Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Importance of Being Urnest

Maggy Thorsen has moved her shop, Uncommon Grounds, into the refurbished train station just outside Milwaukee. In The Importance of Being Urnest, by Sandra Balzo, business has picked up since the move, to Maggie's relief.

New for Maggie is the proposal from her boyfriend Sheriff Jake Pavlik. Unsure whether she wants to get married again, Maggie is agonizing over the decision.

When Maggie meets some new customers in her shop, she wonders how difficult it is to care for two older women. It seems Hannah Bouchard is caring for her aging mother Celeste and her mother's friend Nancy Casperson in their home as opposed to the Brookhills Manor senior living facility. Several other customers of Uncommon Grounds live in the senior apartments and it seems like a good place.

Unfortunately all is not what it seems. A former con man, Jack Anderson, lives there and his brother,
Pauly Anderson, is wanted by the police. He has been spotted at Brookhills Manor and the police are called. Before too long a shoot out occurs and Sheriff Pavlik and two other police officers are shot; Pauly, using his brother as a hostage, escapes.

Suddenly Celeste Bouchard dies and Hannah is left caring for Nancy, but needs to have some money from mother's trust to pay for cremation services. (The cremation aspect of this book is a whole other story and very unusual.) Maggie believes there is something odd in the way Hannah is acting, but she cannot place what it is. When she asks Maggie to visit the attorney with her, Maggie jumps at the chance. Nancy is the surviving trustee, but she is suffering from the death of Celeste and has early stages of dementia herself. When she refuses to sign papers to give Hannah money, Maggie wonders what will happen to them.

This near miss with Pavlik sends Maggy's heart into a tailspin, and when he moves in so she can care for him, there are bumps in the road. 

There is a lot going on in this book and at the conclusion, you will be able to understand the title and how it relates to events. I've always enjoyed the Maggie Thorsen books, but this one was unnecessarily busy with many, many characters and subplots.

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