Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review - Good, Clean, Murder (A Plain Jane Mystery)

Well here is my promised review of a new Cozy Mystery Series by Traci Tyne Hilton due for release whenever Traci says so, but it will be soon. The series is called Plain Jane Mystery and the first entry is entitled Good, Clean Murder.
Okay let’s get the disclaimers out of the way. I was provided a free copy of the book by the author for review purposes. I liked the book. Now it is also true that I have new covers for my books, and they are way cool (look under Cozy Book Store). Traci did them for me only because my previous book covers were truly pathetic and she loves to make book covers. I love to read and I needed a reading fix.
Just so you know, on with the review!
Jane Adler has a lot going for her. She’s hardworking and running her own cleaning service called Plain Jane’s Good Clean Houses. She has an apartment with a roommate. She’s attending Bible College to advance her ambitions towards becoming a missionary, and has met a wonderful man there with boyfriend potential. Ultimately though, Jane truly wants God’s Will for her life.
One problem, she’s 20 years old and thinks she knows everything.
Consequently over the past two years when her parents moved out of state and Jane decided to stay behind in Portland she made a series of bad decisions. All of which are now coming back on her at the same time. In a matter of days she will find that she’s homeless due to her less than ethical roommate, the man she’s attracted to is a teacher which may get her kicked out of school, and that may not even matter as the certificate she has worked so hard for is probably worthless.
Well at least her business is going well. That is until she finds one of her clients, the wealthy owner of Roly Burgers, in his bed, dead, with his wife in same condition in the master bathroom. And it’s payday!
Jane is having a tough week.
If that all sounds very entertaining it’s because it is, and yes I liked this book a lot. Jane is a heroine we can all relate to because if we are honest we have all been in her position. Young, making mistakes, okay a lot of mistakes, and learning the hard lesson (hopefully) that wanting God’s Will in your life is not the same thing as allowing God to do His Will in your life.
You see Jane has habit of doing first and praying later. God always comes through, not always the way she wants just the way she needs. Trouble is that Jane doesn’t always, scratch that, hardly ever, scratch that, NEVER listens to Him until it’s too late. She’s repentant, but she’s not as willing to let Him have control over her destiny as she would like to believe.
Jane’s misadventures are hilarious, especially when she decides she’s going to play detective and find out just who killed her employers. If anyone did. They could have been done in by one too many Roly-Poly burgers. She’s aided in this endeavor, when she can get him to pay attention, by her deceased employer’s son and former classmate the lackadaisical Jake Crawford. Who she finds herself a little too interested in despite the fact that he definitely Mr. Wrong.
Oh those bad boys, even Christian girls have a soft spot for them. Well, he’s not that bad, just lost.
During the subsequent “investigative” process, Jane manages to clear all of her suspects and is no closer to solving the crime than when she started. If there was a crime, remember those burgers. You will groan, in a good natured way, at Jane’s varying degrees of competence and naiveté. Jake too is surprising helpful, when he had a mind to do so. He may be lazy and have a lot bad habits but he really likes Jane. A lot.
Not to be forgotten is the ever steadfast and good looking Isaac Daniels, the teacher who almost got Jane kicked out of school. A lapse in judgment, nothing malicious about it because he also likes Jane. A lot. He is supportive, shares her faith, gives very good advice regarding the investigation, and tries to steer her towards more realistic life goals. Advice Jane can understand, but doesn’t agree with. Remember, listening is a skill she needs to improve on.
Jane does eventually solve the crime, yes there is a crime, but that is due more to luck, or the hand of God, then her deductive skills. Well she’s new to it, and besides how could she have foreseen all of the roadblocks that came her way?
Like her parents riding to rescue, the over enthusiastic fast food protestor that gets her father arrested, the roommate issue that just will not go away, trying to get her mind on the right man and off the wrong one, or the troubles with her car, not all of them mechanical.
Welcome to Jane Land, sit back enjoy the ride.

Mystery and adventure writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. A big secret from her past, which is not so secret anymore, is that she used to a major comic book geek. Nowadays she loves to crochet, but she is still a big fan of the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Cindy posts on her own blog called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales at as well as The Cozy Mystery Magazine on
Her Facebook Authors Page is located at


  1. The review and cover are outstanding! Good job to you both, ladies. Cindy - absolutely love your new covers!

    ~Nancy Jill

  2. Thanks Nancy! I've finished formatting, and giving it one final read through. The launch party is scheduled for March 2nd, but I may have a "soft launch" shortly before that! I'm itching to get it out there and get back to the sequel! And thank you Cindy, what a smashing review. : )

  3. Hi Nancy! Glad you like the review and the covers! Yes! I feel like a real writer now.
    Thanks again for the help Traci, glad you liked the review because I really liked the book.

  4. This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. You ladies are great. :D


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