Hello from wintery Minnesota! It’s very appropriate that I’m writing this review from here, since Bad To The Last Drop is set in Wisconsin. Authors Deb Lewis and Pat Ondarko are two real life friends who live near Lake Superior. They decided they were sick of reading and talking about everyone elses mystery novels, so they decided to write one of their own. Thus, the Best Friends Series was born. Bad To The Last Drop, a “comically caffeinated caper,” is the first in the series.
Set in small town Ashland, Wisconsin, we’re introduced to attorney Deb Linberg and Pastor Pat Kerry. Pat’s just moved to Ashland to take a sabbatical from her job and to be closer to Deb. Every day they frequent the Black Cat, a coffee-house where they chat with the people of Ashland, including Joe, the town crazy whose rantings about his work for the CIA and his tirades against the government make everyone assume he’s got a screw or two loose. But when Joe is murdered and his Russian sisters ask Deb and Pat for help, the ladies have no choice but to assist. Born with noses too long for their own business, Pat and Deb are two hilarious ladies with a penchant for snooping and solving crimes.
This is the first book for Lewis and Ondarko. There were several copyediting issues which I have to acknowledge since they really should have been fixed before publication, however I can also look past them since they are easily corrected. In terms of writing there were some bumps in the way time transitioned from one point another, and the dialogue was a bit mechanical in parts, but these are things the authors will learn in time.
The voice of the novel was wonderfully realistic and tangible, I could hear it in my head and it was comfortable and refreshing. Lewis and Ondarko have a wonderful talent for narration and story telling. They’re plot was unique and amusing, I could very much believe in these two women with nothing better to do in a small town. I think the novel could have been lengthened and some of my transitional issues would have been resolved. We learned a little about Deb and Pat and how they got to Ashland and their lives before hand, but there is more that could have been explained and had the novel been 300 pages instead of 146, the authors could have had more fun with expositional writing.
Overall I was pleasantly impressed with Bad To The Last Drop and look forward to the second Best Friends Mystery, Too Much at Stake.