by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Palette for Murder. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore.
Los Angeles’s Vista Beach may be in the middle of an August heat wave, but the high temperature is not what leads to the hospitalization of the homeless man known as Kit. After being led to Kit’s unconscious body by his loyal dog Buddy, freelance software designer Rory Anderson discovers that her friend had first been attacked and beaten. It’s one of many crimes plaguing the heat-ridden coast, with a series of home break-ins ultimately culminating in murder. While this is the third murder Rory has encountered in just five months, she would much prefer to focus on building her business and helping out at her mother’s store, Arika’s Scrap ‘n Paint.
Willow Bingen’s death may have been the result of a burglary-gone-wrong, but the overbearing owner of the Beach Healing and Acupuncture store had more than her share of enemies. Dating a much younger personal trainer had Willow the target of envious glares by his many jealous fans, although it was Willow’s straying eye that stirred up rumors. It is only when evidence has police focusing on one of her mother’s employees that Rory feels that she must get involved, even if it means butting heads with Detective Martin Green. The two have felt sparks between them in the past, but her legal status and his relationship one had them at odds.
As tourism heats up with Vista Beach’s annual end-of-summer sidewalk sale, Rory finds herself in the midst of the investigation with the occasional aid/hindrance of reporter Veronica Justice, along with that of a new private investigator. Rory’s generous heart and protectiveness have her taking on more than her share of responsibilities, both in clearing Dawn Ogden of suspicion and tracking down the mystery of Kit’s identity. Rory’s best friend Liz Dexter provides ample support and even more humor, not to mention a blind date for her bestie.
What is refreshing about this third in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series is how well the author incorporates Rory into the investigations without making her seem reckless or intrusive. Rory and Liz’s questioning those involved in the mysterious Willow’s life may irritate Martin Green, AKA “Dashing D,” but their queries come at angles the official police may have missed. The California coast comes alive with vivid descriptions, not just of the enviable beaches but of the topics and challenges facing a small tourist-driven town. Readers will be surprised not just with the conclusion, but with how much they will feel invested in the characters’ fates. Clever plotting ensures for satisfaction on many fronts, not in the least of which will be in seeing just where Rory’s life takes her next.
This book was published by Henery Press. To learn more about their books check out their website: henerypress.com.
To enter to win a copy of A Palette for Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “palette,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 28, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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