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Paper, Scissors, Death

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Every scrapbook tells a story. Memories of friends, family . . . and murder? Mousy housewife Kiki Lowenstein has two great loves: scrapbooking and her young daughter, Anya. But her happy family album is ruined when her husband, George, is found naked and dead in a hotel room. As Kiki tracks down George's murderer, she discovers his sordid secret life. Cruel taunts by Geo Every scrapbook tells a story. Memories of friends, family . . . and murder? Mousy housewife Kiki Lowenstein has two great loves: scrapbooking and her young daughter, Anya. But her happy family album is ruined when her husband, George, is found naked and dead in a hotel room. As Kiki tracks down George's murderer, she discovers his sordid secret life. Cruel taunts by George's former flame compel Kiki to spout an unwise threat. When the woman is murdered, Kiki's scissor-sharp words make her the prime suspect. She could be creating scrapbook keepsakes for the rest of her life-behind bars. Supported by her loyal friends, along with a little help (and a lot of stomach flutters) from the dashing Detective Detweiler, can Kiki cut the true killer out of the picture and design a new life for herself and Anya?


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Every scrapbook tells a story. Memories of friends, family . . . and murder? Mousy housewife Kiki Lowenstein has two great loves: scrapbooking and her young daughter, Anya. But her happy family album is ruined when her husband, George, is found naked and dead in a hotel room. As Kiki tracks down George's murderer, she discovers his sordid secret life. Cruel taunts by Geo Every scrapbook tells a story. Memories of friends, family . . . and murder? Mousy housewife Kiki Lowenstein has two great loves: scrapbooking and her young daughter, Anya. But her happy family album is ruined when her husband, George, is found naked and dead in a hotel room. As Kiki tracks down George's murderer, she discovers his sordid secret life. Cruel taunts by George's former flame compel Kiki to spout an unwise threat. When the woman is murdered, Kiki's scissor-sharp words make her the prime suspect. She could be creating scrapbook keepsakes for the rest of her life-behind bars. Supported by her loyal friends, along with a little help (and a lot of stomach flutters) from the dashing Detective Detweiler, can Kiki cut the true killer out of the picture and design a new life for herself and Anya?

30 review for Paper, Scissors, Death

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    First, the lead character, Kiki Lowenstein, came across to me as being too dumb for words. Her husband had a heart attack, or was is murder, under rather questionable circumstances and his business partner swooped in a little too quickly demanding repayment of missing funds,. What woman who has an 11 year old to support would just up and sell everything she owns to pay back a supposed half a million dollar debt. No proof, no paperwork, no anything. Dumb. Second, if you are being investigated for First, the lead character, Kiki Lowenstein, came across to me as being too dumb for words. Her husband had a heart attack, or was is murder, under rather questionable circumstances and his business partner swooped in a little too quickly demanding repayment of missing funds,. What woman who has an 11 year old to support would just up and sell everything she owns to pay back a supposed half a million dollar debt. No proof, no paperwork, no anything. Dumb. Second, if you are being investigated for murdering said husband, why would the lead investigator come to your home and make dinner or was it breakfast, for you? Any episode of Law and Order would show you that this would never happen, and it doesn't matter how cute your great dane is. I am really beginning to question this whole cozy mystery genre. Many of the books are just getting ridiculous, the same plots are used over and over with only the location / business / craft / and pet de jour changing. When I first started reading cozies I loved them. The writers were unique but now it appears that anyone can jump on this bandwagon and publish a book. Sort of like Harlequin does cozies, but without the bodice ripping. The plot is simple. Kiki Lowenstein, a scrapbooking extraordinaire, is accused of murdering her husband, her mother in law thinks that she is now an unfit parent, her husbands ex-business partner is demanding repayment of missing funds. Her husbands girlfriend is making a nuisance of herself, and wants Kiki to make her a scrapbook. Sells her million dollar home in record time and her fancy cars, keeps daughter in private school at all costs, can't have your friends talking about you. Live in substandard conditions, own a dog that is too cute for words, and when that isn't enough, in walks a police detective who will either charge you with your husbands murder or make you a meal.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mom2triplets04

