Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mrs. Malory Investigates by Hazel Holt

Mrs. Malory Investigates by Hazel Holt is the first in the series. Picture the English coast side during the holidays where everyone is exchanging pleasantries; so quiet, so quaint, so…deadly. Sheila Malory is an English matron, widowed and staying busy volunteering her time to various needy organizations. She also has a friend Charles who is relationship-challenged, the fact that he's a workaholic doesn't help matters. Yet, he brings good news with the New Year; he's found someone to marry! Okay, so it's not true love, but the next best thing will do. However, when Sheila meets Lee Montgomery, it's a very icy reception, and it's not just the weather outside that's frightful. Nobody likes Lee. Everyone in the little circle thinks she's a gold digging tramp, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. After the holidays, Charles calls Sheila because Lee is MIA. Sheila agrees to check into it *cue ominous music* A day or two later, Sheila finds Lee, dead and unwell. Sheila feels compelled to dig a little deeper and ask a few questions until the murderer is revealed.

This book was everything Murder at the PTA Luncheon wanted to be. I literally zipped through this book. I picked up book, turned to page 1, and before I knew it, I was at the end of the book. It's similar to turning on your favorite show, becoming so engrossed with the story and wondering why the ending credits are rolling. Luckily for me, it's the first in the series and if the author keeps up like this, I've got a good series ahead of me. The writing style is pretty good and the setting is delightful and the characters realistically done. There were just a few areas where the story became predictable. When I watch Murder, She Wrote, it's easy to figure out the killer because s/he drops that vital clue or makes that verbal slip in front of Jessica Fletcher. When will they learn? I figured out the murderer fairly easily, though the motive was a nice twist.

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