Clock and Dagger (A Clock Shop Mystery) - Julianne Holmes

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In Clock and Dagger, the second in the Clock Shop Mystery series, Ruth is once again plunged in the middle of a murder. The clock is ticking, can Ruth find a killer before time runs out?

It's just after Christmas in Orchard, MA and clock maker Ruth Clagan is busy with several events, and with troublemaker Becket Green's unreasonable plans.  Just days before she's set to re-open Cog & Sprocket, word gets out that Beckett is planning a book store/coffee shop/corner market/clock shop to rival all the struggling businesses in Orchard.  During an open house event staged to spur local patronage to the town's shops, one of Ruth's employees is found dead and shortly after, another is critically wounded. Can Ruth put the pieces together before it's too late?

Good plot, although I figured most of it out 2/3 of the way through the book. The murderer was a surprise (mostly because they weren't in the book much) and I loved Caroline's intriguing back story and I enjoyed all the random trivia about clocks.   

The conclusion didn't do it for me, though.

First of all, I used to work as an emergency operator/dispatcher and I find it hard to believe that a police department would cancel an emergency call if someone called back to say it was a false alarm.  I guess it had to be that way to set up the damsel in distress ending, which was disappointing. The saving grace was Beckett trying to redeem himself, but I'm betting he'll be a thorn in Orchard's side for a while to come.

(show spoiler)

Although likeable, Ruth is rather obtuse.  At one point, the bad guy says, "One thing I've always liked about you is your intellect." and I snorted.  Really?  It took her until the end of the book to figure out why Ben was in a snit.  

Overall, an enjoyable read, even with all the plot holes.  I like this series enough to continue with it, and I recommend it as a nice, light mystery.