    Started this for #marchmysterymadness readathon. I am a scrapbook addict in real life so it was fun to read something I could relate to. Kiki the main Character works in a scrapbook store. Her husband dies suddenly. They say he had a heart attack. Kiki believes he was murdered. We are trying to find out what really happened to the husband. Caution this book leaves on a cliffhanger. So need to get book 2.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marie Tovaas

    Couldn't put it down! It's almost two am, and here I am writing a review at this hour of the morning. The story creeps up on you as slowly but surely Slan hooks you into her characters. Then there is the scrapbooking. It's not a sideline, it's integral to the story and the solution of the murders. While I am not a scrapbooker, I am a lifelong knitter. The level of artistry in Kiki's work is easy to understand, and how it shapes her life, work, and even her worldview. Read this fascinating book an Couldn't put it down! It's almost two am, and here I am writing a review at this hour of the morning. The story creeps up on you as slowly but surely Slan hooks you into her characters. Then there is the scrapbooking. It's not a sideline, it's integral to the story and the solution of the murders. While I am not a scrapbooker, I am a lifelong knitter. The level of artistry in Kiki's work is easy to understand, and how it shapes her life, work, and even her worldview. Read this fascinating book and fall in love with an artist, a mother, a widow, and most of all, a great human being...with a bullet wound. Now go find out how that happened!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie Jackson

    I adore this series and have been waiting anxiously to read Paper, Scissors, Death ever since I heard that Joanna Campbell Slan was getting the rights back. For many series, if I don't start with the first book, I can't make myself go back because the later books are usually better, not so with this series. Every book is equally awesome! It was great to see the beginning of Kiki's working relationship with Dodie and to see more of her early relationship with Mert and Detweiller. We get the very I adore this series and have been waiting anxiously to read Paper, Scissors, Death ever since I heard that Joanna Campbell Slan was getting the rights back. For many series, if I don't start with the first book, I can't make myself go back because the later books are usually better, not so with this series. Every book is equally awesome! It was great to see the beginning of Kiki's working relationship with Dodie and to see more of her early relationship with Mert and Detweiller. We get the very beginning in the prequel, Love, Die, Neighbor. The mystery is really well plotted but it will always be the great characters that keep me coming back. I have difficulty holding print books so I had to wait for the ebook and I loved it. I finished about 6 am!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Moondance

