by Kathleen Costa
This week we have another new book by prolific mystery writer Kathi Daley. We also have a fun guest post Kathi after the review. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of First Case, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
First Case Writers Retreat Mystery series by Kathi Daley
Review by Kathleen Costa
Jillian Hanford has made a temporary arrangement to take over her half-brother’s resort on Gull Island, manage renovations and turn it into a writer’s retreat. Several authors have already moved in with long-term leases taking advantage of the conducive environment for writing and unique collaborations. Have a murder needing to be solved? Talk it out with another author or gather everyone together…seven heads are better than one. Today’s topic is the recent death of Katrina Pomeroy, suspiciously occurring on the eleventh anniversary of the Friday the Thirteenth Massacre. Learning she is one of five survivors of the massacre and the killer had never been caught makes this story a hot topic.
Jillian is a freelance investigative reporter hoping to turn this into a ‘human interest’ story and use it to get back to the life she left in New York. She understands the importance of collaboration, so she heads over to Sheriff Savage’s office and makes a deal…one of those ‘quid pro quo’ deals, attached to the caveat that she could not guarantee favorable reporting without his input. He reluctantly agrees. So, Jillian is off to interview the remaining survivors to verify events and try to reach a conclusion about what happened eleven years ago and why Katrina is the latest victim. Jackson Jones, a very successful writer and new owner of the Gull Island News, offers his assistance and…a hint of romance? Jill gets more questions than answers which is further complicated when she receives a cryptic note, “Leave well enough alone.”
This just may be Kathi Daley’s best ever! Fans got their first glimpse of Gull Island and some of its inhabitants reading “Treasure in Paradise” from the Tj Jenson Paradise Lake Mystery series, but newbies need not shy away because, although “Treasure in Paradise” is a book I highly recommend, it is in no way a prequel to this series. Fans and newbies are in many ways starting out equal and are brought up to speed with the background provided about the characters in a prologue-style introduction: The Writers, Townsfolk, The Victims and Suspects. It is organized in much the same way a writer would organize their details when writing a book.
This first book in Kathi Daley’s new Writers Retreat Mystery series is thrilling! I greatly enjoyed the camaraderie between the authors (millennials to retirees) gathering together to map out the clues, notes, and news articles relying on their individual strengths. And what a great character twist having Blackbeard the parrot in a clue-revealing role! He provided such clues in a puzzling manner…ya know, bird speak, that I was racking my brain trying to uncover what all the squawking could mean. The mystery brilliantly wove together two murder investigations: the eleven-year old cold case dubbed the Friday the Thirteenth Massacre and the current suspicious death of one of the survivors. The links had me looking closely at the characters until…”Oh, no! I didn’t see that coming!” end. “Second Look” is set to release on July 4.
First Case earns 5/5 Cryptic Notes!
A New Series
By Kathi Daley
I get so excited when a favorite author pens a new series: new characters, new dynamics, new places, new mysteries. I approached Kathi Daley to find out how a new series pops up.
Developing a new series usually comes from a specific idea or desire. In my case it is usually spontaneous, and in most cases the first book in the series wants to write itself. I have found that for me developing a new series tends to be setting based. For example, I had visited the San Juan Islands a few years ago and fell in love with the simplicity of island life. I wanted to write a series set in the islands so the Whales and Tails Series was born. The idea for my Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery Series came about on a snowy winter day when I found myself longing for some sun and sand. I decided to take a mental vacation and jotted down the first chapter for Murder at Dolphin Bay and then just kept going.
As for the Writer’s Retreat Series, Gull Island and its inhabitants were created as a backdrop for Treasure in Paradise, a book in the Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Series, when Tj went to the South Carolina for her summer vacation. At the end of “Treasure in Paradise” I knew that Tj needed to go home, but I was in love with Gull Island so I decided to do a spin-off using the location and supporting characters. In Treasure in Paradise Tj comes to the island to help an old family friend with the renovation of his oceanfront resort. At the end of the book we find that the sister of the friend is coming to the island to take over for Tj when she must leave earlier than planned and that sister, Jillian Hanford, turns out to be the main character for the Writers Retreat series. She not only completes the renovation, but she turns the family resort into a retreat for writers like herself.
I wanted to do a mystery series that was just a bit edgier than the cozies I usually write, so this series is a bit more mystery based, yet it is still pretty tame, and I think my cozy mystery readers will like it just fine.
To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of First Case, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “first,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 27, 2017. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
You can use this link to purchase this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
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.