Springtime Murder: A Cozy Mystery Novelette By Marla Bradeen

Apr 15, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

In honor of Earth Day we are featuring only EBOOKS in this issue. Details at the end of this post on how to get a free copy of Springtime Murder, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

bookPolly Blake and the rest of the Blake family are enjoying the annual Spring Equinox barbecue, until Uncle Larry collapses. The 911 call and the ambulance sirens both mark the emergency, but the lack of a pulse points to the futility. Grandpa can’t believe a healthy man just drops dead and yells it must be murder, but he always yells any Blake family death is murder. When the police’s preliminary determination is that Uncle Larry had been poisoned, Polly is at a loss as to how and why. Polly decides to visit a few relatives with the intention of inquiring how everyone is doing, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask a few additional questions. Everyone had opportunity, so their answers might help to check off the motive and means categories.

This short novelette by Marla Bradeen was delightfully clever, and can be finished in one afternoon, but despite it being short, it is not short on engaging fun. She writes each chapter using the Kübler-Ross stages of guilt to accent her inquires. After “The Murder” and “Shock,” it is very interesting how each chapter seems to connect well to the particular stage: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, and then Acceptance. Marla writes a very capable Polly Blake, a psychologist, who uses her deductive reasoning to weed through the list of suspects from the list of family. The solution did not pop up immediately, and it was fun to try to guess who might be the culprit. The ending was exciting, “Oh, yeah!” I highly recommend this fun little mystery.

Springtime Murder, A Cozy Mystery Novelette earns 5/5 Stages of Guilt!

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Springtime Murder can be downloaded for free on Smashwords. Just set the price at zero when prompted.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Thank you for the Smashwords copy!

  2. Thank-you. Added to my TBR.

  3. Great title – as Spring hits Michigan!

    • Thanks, Lynn! I originally wrote this story for a multi-author anthology called Seasons, so you can guess how I ended up with that title!

  4. Interesting premise! I’d like to reDit.



  1. Cozy Mystery Giveaways: Week of April 17th – A Cozy Experience - […] on over to King’s River Life Magazine for instructions on how you can get your free eCopy of Springtime…

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