Good old Crazy.
I love Crazy. I know I shouldn’t. It’s a small, backwater, two-stoplight one-horse kind of town. (Kindle Edition, Location 42)
I’m also rather in love with “Lil” Littlepage Eller at this point. Sometimes, I think that’s because she is me.
If I tried to apply my own mascara, I’d likely blind myself. (Location 1393)
…highly resistant to things like grace, tact, and ladylike behavior. (Location 21)
And then I remember that she’s not.
What kind of job do you have that you are grateful the worst that happened was a house blowing up? Oh yeah. Mine. (Location 478)
And I’m grateful!
Stone Cold Crazy opens with trouble in Crazy, and lots of it, from Lil’s ex-fiance making an appearance to some idiot (or multiple idiots) setting off pipe bombs. Including at Lil. But that comes around mid-book.
Speaking of later, we’re at the point with this series where I can’t quite dodge spoilers if I’m going to review properly. Particularly since a large part of this book is not just the cases, the Feds stepping in on the cases, Lil nearly getting shot and blowed up in two separate instances, but it’s also dealing with the ex-fiance and, well, the relationship at the end of the last book.
So far, Punk and I were still working out the logistics of being sheriff and deputy as well as people-hanging-out-a-lot. (Location 66)
I’m kind of sad, because while I like Punk a lot, I liked the guy from the first book a lot more. Fortunately, although I’m not a fan of romance-for-the-sake-of-romance in my murder mysteries, this one worked for me in part because the strong characterization continues from the first book. This isn’t a storybook romance, it’s full of irritation and misunderstandings and miscommunication and all the usual messy stuff that goes with two people trying to figure out how in a thousand little gods’ names they fit together — or if they do at all.
But there’s always Boris.
At least I always had Boris. He didn’t care if I was boring, or tall, or a cop, as long as I let him have half the pillow. (Location 1803)
Boris gets less “screen time” in this novel which, given the human cast of characters (Lil, Tom, Punk, two Feds, Aunt Marge and Roger, two get-the-gubbmint-off’n-my-land types, Bobby and Raj and the baby who makes an appearance plus various and sundry other victims and potential perps as well as the ex about whom the less said the better) isn’t really surprising. Though scenes like this still make me glee:
I heard a clatter of claws, mousey, and squeaks, and Boris re-emerged covered in dust bunnies with a furry catnip chipmunk in his mouth. (Location 519)
In the end, Lil spends a little too much time angsting about the men in her life for my tastes, and less than “usual” on solving the case(s). Still, though, like the first three books Hill’s characterization feels spot on and it’s Crazy. Just like Lil and Boris and even Cousin Littlepage, I’ve come to love the place.
Crazy may not be much, but it’s mine[.] (Location 1696)
Well. Ms. Hill’s. But we’re all welcome to visit.