Title: Still Knife Painting
Author: Cheryl Hollon
Series: Paint and Shine Mysteries #1
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Pages: 352
Book Source: NetGalley

“After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky—smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest—Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.
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To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success—until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” …” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

Finding a new cozy mystery series always makes me happy. And to find one that incorporates a new hobby I’ve taken up (painting) and an alcohol (moonshine) I like to sample, well I reckon that makes me as happy as eating a Brown Betty!

Who hasn’t dreamt of being left a big inheritance by a relative? And if it means you have to have a moonshine distillery up and running in 90 days, even better. We don’t get much of a feel for the town in Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon, but I’m sure that’ll be coming in future books in the Paint & Shine Mysteries. We do get wonderful descriptions of the house and all it’s out buildings, along with Lover’s Leap and the National Forest. I would enjoy living in her uncle’s house and can imagine all the animals and gardens I would have fun attending.

Hollon does a fabulous job with the character descriptions, and the puppy, Sandy, is adorable. There is a potential love interest, although in this book it’s not a main focus at all, which is wonderful. It’s been awhile since I’ve read such animosity in regards to the police force in a cozy mystery. It was pretty heavy handed, but it involves high school rivalry and big city/country cops, so it doesn’t seem unbelievable.

There were a few things I wish would have been explored more like the interview Miranda does and her reaction afterwards. It felt like it was just mentioned and then forgotten about. And the fight between the cops was solved, for the moment, with a cute look from Sandy. It’s a lovely thought, but felt like the book needed to be wrapped up, so this was an easy way to do so.

But these little quirks will not keep me from visiting Kentucky again, along with Miranda, Sandy, and all of their friends. I highly recommend the Paint & Shine Mystery series, and y’all should go grab yourself a copy!

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