I love the last quote, I can identify with it somewhat.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This sounds like good one, Lynn Cahoon is one of my favorite cozy mysteries authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cozynookbks says:

    Sounds good, Linda, except for the psychic. Nice review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      Yes, I don’t like the inclusion of that and there are coincidences that give Jill pause, but although she wonders, she does not really believe in Esmeralda’s “gifts” or seek them out. She has an employee that is the son of Esmeralda’s friend who is also a psychic. Some people say he has the “gift” too. He (in a different book, I believe) says that he doesn’t that he is just a good observer of people. I like that! The psychic element is not huge in the series, but I understand that it could be a barrier. I generally avoid them too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cozynookbks says:

        I’m not sure why the psychic or paranormal element factors into so many books nowadays. I avoid them. It’s too bad because I’ve had to pass on many books I’ve wanted to read because of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Gretchen says:

    This series has been on my radar. It sounds like a good one! I didn’t realize there was a Pomeranian in the stories. That moves it up my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is definitely one I would like, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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