BOOK REVIEW: On Borrowed Crime by Katie Young


Title: On Borrowed Crime
Author: Katie Young
Publication: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 315


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

The Jane Doe book club enjoys guessing whodunit, but when murder happens in their midst, they discover solving crimes isn’t fun and games…

Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle’s private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she’s always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla’s front door.

Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol’s heart condition, the coroner rules Carol’s death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla’s best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend’s name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club’s studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer’s next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.


This book started out super slow for me.  It was the first cozy mystery I’ve ever read so I wasn’t quite sure if this was just typical for all cozy mysteries or not.  Regardless, I stuck it out because it takes A LOT for me to not finish a book!  

In On Borrowed Crime – the first installment of the series A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery- Lyla Moody was the main character, and her Jane Doe book club was out to do more than just read books and eat snacks – some of the members were out to solve real life Jane Doe cases, too!  These murders occured not too far away from their, normally, sleepy little Southern town, and when one of the members gets too involved in the cases, tragedy befalls them and leaves them all asking questions.
In addition to starting out slowly, I also felt the author didn’t do a super great job with character development. I did not *feel* things the way I felt I should with a mystery. There were a LOT of characters, sure, but that doesn’t mean they were done well.  At times, I almost had trouble keeping up with all of the characters, and I found myself rereading parts to keep characters straight.  My favorite character in the book, though she was minor, was Lyla’s grandmother.  She kept things real and had some sass and spunk!

In the end, I didn’t guess the killer, so that kind of made it better in my eyes, despite the slow start and lack of character development.  Because of this, the book redeemed itself a bit.  I’ll try another cozy mystery in the future, probably even the second book in this series.  However, with the size of my TBR pile though, it may take me a while!  I’m definitely not ready to give up on this author (or cozy mysteries) yet.  My overall rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars for On Borrowed Crime.  If you like cozy mysteries, try it out for yourself!

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