Friday, February 2, 2018

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Class Reunions Are Murder

Class Reunions Are Murder
By Libby Klein
A Poppy McAllister Mystery #1
Kensington, 2018


For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event...

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

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My thoughts

To say that Class Reunions Are Murder is a great cozy mystery really doesn’t do it justice, for this story is refreshingly different and stands out in its genre. All the key traditional elements – humor, small-town setting, amateur protagonist, ensemble cast, murder investigation – are beautifully blended into something special with the creative genius hand of author Libby Klein.

Best of all is the lead character, Poppy McAllister, who captured my heart immediately and lives on in my mind. Grieving over the death of her husband six months earlier and dealing with a controlling mother-in-law at the same time, Poppy’s coping mechanism was unhealthy food and mindless TV, resulting in an obvious weigh gain – and then comes the unthinkable class reunion invitation, bringing back a flood of unpleasant memories. Especially in the beginning pages, I loved how elements of women’s fiction are used to cement the characters and backstory.

Cape May, NJ
(Robert Finale, artist)
Another strong suit of this story is the delightful humor throughout. I’d love to meet the author, for she must be a hoot. I constantly had a smile on my face as I read, often laughing out loud.  Poppy’s Aunt Ginny is precious, an eccentric older lady trying to prevent social services from taking control of her life. And then there’s Poppy’s cat, Figaro, one of the funniest fictional kitties I’ve ever seen.

New Jersey’s Cape May setting is vividly conveyed, a place I’d love to visit. If I were writing this story, the murder victim is someone I’d definitely want to kill off. Suspects are plenty and guilt was not obvious to me. Also impressive to me is the depth of character development throughout, more than is usually found in this type of novel.

Class Reunions Are Murder is a wonderful beginning to what I hope becomes a long series. Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash.

She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.





  1. Class reunions can strike fear in the hearts of grown-ups. I've never been to one of my high school or college reunions, but I love hearing/reading about them.

  2. Book looks good!

    Faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  3. Sounds like a great book congratulations.

  4. Never had a class reunion that I knew about.