    Two days before Thanksgiving, a man doesn't think about dying. Kiki Lowenstein's husband, George, dies in a room at the Ritz-Carlton of an apparent heart attack. Or so she is told. The aftermath of his death reveals that he owes his business partner half a million dollars and his mother is the beneficiary of his life insurance. This leaves Kiki and her daughter Anya in quite a mess. Kiki goes from being a part of high society to working at the scrapbooking store she frequented. Bits of gossip mak Two days before Thanksgiving, a man doesn't think about dying. Kiki Lowenstein's husband, George, dies in a room at the Ritz-Carlton of an apparent heart attack. Or so she is told. The aftermath of his death reveals that he owes his business partner half a million dollars and his mother is the beneficiary of his life insurance. This leaves Kiki and her daughter Anya in quite a mess. Kiki goes from being a part of high society to working at the scrapbooking store she frequented. Bits of gossip make Kiki suspect that George was murdered and she begins her own investigation much to the concern of Detective Chad Detweiler. This was an average read for me. Some of the pacing of the story was odd. I found it hard to believe that Kiki accepted the fact that she owed half a million dollars to George's partner yet questioned so many other things. I liked Dodie, the owner of Time in a Bottle. and Kiki's former housekeeper, Mert. Her former friends were pretentious and annoying. It was amazing how quickly supposed friends turned their backs. I didn't mind the budding romance between Kiki and Detweiler as much as I thought I would. Kiki's mother in law was a horror. I felt so badly for Anya every time she had to go with her grandmother. One of the best things about the story was Gracie the Great Dane and the various dogs that Kiki looked after. The scrapbooking tips were good even though I am not a scrapbooker. The cliffhanger ending was just enough to make me want to read the next book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I debated what to give this book. I ended up with 3 stars. There were good parts and bad parts. It started on the slow side, and there were some major editing issues... Several chapters at the beginning were out of order, later, the MC claimed she did something and I couldn't find that she did. Eventually, the pace picked up. I knew who the killer was early on, although I did suspect someone else for a short time. The MC was both likable and unlikable, at the same time. Sometimes, she asked ques I debated what to give this book. I ended up with 3 stars. There were good parts and bad parts. It started on the slow side, and there were some major editing issues... Several chapters at the beginning were out of order, later, the MC claimed she did something and I couldn't find that she did. Eventually, the pace picked up. I knew who the killer was early on, although I did suspect someone else for a short time. The MC was both likable and unlikable, at the same time. Sometimes, she asked questions about things she was told (like not believing her husband's death was just a heart attack) while at other times, she just believed what she was told, no questions asked (that her husband stole half a million dollars from his business partner). I felt for her at times, all the bad luck she had, and other times I couldn't believe she let people run all over her. It was driving me nuts. In the end, I'm not sure if I'd read others in this series. I do have another one that I got free, so I might try it, but we'll see.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Wright

    In love with Gracie Good, clean story. Likeable characters and relationships that seemed realistic.. Kiki's Great Dane Gracie reminds me so much of my beloved Stella, who also rarely barked. In love with Gracie Good, clean story. Likeable characters and relationships that seemed realistic.. Kiki's Great Dane Gracie reminds me so much of my beloved Stella, who also rarely barked.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie Failla Earhart

    Writing is all about writing what you know---or what you are willing to research. Author of at least eight books about scrapbooking, Joanna Campbell Slan mixes her passion for scrapbooking and her passion for writing, and viola! Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery was born. This first book in what appears to be a series finds the rich-but-down-to-earth Kiki learning that her husband George has died naked in a St. Louis motel room. The reader knows it’s murder and not s Writing is all about writing what you know---or what you are willing to research. Author of at least eight books about scrapbooking, Joanna Campbell Slan mixes her passion for scrapbooking and her passion for writing, and viola! Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery was born. This first book in what appears to be a series finds the rich-but-down-to-earth Kiki learning that her husband George has died naked in a St. Louis motel room. The reader knows it’s murder and not something as lurid as a heart attack during an afternoon delight, but Kiki doesn’t. Kiki not only has to deal with George’s two-timing death, but he’s left her without a penny to her name. She has to sell her gold Lexus and find a way to support herself and her daughter Anya. It doesn’t help that there isn’t enough money for the staples, but Anya’s private school costs more than Kiki could possible make in a year. George’s mother is willing to do anything for Anya, but she despises Kiki’s mere existence. Kiki, a scrapbooker extraordinaire, turns to her hobby for income. She gets a freelance gig at the store she frequented when she had money. One of her first jobs is as the instructor at a bridal shower. Kiki makes a supposedly cutting remark to one of the shower’s guests. When the guest, also an old flame of George’s turns up dead, Kiki is the primary suspect. I didn’t really understand that logic as the remark was rather lame. Nonetheless, Kiki not only has two murders to solve, but someone has broken into the shabby place she and Anya now call home. Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery was a fun and quick read. I enjoyed the scrapbooking tips Slan gives. Not a scrapbooker myself, the hobby sounds complicated, but it did not get in the way of this light-hearted, fun cozy. I’m already ready for Kiki’s next adventure. review originally published on www.armchairinterviews.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    Star rating: 3.5 stars When her husband is found dead of an apparent 'heart attack', Kiki Lowenstein knows that that can't possibly be the case. George was found to be in perfect health after his last doctors visit, so immediately Kiki knows something is wrong. But after losing her house and most of her possessions because of George's shady business dealings, Kiki just hasn't found the time to investigate his death properly. It isn't until after George's supposed mistress is found shot to death i Star rating: 3.5 stars When her husband is found dead of an apparent 'heart attack', Kiki Lowenstein knows that that can't possibly be the case. George was found to be in perfect health after his last doctors visit, so immediately Kiki knows something is wrong. But after losing her house and most of her possessions because of George's shady business dealings, Kiki just hasn't found the time to investigate his death properly. It isn't until after George's supposed mistress is found shot to death in a mall parking lot, that Kiki's line of questioning starts to draw some attention... But not the kind of attention she was looking for. This was a cute cozy mystery. It wasn't amazing but it wasn't completely awful either. Kiki is a hard character to pin down. While most of the time she takes things lying down, she's also had a really difficult life and doesn't seem to know any better. It isn't until the last third of the novel that Kiki really starts to come out of her shell and stops letting people railroad her. One of the main reasons why I lowered this novel from 4 stars to 3 was its lack of action. There is a lot of plot building and character development but there's also a ridiculous amount of scrap booking advice. I understand that the main character is an avid scrap booker and works at a scrap booking store... But it doesn't need to be reiterated every 10 pages! We get it, Kiki loves scrap booking! Otherwise the characters were fun, I especially liked Anya, Gracie, Detective Detwieller and Mert. I'll pick up the next in this series sometime and hope it's even better then this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbara George

