by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Second Look, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Jillian Hanford manages a writer’s retreat at Turtle Cove Resort on Gull Island, where several established and budding writers live, write, and…sleuth. This eclectic group gathers at their Monday night mystery group to discuss, research, and with skill and some luck, solve murder mysteries. Jackson ‘Jack’ Jones, a nationally acclaimed author and recent owner of the Gull Island News, has approached the group with an interesting cold case that has just become relevant. The five-year old case involves a young woman, Georgia Darcy, found dead at the estate of award winning actor and brother-in-law Rhett Crawford. Her date Dru Breland was considered the prime suspect, but he went missing never again to be seen…no suspect, no solution. Moving forward to five days ago, the Crawford estate has been sold and demolition set, but a body found in a secret room of the wine cellar has put this cold case back in the news. The body? Dru Breland. That sure changed things…Sleuthers start your engines!
The sleuthers are quite the group with all ages represented: established writers of hard-core thrillers, traditional whodunits, science fiction, and romance, a former news reporter, a self-proclaimed psychic who writes fantasy and paranormal mysteries, a wannabe writer, and a parrot. Yes, Blackbeard the parrot, the unofficial official mascot of the resort, formally owned by Jillian’s recently discovered half-brother, seems to have “a way of knowing exactly what [is] going on even when no one else [has] a clue.” Together this group sets out to question those who were at the Crawford estate five years ago. Has too much time passed? Will evidence and memories be compromised? Could their own lives be at risk bringing up a long ago murder? This group has proven to be up for the task.
This is the second book in Kathi Daley’s newest Writer’s Retreat series, and fans like me are ecstatic. But, newbies need not shy away since a description of the main and reoccurring ‘Cast of Characters’ is provided along with enough background to make this a standalone read, but reading book one, First Case, is very entertaining and can’t be missed no matter what order. The story is very engaging weaving events of the cold case with present events throwing several twists, turns, and ‘Oh my!’ revelations.
Kathi Daley’s characters are entertaining and clever. My favorite, of course, is Jillian, written as a strong female with the nose of a reporter, which fits well with any budding relationship with Jones, who himself is a keen reporter, and in spite of the humorous dilemma with any “Jack and Jill” references. I can’t ignore the unique twists with Blackbeard, Jillian’s inherited parrot, squawking his puzzling clues, Mortie, the ghost who has lived in Gertie’s house for the last thirty years, sending his messages from the beyond, and Clara’s psychic visions that seem to be spot on. It’s not ‘weird,’ just a fun and creative way of presenting all the clues. The island’s setting and the issues Jillian has with managing the writer’s retreat plays out in the background along with her preparations for a Halloween party. This is a great series with all of Kathi Daley’s signature fun, mystery, and cleverness.
Second Look: A Writer’s Retreat Mystery earns 5/5 Puzzling Parrot Pronouncements!
To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Second Look, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “second,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 12, 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.
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