Just Killing Time (Clock Shop #1) by Julianne Holmes (Berkley Prime Crime mass market, 6 October 2015).
Ruth Clagan is on the way to visit to her grandfather, from whom she's been estranged for five years. when she receives a message that he has passed away. Upon her arrival at the office of his lawyer in Marytown, Massachusetts, she learns that she has inherited his clock shop, The Cog & Sprocket, in the nearby small town of Orchard.
Ruth is, of course, stunned. She's even more shocked when she hears that it's possible that Grandpa Thom's death might have been a murder related to a break-in at his shop. Not only that, but it wasn't the first time the shop had been robbed.
Determined to make up for instigating the estrangement by finding the burglar and the killer, she moves into the apartment above the shop, even though she's not sure whether she'll stay. Refamiliarizing herself with the town where she spent much of her childhood is emotionally challenging. Not all of her old friends are still around, and those that are have changed. The town itself is in a state of flux; nobody's sure whether or not it will survive.
Julianne Holmes captures the pluses and minuses of small-town life perfectly (and yes, I type from experience). I adore Ruth, who is not afraid to do what she loves.
You'll want to read this captivating book in one sitting!
The publisher has generously offered a copy of Just Killing Time to one of my readers. Please comment below by 12:01 a.m. on October 26, and don't forget to include an email address where I can contact you if you win. Entries from the U.S. only, please.
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of the book.