    Ok some things seemed poorly researched. Like the spaghetti sauce made with a can of paste. The ignorance and gullibility of Kiki to just give up everything she owns and pay someone a half million dollars without some research. Seems like the depth of her reality is in scrap booking only. Good story but sometimes hard to accept how bad things keep hitting her and she just accepts them. I didn’t feel sorry for her I wanted to clobber her with a well made scrapbook.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Kiki kicks it! A terrific book for lovers of a mystery that's well-plotted, nicely written, and has characters who have depth. Kiki Lowenstein is an unlikely hero - a mom with a preteen daughter, a devout scrapbooker, a wife who has been content to let her husband run their marriage, a woman with little sense of her own self-worth. Circumstances push Kiki into learning to be someone to reckon with. This book is the story of how that happened. Not your usual cozy mystery. Kiki kicks it! A terrific book for lovers of a mystery that's well-plotted, nicely written, and has characters who have depth. Kiki Lowenstein is an unlikely hero - a mom with a preteen daughter, a devout scrapbooker, a wife who has been content to let her husband run their marriage, a woman with little sense of her own self-worth. Circumstances push Kiki into learning to be someone to reckon with. This book is the story of how that happened. Not your usual cozy mystery.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    A fast-paced cozy mystery. How low can life get? Ask Kiki who seemed to lose everything after the death of her unfaithful husband. Scrapbooking and new friends are what helped her pull her life together. The characters are outrageous. Which I liked. The twists and turns will leave your head spinning. I didn't want to stop reading. And her rescue dog Gracie the great dane will touch any pet owner's (like myself) heart. Note: The author said this series should be read in order. A fast-paced cozy mystery. How low can life get? Ask Kiki who seemed to lose everything after the death of her unfaithful husband. Scrapbooking and new friends are what helped her pull her life together. The characters are outrageous. Which I liked. The twists and turns will leave your head spinning. I didn't want to stop reading. And her rescue dog Gracie the great dane will touch any pet owner's (like myself) heart. Note: The author said this series should be read in order.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Williams

    Makes me want to give scrapbooking ago Brilliant book. Giving an insight into the hobby of scrapbooking. However it wraps scrapbooking around murder, intrigue, lies and deception in such a way that it makes for superb reading with an artistic twist. Who would have thought sticking pictures in a book could open up a good thriller window. Thank you Joanna. I am eager to start book 2

