FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Entangled Publishing (via NetGalley).
Edna’s world was forever changed when the love of her life died, so why is he very much alive and standing at her doorstep some sixty years later? Suspected in a bank robbery and murder, John Collins was supposed to be her future, and his return from the dead brings revives old feelings and decades-old problems — including someone apparently hell-bent on revenge.
The Verdict: I have to admit that I sort of balked at this one. Having enjoyed the previous two books in the series so much, I didn’t even look at the synopsis before grabbing Just Another Maniac Monday, so I was surprised that the heroine of this story would be none other than our favorite octogenarian Edna. But as much as I love Edna, I wasn’t sure I’d much enjoy a geriatric romance. Probably wrong of me, I know, but it was either a gray-haired love story or a trip back in time — which would remove all the Page Turners characters I love so much! — and I just couldn’t see how I was going to like this book even half as much as the others. Turns out I’m just a judgmental idiot, though, and Just Another Maniac Monday is every bit as awesome as the rest of the series!
Our Edna has quite the past, and it all comes back the second John Collins, her first love, shows up on her doorstep. Decades ago, they fell in love during one amazing summer, but all their plans for a future together were ruined when John died amid accusations of murder and bank robbery. Edna’s feelings for him lived on, though, and as confused and angry as she may be, she’s also thrilled that he’s back, and she’s going to get some answers.
Told in the same style as The Notebook, Edna’s story alternates between events in the now and the story of her past, taking readers back to the summer she went to stay with her “spinster” aunt and fell in love with John. Their romance was sweet and funny and every bit as wonderful and awkward as first loves go, and it was easy to see that Edna always had a spunk and zest for life in her character. But as summer wound down and a storm tore through town, everything came to an end, including the romance Edna had wrapped her heart and future in. The local bank was destroyed, and in the chaos, tens of thousands of dollars simply disappeared. And after a fight at a dance, so did John, presumed dead and leaving behind a murdered friend and a broken-hearted Edna.
All these years later, the mystery is reawakened, not only with his reappearance but also with the danger that he and Edna find themselves in. Rocks thrown through windows, sabotaged brakes, and a car explosion are just the beginning as Edna, John, and the Page Turners try to unravel what really happened in the past and how it all ties into what’s happening now. Edna’s story is heartbreaking and sweet, but her present-day antics keep things lighthearted and fun, and every time I thought I had it all figured out, some new bit of mystery popped up to keep me guessing. For all my hesitation in reading a somewhat different story, I have to say this one just might be my favorite so far!