Every once in a while my husband and I consider moving and often we start our to wonder what it would be like to live in a cluster home community or a senior citizens community. Living in coastal Georgia, we’re close to Sun City, the Del Webb development in the Hilton Head area, and even went on a tour of their model homes a few years back. They were interesting, but we weren’t sure they were quite what we wanted.
Then we went to visit friends who lived near The Villages in Florida, a group of neighborhoods specifically designed and built for people over fifty-five. It was an interesting experience. Golf carts have the right of way and pretty much are the primary mode of transportation. Most of the neighborhoods are connected to shops and restaurants via bridges and special roads just for golf carts and the majority of people seem to congregate in business areas via their golf carts. We were there on a Saturday morning and everywhere you looked were golf carts pulled into parking areas while their owners dined, had coffee, or did a little shopping.
And what golf carts, I might add! While lots of them looked like the ordinary cart you might find most anywhere, some of them belong to people who have gone out of their way to create something that is unique to see, even though underneath it is a regular golf cart just like all the others. We saw some that were tricked out to look like Mercedes Benz limos, some that had fancy canopies with fringe hanging from it, some that even were reminiscent of huge 18-wheelers. If they don’t have a parade for these vehicles, I’m thinking they are missing a golden opportunity.
After looking around, we decided the idea sounds good, until we start thinking about how we would spend our days. We’ve never been big on joining groups and indulging in numerous hobbies, and that seems to be central to much of what happens in these communities. Well, actually ativity clubs and golf. You guessed it, we don’t golf either. Tried it for about a year some time back and Steve was pretty good at it. Me? Not so much. I could never get my ball up in the air, which meant if I had to go over a water hazard or sand trap or something, I started picking my ball up and carrying it to the other side. Finally I gave up all together except for driving…the golf cart that is. When Steve was still golfing I would go with him and drive him around the course. It was fun, but then he hurt his back and you know how that goes.Anyway, we’ve never gotten serious about looking into senior citizen living, but the idea still intrigues me a bit.
I suppose that’s one reason I enjoy the Sophie Kimball Mystery Series by J. C. Eaton. Sophie, Phee to her friends, lives in Arizona close to her mother who lives in a senior citizen community. Her mom and her friends spend much of their time at club meetings or other planned activities. Eaton has used this device as a way to create the theme for each particular book and provides her with an excellent opportunity to introduce humor along with clues through their conversations and activities. Phee’s mom’s latest interest is the pottery club, where she is busy making a platter in her dog’s image. Trust me, you have to read the book to understand. Here’s my review.
MOLDED 4 MURDER is the fifth in the Sophie Kimball series by J. C. Eaton. While it isn’t necessary to read the earlier books in the series as each mystery stand alone, readers might still prefer to get to know the characters and how they relate to Sophie, Phee to her friends, from the beginning. This gives the reader the opportunity to watch the relationships grow. It also gives the reader the opportunity to watch as Phee begins to expand her work activities from being the bookkeeper for a detective agency to doing some of the investigative work..
In this latest outing, Phee’s mother has joined the pottery club at her senior citizen’s development and is enjoying spending time creating in clay. Her enjoyment is interrupted when the instructor for the class is found murdered with a scrap of paper containing her name and the name of her friend clasped in his grasp. Her mother and friends immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s a hit list, and some mildly humorous panic sets in. Of course, they are all urging Phee to solve the mystery for their piece of mind.
From her point of view, Phee has learned in the past these senior citizens are a font of information, it’s just a matter of weeding through to pick out what’s important from what has no bearing on the current case. There is an added element in this book because there is a second murder that takes place in a luxurious senior citizen’s high rise. Phee comes into contact with a number of these residents as well, and it’s very entertaining to listen to the conclusions drawn by the various residents.
As Phee continues to investigate, she is drawn to the high desert where she makes a series of discoveries, although she still doesn’t understand their significance. As she continues to investigate, Phee solves not only the question of who the murderer is but several other minor issues along the way. Throughout the book, the reader can sit back, relax, and read how Phee reaches the conclusion she does. If the reader likes to solve mysteries, then there is ample opportunity for that to happen as well with a good assortment of clues and red herrings.
All around, this is a light-hearted read that is thoroughly entertaining. It can be picked up and read in short bursts if that is what is preferred, but is also entertaining enough to hold the reader’s interest over a longer period of time if so desired. If you are looking for a book that will allow you to relax for one hour or several, this might just be the one for you. My thanks to Kensington Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an advance digital read copy in exchange for an honest review.
Whatever you are doing this summer, I hope you are having some interesting adventures. If you come across any interesting senior citizens retirement developments, let me know. I’m still not sure that’s the right choice for us, but I’m always up for an adventure and who knows, I might stumble across a group activity that is just right for me. Happy Reading.