Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review and Giveaway: To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton

To Helvetica and Back
Author:  Paige Shelton
Series:  A Dangerous Type Mystery 1
Publisher: Berkley (Prime Crime),  January 5, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780425277256 (print); 9780698180062 (eBook)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

The New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word…

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

Qwill's Thoughts

To Helvetica and Back is the first novel in the Dangerous Type Mystery series set in Star Ciy, Utah. Clare works at her grandfather Chester's shop, the Rescued Word. Her teenaged niece Marion works there as well. Her best friend, Jodie, is a Star City police officer as is Jodie's brother, Creighton, who Clare used to date. There is still some understandable animosity between them.

Mirabelle Montgomery (a dear friend of Chester's) drops off her old Underwood No. 5 typewriter for repair. Soon after a man comes into the shop demanding the typewriter. The police are called, the man runs off, but he is found dead in the alley behind the Rescued Word the next morning. This sets up the clue-driven mystery that is slowly pieced together with the help of multiple people. Clare does a lot of leg work to find out what is going on and slowly gathers the information that is needed. She even has help from Chester's cat, Baskerville. Shelton does a terrific job keeping the mystery concealed while dropping enough clues to move the story along.

In the midst of this Clare begins a lovely relationship with Seth (a geologist) who has recently moved to Star City. The relationship has some bumps but it looks like (hopefully) that Clare and Seth will stay together. Shelton does a wonderful job with interactions between the characters which always felt genuine whether happy, tense or otherwise.

My biggest issue with the novel is the amount of info dumping that takes place throughout. While description is fine to set the scene I found the detailed description of almost every place Clare enters distracting. In some cases the amount of information given served no purpose and I found myself skimming to get to conversation or action. This may simply be a function of this being first novel in a series.

All in all, To Helvetica and Back is a fine start to a new series. I'm looking forward to visiting Star City again.

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on January 28, 2016. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love the synopsis and review. I'm in on this book, as well, as a fan of Paige Shelton. kat8762@aol.com

  2. Thank you for sharing information about this first book in this series. I'm anxious to obtain a copy of the book so I can enjoy seeing what it contains for myself. robeader53@yahoo.com

  3. This looks like my kind of book and I'd LOVE to win!!

  4. I own six of Paige's books in two series'. I'd be thrilled to add this first of a series to my home library.

  5. I am so looking forward to beginning this new series! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Thanks for this captivating and unique cozy which I would enjoy greatly.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Sounds like a great beginning to this series. I'm looking forward to reading and learning more. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the chance to win.

  8. What an interesting book! Great cover too. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. thanks for the chance to win, it looks great :)

  10. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  11. Sounds a little different---and interesting.