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allyson Abbott

    An easy read, which I really enjoyed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Couldn't really get into it. Really dated, but not even that old given the publication date. Couldn't really get into it. Really dated, but not even that old given the publication date.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Sappington

    Quick reads! I have read several Kiki Lowenstein books and have enjoyed each one. Really good mysteries. I look forward to the next several!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarahlynn

    Have you ever read a book by someone you know? It's a bit dangerous, because there's always the chance that you won't like it. Or, worse, that it will really suck. Then what do you say? I'm no scrapbooker. In fact, I'm not very crafty at all. I know how to make neat homemade candles and fill jars with delicious recipe mixes. That's as close as I get to "craft" other than, you know, writing. So when Joanna Campbell Slan, president of the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, announced that Have you ever read a book by someone you know? It's a bit dangerous, because there's always the chance that you won't like it. Or, worse, that it will really suck. Then what do you say? I'm no scrapbooker. In fact, I'm not very crafty at all. I know how to make neat homemade candles and fill jars with delicious recipe mixes. That's as close as I get to "craft" other than, you know, writing. So when Joanna Campbell Slan, president of the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, announced that she had a mystery publishing this month, I was thrilled for her, excited to see it, and a little bit worried. The worried part came from the fact that this is Paper, Scissors, Death, the first in a series of "Scrap-N-Craft" mysteries starring Kiki Lowenstein. I needn't have worried. Kiki the professional victim drove me a little crazy at first, as I'm more of a (less hairy) Dodie, myself. But I loved the way Kiki's friends Dodie and Mert quickly signed her up for "Tough Tamales University, School of Hard Knocks" and toughened her right up. "No More Mrs. Nice Guy," indeed. What I'm saying is that I was hooked from the first word to the last. I finished the book this morning, and have spent the rest of the day still thinking about Kiki's life and imagining what will happen next. The characters were real to me, the sense of place was perfect, and the mystery was solid, deftly handled. One of my favorite things about this book was the setting. I love a good book set in St. Louis, and this one was more so than most. It wasn't just the names of the streets and malls: I know those Ladue moms! I loved how Kiki held her flashlight like she was Albert Pujols at bat when she was going after the intruder in her house. I used to live right near Kiki, Anya, and Gracie's "transitional neighborhood!" And, yes, she did manage to work, "What high school did you go to?" into the story. But it's not just local flavor. Slan is a great writer with a real knack for description. When she's depressed, Kiki sees a November sky like mixed concrete. The whole book is full of great little observations like that. And while most of the book is very fast-paced and funny, occasionally Slan slows things down with some fabulous descriptive prose. Witness this image of an early spring trip out to Babler State Park: The earliest spring flowers - jonquils, crocus, and snowdrops - had faded on yellowing stalks. The next wave was gathering courage to burst into bloom. Bare tree branches were tipped in a watercolor wash of celery, celadon, mint, lime, and olive. In a week or two, the skyline would shout hosannah with verdant life. Lovely.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kitty

