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The Overlook Murder–police procedural with a view
The Overlook Murder
by Patrick Kelly
Bill O’Shea was a big-city police detective. He has retired and is settling into his new home in the mountain resort of Wintergreen. His condominium is near the condo of Cindy, his new girlfriend. In The Overlook Murder by Patrick Kelly, Bill is helping Cindy with her catering business. She has been hired to provide meals and refreshments for a small group event for a wealthy businessman, Damian Susskind, at his mountain retreat.
All goes well until some of the guests go on a hike, starting a spiral of deadly events. Was the fall off a cliff an accident, the result of a medical event, or a murder? Everyone at the house that day is a suspect including Bill. Bill, nevertheless, is asked to assist in the investigation that becomes a combination of medical forensics, intense interviews, old-fashioned searches, and astute reasoning.
The book is written in short chapters, and the author excels in providing hooks that draw the reader into the next chapter. It is a page turner. The author is also skillful in descriptive writing that makes you feel you are in the scene.
As Bill and the local officers dive into the investigation with interviews and research, we learn more about the backgrounds and personalities of the guests and of the investigators. By the end of the book you know details about Bill and Cindy and their ex-spouses. Cindy’s son Justin has a major career decision as does his new girlfriend Maggie. All of the guests have complicated relationships with the host and motivations for murder. A little humor is added with Bill’s efforts to befriend Mr. Chips, a groundhog.
I have not read the first book in the series. It was referred to a number of times in The Overlook Murder as many of the characters had met in The Mountain View Murder. I did not feel I missed anything in the current book. I’m looking forward to reading about the adventures Bill encounters in the next police procedural Murder in White.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Notes: #2 in the Wintergreen Mystery Series, but can be read as a standalone.
Publication: June 4, 2022—Chaparral Press
But if the prosecuting attorney couldn’t make a case, the true cause of death would remain a mystery, perhaps for all time. Which was part of the job. If you couldn’t deal with uncertainty, you shouldn’t become a homicide detective.
After a quick dinner, Bill strolled onto his balcony to watch the approaching storm. Wind rushed up the mountain and eerily moaned as it fought for entrance to closed windows and doors. Lightning flashed in the Rockfish Valley.
Bill wrestled with where to take the conversation. Secrets were like hidden fruit in a tree. Sometimes if you shook the trunk, the juicy facts would fall out.
A Cowgirl’s Secret–sacrificing for family
A Cowgirl’s Secret
by Melinda Curtis
I recently had a three book marathon with The Mountain Monroes, reading books #7, 8, and 9 which were all published in 2021. Today I finish up my reviews for them. I hope you enjoyed visiting Second Chance, Idaho, as much as I did. There are some more members of the Monroe clan that we have yet to meet; I am looking forward to 2022 and more clean love stories with an emphasis on family, making your way, and finding your place.
This heartwarming romance is full of complications—one of the legacies of Harlan Monroe, head of the wealthy Monroe family. Wanting his grandchildren to be independent, Harlan’s stipulations in his will ensured they would have to find their own way in the world, not relying on his money.
In A Cowgirl’s Secret, we meet more of the Monroes as they come to Second Chance at the beckoning of Shane Monroe who wants to influence their vote in a decision about the little town’s future. Bentley Monroe, reticent, but a mechanical genius and racing boat designer, arrives. Everyone is mystified by the magnetic attraction he holds for kids and animals. Cassie Diaz, recovering from being trampled by a rodeo bull, is certainly not immune to his spell as he caringly steps in when her health fails while she is responsible for two precious children whose father, Tanner, is out of town. It seems everyone has money issues, and the mysterious Tanner’s arrival just stirs the pot as he claims to be a Monroe.
Two more Monroes are introduced. One plays an important role and the other a minor one. Their identity should be kept secret until you read the book because therein lies a major plot twist. Meanwhile, if you are following this series, you will be happy to know that a lot of the Monroes who have been featured in previous books have a supporting role in this one.
The Mountain Monroes Series is a fun, clean, and relaxing tale spun out by author Melinda Curtis over a set of books that features each of the twelve cousins. I have looked forward to each one of them; Curtis intends for readers to be able to jump in anywhere and enjoy the story and characters. If you like second chance stories, then you won’t regret a visit to Second Chance, Idaho.
I would like to extend my thanks to Melinda Curtis for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #9 in The Mountain Monroes Series, but works quite well as a standalone.
Publication: September 28, 2021—Harlequin Heartwarming
The ranch smacked of faded dreams and the faint whiff of desperation.
He tasted the bitterness of being cast aside, overlooked, ignored. That was the fate of the lone Monroe who considered every word before speaking, who didn’t tell jokes with any skill and was content to be part of the crowd rather than compete to be a leader of it.
But if voices were raised, feelings invariably got hurt no matter how much you loved someone.
Yeast of Eden–secrets in Wildwood cove
Yeast of Eden
by Sarah Fox
The Flip Side is Wildwood Cove’s favorite place for breakfast with hours extending until 2:00 PM. Now Waffle Kingdom, owned by obnoxious former resident Wally, is opening up to challenge that position. Owner Marley is determined to keep that from happening by continuing great, friendly service and delicious, creative dishes. Marley doesn’t worry for long as she discovers Wally’s body in his restaurant and her own chef there as well. Certain that Chef Ivan, although formidable, is not a murderer, Marley sets out to prove his innocence by finding out who really killed Wally.
Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox also contains an interesting subplot in the form of a local town mystery: the story of two dead young women and a missing mayor’s son. Marley, who obviously is addicted to amateur sleuthing, determines to solve this cold case as well.
Readers will enjoy following Marley as she pursues various leads in both cases while getting to know various interesting townsfolk who populate Wildwood Cove. There are a lot of people with strong motivations as no one actually likes Wally. After a second death, you have to wonder if Marley will discover the killer before there are even more victims.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: # 4 in the Pancake House Mystery Series but works well as a standalone. She has included some yummy recipes in the back.
Publication: October 30, 2018—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)
“My eyes are more dull gray than blue.” His arms snaked around my waist from behind and he kissed the side of my neck. “There’s nothing dull about them. They’re like the ocean. Sometimes stormy gray, sometimes blue, and always full of depth.”