I mentioned that I got a significant amount of reading done in Eagle River this past weekend, and finally finished a book that’s been on my TBR pile for a long time now: Spider Web by Earlene Fowler, the final book in the Benni Harper mystery series.
Spider Web, like all of the other Benni Harper mysteries, takes place in the strange country-western California town of San Celina, with all the usual, awkwardly named characters: Gabe, Dove, D-Daddy, Uncle WW, Elvia, Emory, Aunt Garnet, Liddie, Hud, Beebs, Millee, and all the rest. Even the irrepressible Tiffany Connors makes an appearance. The premise is that it’s the Memory Festival in San Celina, and Benni’s up to her usual pointless projects when a sniper comes to town. There are a few suspects, including a mysterious woman who seems to be lying to everyone for no reason – I thought it was her, but couldn’t find a reason – and a detective who starts acting very strangely. No one died, but a leading character did get shot (one who I actually sort of like, which was sad), and the way the killer was apprehended was probably the only worthwhile part of the book. I didn’t get the killer, but I came pretty close. It closes with a giant roundup party at the Ranch, with lots of horses and two awkward new family members. Yes, it is that awkward.
The book has a pretty cover, but it is also bittersweet as it’s the last Benni Harper. Fowler has only put out one book since 2011, and it wasn’t a Benni Harper. It’s been five years since Spider Web, so I think we can declare this series officially over, especially with the very final-sounding ending chapter. On to the next mystery series, or to finish either Susan Wittig Albert, Jessica Fletcher, or Maddy Hunter. Or maybe even pick up Jasper Fforde again.
This book review has been brought to you by Gwen Stefani and gee, I’m tired.