    I expected to really enjoy this book, and while I found it a bit disappointing, I think the *series* has potential. The good: I did feel that the quality of writing was a cut above the usual "crafty cozy mystery". There were some great lines - a few actual laugh-out-loud moments. And I thought the author did a terrific job of incorporating scrapbooking into the story. It didn't feel like an afterthought - clearly the author scraps herself. In fact, the book inspired me to pull out some paper and I expected to really enjoy this book, and while I found it a bit disappointing, I think the *series* has potential. The good: I did feel that the quality of writing was a cut above the usual "crafty cozy mystery". There were some great lines - a few actual laugh-out-loud moments. And I thought the author did a terrific job of incorporating scrapbooking into the story. It didn't feel like an afterthought - clearly the author scraps herself. In fact, the book inspired me to pull out some paper and scissors myself. The bad: without giving away any major spoilers, the main character has clearly been a doormat her entire life, and continues to be trampled all over for most of the book. I like to see a main character triumph over adversity as much as the next person, but there was a lot more trampling than triumph here. I found myself getting depressed along with the main character, as things went from bad to worse. This woman could not get a break anywhere. It was just too much. That said, I am curious to see where the series goes from here. Everything I didn't like about the book could easily be taken care of in the next one. It was a "good" book... it just wasn't a "fun" one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    I did like this but the beginning was unrealistic. (view spoiler)[Kiki's husband, George's business partner tells her George stole/borrowed a half million dollars and she has to pay it back to protect George's reputation AND SHE DOES!!!! She asks no questions, she just sells her house and give him the money. And not only that but she goes from being a rich woman living in a mansion to a poor one living in a hovel and doesn't complain not even once. Seriously? WTH? What planet does KiKi live on? I did like this but the beginning was unrealistic. (view spoiler)[Kiki's husband, George's business partner tells her George stole/borrowed a half million dollars and she has to pay it back to protect George's reputation AND SHE DOES!!!! She asks no questions, she just sells her house and give him the money. And not only that but she goes from being a rich woman living in a mansion to a poor one living in a hovel and doesn't complain not even once. Seriously? WTH? What planet does KiKi live on? (hide spoiler)] Other than that the mystery was engaging and plausible. I really like Anya and Chad and of course Gracie, the Great Dane. I look forward to further adventures in St Louis with Kiki and the gang.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    this book just felt rushed rushing to put a character in the "scrapbook store" so there could be a page of tips rushing from one day to the next - paragraph to paragraph - to move the action along I get that it's supposed to be a cozy mystery which means it's not about sticking to the details but this didn't have the sparkle that a Diane Mott Davidson or Janet Evanovich does. And what's up with the hairy giant store owner? I really hope that character isn't based on a real scrapbook store owner in this book just felt rushed rushing to put a character in the "scrapbook store" so there could be a page of tips rushing from one day to the next - paragraph to paragraph - to move the action along I get that it's supposed to be a cozy mystery which means it's not about sticking to the details but this didn't have the sparkle that a Diane Mott Davidson or Janet Evanovich does. And what's up with the hairy giant store owner? I really hope that character isn't based on a real scrapbook store owner in St. Louis!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    So, I actually had already read the second book because I didn't realize this was a series. This one was kind of hard to read because a few of the relationships I had already established were being set up, but by the end I was happy. I think it's super cute how the author integrates the scrapbooking into the mysteries without putting it in a way that would be annoying to a non-scrapbooker. Plus, the little tips and tricks from "Kiki" are great to have. If you're a fan of mysteries and slightly g So, I actually had already read the second book because I didn't realize this was a series. This one was kind of hard to read because a few of the relationships I had already established were being set up, but by the end I was happy. I think it's super cute how the author integrates the scrapbooking into the mysteries without putting it in a way that would be annoying to a non-scrapbooker. Plus, the little tips and tricks from "Kiki" are great to have. If you're a fan of mysteries and slightly girly books, then I'd highly recommend this.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Tightly written murder mystery where Kiki knows something is not right about her husband's death but it looks like natural causes to the police. She keeps at it until she can get a detective to see it her way. These are excellent characters and an excellent story. Every time I thought I knew who the murderer was, they got killed or were guilty of some other crime. I did not guess until the end as it was being explained to me. I cannot wait to read the next one. Tightly written murder mystery where Kiki knows something is not right about her husband's death but it looks like natural causes to the police. She keeps at it until she can get a detective to see it her way. These are excellent characters and an excellent story. Every time I thought I knew who the murderer was, they got killed or were guilty of some other crime. I did not guess until the end as it was being explained to me. I cannot wait to read the next one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    This was one of the best cozy mysteries I have read lately - - - until the last line. I resent authors that leave the reader up in the air in hopes of selling their next book. I would have rated it 4.5 but 4 is all I can give simply because of the ending. Read on my Kobo. June 2016 - I read it again while on holidays and thought the same way about it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the scrapbooking tips at the end of the chapters. I look forward to reading more in this series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lou Hoffman

