May 18, 2011

Book Review: Running on Empty by Sandra Balzo

'You know,' Tucker said slowly. ' I honestly hadn't thought of it, but you and your mother must be suspects. At least, technically speaking.'
AnnaLise gulped.
He said, 'Has the chief talked to you?'
'Well, yes,' said AnnaLise. 'But...'
'You both have alibis?' (ch. 15)

(from an advance uncorrected proof. Final copy may differ)

Running on Empty (Main Street Mysteries)
by Sandra Balzo
Publisher: Severn House Publishers, April 1, 2011
Hardcover: 192 pages
Genre: mystery, cozy
Source: ARC provided by author
Objective rating: 3.75 out of 5

My comments: A cozy mystery with a Southern flavor, both in its setting and its colorful characters. The novel works to give us a taste of the people and ways of small town North Carolina. This emphasis on place only detracts slightly, however, from the mystery plot that gradually unfolds. Cozy readers will like life on Main Street and the new amateur sleuth, AnnaLise Griggs.

Book description: "While life on Sutherton's Main Street had often been inexplicably hazardous, the day Daisy Griggs siphoned nearly three pints from Mrs. Bradenham during the annual blood drive seemed
to set a new standard, even by the unusual measure of this North Carolina resort town. Answering the summons, AnnaLise returns home to find Labor Day preparations in full swing. But this traditional celebration promises to be no picnic. People are dying and unless AnnaLise can figure out why, her mother Daisy may be next."

About the author: Sandra Balzo is known for her Maggy Thorsen coffeehouse mystery series. Her second series, Main Street Mysteries, began in April with RUNNING ON EMPTY. The mysteries are set in the popular vacation destination of North Carolina's High Country.


  1. That sounds like a fun cozy mystery to me.

  2. Her coffeehouse mysteries are also good, Staci!


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