Pane and Suffering is Cheryl Hollon's first book in the Webb's Glass Shop mystery series and I enjoyed it very much! First of all, I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl at the Poisoned Pen Breakfast at Left Coast Crime. She and I were both seated at Mary Anna Evans' table and I enjoyed visiting with Cheryl about her books and writing. Secondly, I've always been fascinated with stained glass and glass blowing. Once upon a time, in my former life as a tax auditor, I visited a local shop that created all kinds of lovely glass treasures. And I got to take a tour and see how things were done. Since that time, I've been attracted to glass shops of all kinds. So, this book and series were perfect for me to sample.
In Pane and Suffering, Savannah Webb has come home to St. Petersburg, Florida, for her father's funeral and also to decide what's to be done about Webb's Glass Shop, her dad's store. Savannah herself is a talented glass artist, but she lives in Seattle and doesn't plan to move across the country. She wants to pass the shop along to her father's good friend, Hugh. Unfortunately, Hugh is also found dead of a heart attack. Both gentlemen that work in the shop gone within the space of a few days? Fishy. Definitely fishy. As it becomes clear that there's more going on, Savannah dives into an investigation, using notes and clues that her father has left. Yes, Savannah's father had a former career as a cryptographer and he wanted his daughter to understand what could possibly happen to him. Now Savannah must fend off two unpleasant men who want to buy her shop, teach a beginner's class in creating a stained glass window hanging, and unravel clues. The police are slow to help, but they finally get on board.
Filled with info about stained glass creation, cryptography, geocaching, and even beer and ale selections, this first book in the series has lots going on. I did enjoy meeting Savannah and the people who come to be on her 'team' of sleuths. I'm hoping that some of them will appear again and that we will learn more about methods of creating glass treasures. I guessed the solution to the mystery, but I often do that. It did seem that Savannah was on the fence a little long regarding her ultimate decision to stay in St. Petersburg, but again, first book. I make allowances. I look forward to reading the 2nd book, Shards of Murder, which was recently released. The 3rd book, Cracked to Death, will come out in the summer. I can't wait!
Cheryl Hollon lives in St. Petersburg and is a full time writer and delighted with that fact. She and her husband have a glass studio behind their home, where they create all kind of wonderful glass treasures. If you like watching glass artists create, you just might like this fun cozy.