Monday, April 11, 2022

Book Review: Clause & Effect by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Clause & Effect (Deadly Edits, #2)Clause & Effect (Deadly Edits Mystery #2). Kaitlyn Dunnett.  Kensington (2019). 288 pages. Genre: Cozy Mystery.

First Line: "'Oh, no.  You're not roping me into this.'"

Summary:  Mikki Lincoln is settling into her life in Lenape Hollow.  She has a few clients, she has connected with old friends and she is getting to know her neighbors.  The board of directors of the historical society are planning a quasquibicentennial celebration including the reenactment of a historical pageant that was written and performed for the town's bicentennial.  The board would like Mikki to take a look at the script and update it.  She is reluctant because of the time it would take away from her own work, but finally agrees.

The only copy of the pageant is kept at the historical society, so Mikki must do her work on it there.  The historical society building is having some construction work done which makes it difficult to concentrate.  Part of a wall collapses and out rolls what appears to be human remains.  Since Mikki was an eyewitness to the accident, she is questioned by Detective Hazlett.  She also feels a connection to the unknown person who ended up in the wall.  Her work on the pageant gives her an excuse to begin asking some questions.  

My thoughts:  I really enjoy Kaitlyn Dunnett's writing style.  It is clever and crisp.  She includes the right balance of dialogue and description.  With this series she has created some very likeable characters.  

Mikki Lincoln has returned to the town she grew up in.  She left after high school and has only recently returned.  She is now in her seventies and was recently widowed.  She is realistic, funny and caring.  It has been fun to watch her renewed relationship with her best friend from high school grow and flourish.  Darlene Uberman and her husband, Frank, have welcomed Mikki into their lives.  Another friend from high school days that Mikki connects with is Ronnie North.  Here's how Mikki describes her relationship with Ronnie:

"In high school, when Ronnie was the bane of my existence, I had a tendency to shrink into myself or scuttle away rather than stand up to her bullying."

Keeping that in mind, it was great to see them interact so many years later.  Some things never change, but maturity allows Mikki to not only tolerate Ronnie, but actually begin to feel some camaraderie with her.  

The mystery of the body in the wall is not easy to make progress on.  After all, it is difficult to extract DNA from an old corpse.  But, small clues come up here and there as Mikki begins talking with people.  Detective Hazlett is a good detective and Mikki always fills him in on anything she learns.  In fact, he is okay with her asking questions because of the unique position she is in.  Once the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together the pace really picks up.  The culprit was a surprise and I loved the way it all wrapped up.

I really enjoyed the descriptions and bits of history about the Catskill region of New York.  The author lives in the area and that knowledge comes through in her writing.  An added bonus at the end of the story is a section titled, "A Random Selection from 'The Write Right Wright's Language and Grammar Tips' by Mikki Lincoln".  It includes some clever sentences using words often confused.  

I look forward to catching up with Mikki again in the next book.


"'From your mouth to God's ear.' I was in a much better mood when I left the hospital room, in part because of Audrey's choice of words.  I hadn't heard that expression since I was a teenager.  It brought back a lot of good memories."

"My grandfather - not the one with an interest in family history, the other one - had always snacked on the same thing before he went to bed.  He crumbled a handful of saltines into a glass of milk and ate the result with a spoon."


  1. I have enjoyed this series, and I really like Mikki.

  2. Great review and reminder for me of this series. I have read two and enjoyed them, but I missed out on this one. I need to add it to my list.

    1. This is a good series. Glad to hear you have enjoyed it.