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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Murder at Barclay Meadows

Murder at Barclay Meadow: A Mystery - Wendy Sand Eckel

Sort of the same ole, same ole.  Woman in her 40's catches her husband with much younger woman, moves to a new, small town to start a new life.  Finds dead body, feels compelled to investigate.


A number of things elevated this one for me a little bit, but one main thing dragged it down.  Rosalie is a victim, and an almost impossibly naive one at that.  98% of this book is Rosalie living solely for the sake of others; she has no definition outside of how others define her.  Living for others can be noble; defining yourself through another's eyes is not and that made this book flag for me about half way through.  The author tries for a deeper philosophy than most cozies aim for, but she doesn't quite achieve her aim, in my opinion.


What did work though was a setting out in the middle of Eastern Seaboard farmland (Chesapeake Bay / Maryland) and a focus on friendships.  I really liked the dynamic between Rosalie and Tyler, too.  It felt natural and crackled with possibility without ever being forced.  The way Rosalie and her friends used Facebook to communicate, and the way Facebook was used in the advancement of the plot worked too although the way Facebook was such a big part of Rosalie's life felt odd (but that was probably just me).


The plot was... ok.  Her 'bond' with the dead girl felt overdone, but the investigating felt pretty rational.  The murderer was obvious to me, although the author had me thinking the motive was much more scandalous than it was.  Thank heaven.


I'm not sure if this is a stand alone or the first in a series.  Either way it's the author's first novel and there's a lot of possibilities.