Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Press for a free advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Alexis Morgan returns to Snowberry Creek for her 4th installment of the Abby McCree mysteries, and she once again proves that she is not your average run-of-the-mill cozy mystery writer.
As with all her cozies, there is a good and believable plot involving the murder of a spectator at the final movies in the park night in Snowberry Creek. We also have the introduction of a few new characters who provide additional drama, in support of the books plot.
For this book, Abby now has her mother. Phoebe, visiting her from Seattle, and in the brief time Phoebe was there she was able to find a boyfriend. Both Abby and her mother are divorcees, and for some reason Abby takes an immediate dislike of her mother’s friend, Owen. We even are treated to Phoebe’s “canoodling” during the movie, which brings the first hint of Abby’s dislike for Owen, and it all goes downhill from there.
Abby and her mother go to finish the cleanup of the park area and discover the dead body, sitting in a chair away from where the crowds sat during the movie. The police are called in and, before you know it, Owen is the main suspect in the murder.
Phoebe takes an immediate dislike to the local police chief and is harshly outspoken as to her feelings and, to be honest, for most of the book Phoebe acts like a petulant love-sick teenager. But this mother-daughter tension helps move the plot along, and also explains some of the issues between the two ladies.
While the police go about solving the crime, Abby and her mother continue sparring almost every time they are together and because of this Abby never really gets into solving the crime. This is one of the authors strong suits since, unlike so many cozies, her main character is not smarter nor more intuitive than the police, nor does she actively go about trying to insert herself into the investigation. And thus things happen off the page that move this story along.
Owen sits in jail and it is obvious to all that he is withholding certain facts about the night of the murder, and despite Phoebe being allowed to visit him and try to talk some sense into him he still refuses to assist the police. What confuses everyone is that the decedent was new in town since taking over an insurance business, and Owen is also new in town and owns a restaurant and food truck. Did these two know each other from the past, and what secrets are held in a photo that used to hang in the insurance office and has now been stolen.
There is a lot here too keep Morgan’s dedicated fans clamoring for more books in this series, as well as hoping that Abby, Phoebe and the men in their lives will eventually enter into long term relationships. This review was previously posted on mysteryandsuspense.com