    PAPER, SCISSORS, DEATH is the first book in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery series. They will need to be read in the order of release. There was absolutely nothing about this book that I didn’t love. Kiki and her daughter Anya show admirable resilience after her husband’s death. They went from McMansion lifestyles to “transitional” neighborhoods and living frugally. After that, Kiki is learning quickly at the University of Hard Knocks at the Tough Tamales campus. In the months following George’s death PAPER, SCISSORS, DEATH is the first book in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery series. They will need to be read in the order of release. There was absolutely nothing about this book that I didn’t love. Kiki and her daughter Anya show admirable resilience after her husband’s death. They went from McMansion lifestyles to “transitional” neighborhoods and living frugally. After that, Kiki is learning quickly at the University of Hard Knocks at the Tough Tamales campus. In the months following George’s death, Kiki quickly has all of the downs on the rollercoaster and soon learns that most of the ups involve great friends. Hers are named Mert (previously her housekeeper), Dodie (owner of Time in a Bottle Scrapbooking store), and Chad Detweiller (the hunky detective that just may be more than a friend). There were some glaring odd hooks in the book – who pays a half a million dollars debt without some kind of proof? This seemed especially odd to me when realizing it left her with no means to care for her 11-year-old daughter beyond the minimum wages job a friend has given her. Still, I love cozy mysteries, and this one has crafting in a medium in which I have experience and love. I would love to listen to more of this series (if another narrator is chosen). Narration: The narrator, unfortunately, is Nicole Blessing. She has a pleasant voice, but a monotone delivery. She tries to give different voices, but has only about three voices in her repertoire, so this leads to confusion when there are multiple people in the dialogue. Note: While I received this book as a gifted audiobook copy via getfreeaudiobooks.com, my opinions are my own and are given freely. Title: PAPER, SCISSORS, DEATH Series: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery #1 Category /Genre: Cozy Mystery Recommended for: 12 + due to murder context Listenability: OK for ears Received from: Spot on Publishing (as an Audible gifted copy)

  26. 5 out of 5

    SylviaV

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Kiki Lowenstein Mystery # 1 by Joanna Campbell Slan. This is a cozy mystery book and number 1 in a series and introduces a range of characters and very detailed descriptions of what goes on in the scrap booking world. The story line is same old same old and for me the lead character Kiki did not work; she did not grow up or grow a spine by the end of the book. There are numerous plot flaws and things do not add up. For example the dog Gracie is in 2 places at the same time. The life insurance of Kiki Lowenstein Mystery # 1 by Joanna Campbell Slan. This is a cozy mystery book and number 1 in a series and introduces a range of characters and very detailed descriptions of what goes on in the scrap booking world. The story line is same old same old and for me the lead character Kiki did not work; she did not grow up or grow a spine by the end of the book. There are numerous plot flaws and things do not add up. For example the dog Gracie is in 2 places at the same time. The life insurance of 2 million dollars in the beginning of the book is set up by George with the beneficiary his Mother, this is to pay back the 2 million dollar loan. Than at the end of the book the business partner Bill tells Kiki that George and Bill had a 2 million dollar deal with a life insurance policy that pays the other if either partner dies. All in all I found myself irritated with Kiki at the end of the book and annoyed that the story was not finished. Will not read any more books in this 14 book series. 2 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Loree

