by Ilsa Evans
Plot Summary:Welcome to the sleepy town of Majic, where neighbourhood watch is a killer …
For Nell Forrest, life in the little town of Majic is not going smoothly. One of her five daughters has just swapped university for fruit-picking, another is about to hit puberty, while a third keeps leaving aggrieved messages on the answering machine. On top of all this, her mother is infuriating and it's only been a matter of months since Nell lost her husband of twenty-five years. It's no surprise, then, that she is even struggling to write her weekly column.
But the floodgates of inspiration are about to swing open, almost knocking her out in the process. Murder and mayhem, arson and adultery, dungeons, death threats and disappearances are just around the corner. Despite Nell's abysmal aptitude for investigative work, she manages to shine the light on the local Richard III Society and that's when things really start to heat up. Throw in some suspicious widows, nosy neighbours, a canine witness, plus a detective who is getting a little closer than he should, and it's clear that nefarious doings are well and truly afoot.
Review:Nell's dysfunctional family is the highlight of this book for me. Their shenanigans brings out so much humor and sometimes touching family interactions, that I somehow felt closer in empathy with the main character, Nell. Nell is a wonderfully imperfect character that you want to see grow throughout this story. She needs to deal with a lot and it's both fun and very relatable to read about her problems.
The mystery itself was also very well done. There's a myriad of suspicious characters, and when they are all neighbors, of course they would be! This story has a great mix of quirky and realistic characters which helps to keep the reader interested in all the little dramas that come out because of the murders. And because there are so many different dramas it's difficult to decipher which one is important. (Although the reveal of the murderer wasn't quite as surprising to me - there were a few narrative red herrings that really just pointed me towards the murderer.)
This promises to be the start of a fun mystery series, with a quirky, sarcastic lead in Nell Forrest, and I really enjoyed diving into the mystery. It might not be wholly original, but it is still very entertaining and I'd recommend this book to all cozy mystery fans!
I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.