Widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. The last thing she wants to do is attend her 25th class reunion. After receiving a bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school, she is positive that the reunion is going to be a horrible experience. Her best friend practically drags her to the event only to end in Barbie being murdered.
Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact and as quickly as possible. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. Worse yet, her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker, where Poppy finds her.
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 new lifestyle change, Poppy must crack the case before she’s sent to prison for murder or becomes the next victim?
Class Reunions Are Murder is a thought-provoking and interesting take on class reunions and everything bad that happened to us as students in high school. It shows how the past catches up with everyone, even the bullies we dealt with on the road to adulthood.
Poppy is a wonderful, well-rounded character with flaws and insecurities on a grand scale. After the death of her husband, she sinks into a routine of watching television infomercials, eating anything sweet and brooding about life. She is older, with half her life gone and has no desire or ambition to change things. But when she returns home and renews her friendships and confronts the past, she realizes that she still has dreams and wants to start over. Her outlook on life is very relatable for any reader who has experienced the heartbreak and devastation of life’s turmoil.
Aunt Ginny is wonderfully eccentric with an attitude that people half her age envy. She has everything Poppy doesn’t, spunk, motivation and a way of doing things her way regardless of what anyone thinks. She makes readers hope that they are like her when they grow older.
The supporting cast of characters are interesting and entertaining, some of which such as Bebe and Tawnika should have their own series. They are funny and very likable, even under the circumstance of being behind bars.
The setting of the story is described in enough detail that the reader wouldn’t mind visiting and spending time discovering. It is the perfect location for this story, and hopes are that the author will flesh it out more in future installments.
Overall Class Reunions Are Murder is an enjoyable book. However, it isn’t as fast-paced as many would like and is a bit on the long side. There is a lack of real action until the end, and this makes it difficult to keep turning the page. The reader will dislike many of the characters and will have no empathy for those that the writer may have intended to come off as someone you would have compassion for. They might also have trouble figuring out the clues to the killer’s identity. The romantic interests are a bit confusing as the reader is never sure who the main interest is though they will cheer for one over the other.
This book is recommended to anyone who has the time to sit down and read the story uninterrupted, and with the knowledge that not everything will be easy to figure out. That said, the plot is interesting and the story although a bit complex is fun to read. The recipes in the back are great to try!