    Kiki Lowenstein. Scrapbook class instructor. Not the sharpest tack in the box. The book has a few misses where continuity was lost and a couple of misspellings. Now that we have that out of the way. This is a cozy mystery centered around the hobby of scrapbooking. There are a couple dozen books in the series so this has started out as expected—developing her circle of misfit friends, her diet Dr. Pepper addiction, and her hunky police guy/love interest. Check, Check, and Check. All served up wit Kiki Lowenstein. Scrapbook class instructor. Not the sharpest tack in the box. The book has a few misses where continuity was lost and a couple of misspellings. Now that we have that out of the way. This is a cozy mystery centered around the hobby of scrapbooking. There are a couple dozen books in the series so this has started out as expected—developing her circle of misfit friends, her diet Dr. Pepper addiction, and her hunky police guy/love interest. Check, Check, and Check. All served up with giant helpings of diet culture/fatphobia. Ugh. Seems she might be trying to combat some of that with body positivity but it’s hard to see which side of the tracks she will land on. Since I have the next two books in the series I will probably read them but it’s doubtful I will buy any more. It’s fun to have the crossover between my own scrapbooking and reading hobbies though. It’s nothing more or less than I expected. A good filler between other books. I’d give it a solid 3.5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Williams

    I really enjoyed this book. The scrapbook angle was clearly woven throughout the mystery, but not so heavy that you lost interest in the story. The mystery kept you guessing, with a few miss leading clues along the way. But above the mystery, crafting, and funny characters, what stood out for me the most was a mother's love. Kiki's love and determination to be a wonderful mother was convincing and pulled at the heartstrings. No matter what or how she got knocked down, she keeps going for her dau I really enjoyed this book. The scrapbook angle was clearly woven throughout the mystery, but not so heavy that you lost interest in the story. The mystery kept you guessing, with a few miss leading clues along the way. But above the mystery, crafting, and funny characters, what stood out for me the most was a mother's love. Kiki's love and determination to be a wonderful mother was convincing and pulled at the heartstrings. No matter what or how she got knocked down, she keeps going for her daughter. The other interesting mother in the story is Kiki's mother-in-law. Her grief over the death of her son is also compelling but in a less healthy way. She would just as soon destroy Kiki to get her granddaughter. A few things seem a bit much (blindly paying back the business partner), but Ms. Slan kept the pace moving, and it was easy to overlook. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good cozy mystery.

  29. 4 out of 5

    June

    Well I almost did not like this book and almost put it down to not finish but am glad I did. Sterotypes abound in this book about Kiki whose husband has died 6 months ago and she and her daughter have gone from a very comfortable life to a very difficult penny pinching one. The story comes complete with the evil step mother who will stop at nothing to take Kiki's daughter from her and the dashing detective who makes Kiki's stomach flutter. Not being a big fan of scrap booking I found the details Well I almost did not like this book and almost put it down to not finish but am glad I did. Sterotypes abound in this book about Kiki whose husband has died 6 months ago and she and her daughter have gone from a very comfortable life to a very difficult penny pinching one. The story comes complete with the evil step mother who will stop at nothing to take Kiki's daughter from her and the dashing detective who makes Kiki's stomach flutter. Not being a big fan of scrap booking I found the details of it in the story a bit much but what did make this book shine was Kiki's humor and growth throughout the story. She ends up with a network of women friends from various backgrounds and finds she can stand on her own two feet. The plot is pretty good as well it just gets somewhat lost in the scrapbooking.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shayla Markham

    Paper, Scissors, Death: Book1/Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series Author Joanna Campbell Slan 's first book of her Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series gives readers a wonderful look at the world of serious Scrapbooking! I found this to be quite enlightening. Slan is a great writer! The wonderful characters are fully developed and quite engaging! But, Gracie, Kiki's rescue Great Dane, is star of the story in my view! And then, there is the good looking detective! But, I don't want to give away the story, so Paper, Scissors, Death: Book1/Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series Author Joanna Campbell Slan 's first book of her Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series gives readers a wonderful look at the world of serious Scrapbooking! I found this to be quite enlightening. Slan is a great writer! The wonderful characters are fully developed and quite engaging! But, Gracie, Kiki's rescue Great Dane, is star of the story in my view! And then, there is the good looking detective! But, I don't want to give away the story, so readers will have to read the book to know more about him! I couldn't put this mystery down. It's full of surprises, twists and turns! I'm just starting book 2! Since there are many more books in this series, I'm not certain when I will be finished reading them all!! LOL! I'm definitely hooked!

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