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Lead-Pipe Cinch: 01/01/23
Lead-Pipe Cinch by Christy Evans (2010) is the second book in the Georgiana Neverall mystery series. Georgiana as the apprentice has the worst parts of the plumbing jobs, including digging out the trenches to lay wiring and water under a moat being built at a mega mansion site. She then finds herself accused of murder when her ex-lover and business partner ends up dead in that very trench.
It's fairly typical of a mystery — especially a cozy mystery — to set the scene in an obvious enough way to know who is going to be murdered. Some even go far enough to broadcast who the prime suspect will be. Even others, like Columbo will show you the murder and let you enjoy watching the lieutenant play with his quarry.
But there are ways to do it. There's a certain finesse required. Just like romances have conventions, so do mysteries. Lead-Pipe Cinch tries to set up the murder of the ex-boyfriend but it's done in such a clunky way that it comes off more like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Meaning, that by the time he was dead in the expected spot, I was actually surprised when the author didn't pull another "just kidding."
There isn't much to the meat and bones of this mystery. It's short by more recent standards (by about fifty to seventy pages). And much of what's left is actually padding in the form of the main character feeling embarrassed by losing her company after going public.
The fact that the company is still around and still apparently healthy should be something to be proud of. It calls into question her reason for going home to become a plumber. This could have been about her coming home to parlay her success to start a small tech boom in her small town.
The third and final volume is Drip Dead