Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel


Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel
Written by: Melody Carlson
Publisher: B&H Books
Month, Year: June, 2013

A brief summary from Melody Carlson:
With high hopes, Daphne Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it’s not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizable estate to Daphne, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Daphne only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt’s very specific posthumous terms — personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dee’s cats.

And if Daphne thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dee’s life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God’s perfect timing.

My Thoughts:
At her wit’s end with the fast-paced, never sleep, always on the go lifestyle of NYC, Daphne Ballinger is in need of a change of scenery.  When she hears news that her beloved Aunt Dee has passed away, Daphne hurries home to the quaint town of Appleton to pay her respects. But emotions run high when the family learns that Aunt Dee left everything – the house, car, money…everything – to Daphne in her will. But the will has some eccentric strings attached to it if Daphne wants to keep the estate beyond a year’s time. Strings that seem to demand the impossible.

With time slipping away from her, Daphne must make a choice to fulfill the impossible in her hometown or go back to NYC to her friends and job.

Reading Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel was like coming back to home. I grew up reading Melody Carlson’s books and in high school I’m fairly certain there was always at least one of her books in my backpack. 🙂 From the Diary of a Teenage Girl series to True Colors and everything in between. Picking up Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel felt like I was continuing my journey with Carlson’s novels. Even better is the fact that the Dear Daphne series takes place in my age group, being very relatable for me as a young woman in her late twenties. So I really am growing up with Carlson’s books! 🙂

Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel is cute, quirky, and full of energy as life unfolds for a young 30-year old woman. I really enjoyed reading this first novel in the Dear Daphne series and can’t wait to read the next three books to find out what happens during Daphne’s year of fulfilling the impossible!

I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. 


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