Coupon-clipping Mrs. Frugalicious gets more than she bargained for.
After Mr. Frank "Finance" Michaels loses the family’s financial nest egg in a Ponzi scheme, his wife Maddie does whatever she can to help keep up the appearance that everything is financially fine. When she starts a bargain hunter’s blog under the alias Mrs. Frugalicious, her website becomes a viral hit with a growing "frugarmy" of budget advice seekers.
While Maddie is researching "frugasm"-worthy deals on holiday shopping for teens, Eternally 21 store manager Laila DeSimone mistakenly accuses her of shoplifting. Then her day goes from bad to worse when Laila expires on the floor. Since Laila was a universally disliked manager, the murder suspect list is longer than Maddie’s bargain spreadsheet. But when evidence points to Maddie as the prime suspect, she must track down the real culprit. Can she uncover the truth before police throw away her get-out-of-jail-free coupon for good?
Includes bargain shopping tips & techniques.
©2013 Linda Joffe Hull (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
As a cozy mystery the plotting and characters aren't bad, although I had trouble relating to the twentysomethings working at the mall. The Piggeldys, a pair of retired circus clowns, and the pet monkey (son substitute), Higgledy, broke that up a bit. The savings "hints" seemed more common sense/general knowledge than anything new to me, becoming a bit annoying breaking into the audio format, but I grew used to them after a while.
Where I had real trouble concerned Maddie's husband, Frank -- talk about your classic narcissistic bullies! She spends much of the book in fear of "upsetting" him, especially in keeping the successful Mrs. Frugalicious site a secret. I wasn't too thrilled with his homophobic disapproval of one of the twins being interested in acting more than football, although Maddie expresses her disapproval of his attitude (to the reader) as well. It was really a dreary pain seeing her cater to his obnoxiousness throughout the book. However ... without a specific spoiler, that's resolved at nearly the end of the story, so that Maddie has the upper hand going forward with a series.
Tavia Gilbert makes an excellent fit as narrator.
This is a nice start to a new series. The characters are likeable and the plot is realistic. There were times when the story dragged a bit but other than that this book is a nice way to spend the afternoon. I look forward to the next book in the series.
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