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jenn

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.

Pall in the Family (A Family Fortune Mystery #1)

Pall in the Family - Dawn Eastman

A very good, well-written first in what could be an excellent new series.

 

This is not a quick, light read. It's not dark or depressing, but there's a maturity to the writing that you don't find in a lot of cozies, especially the paranormal ones. That's not a criticism of cozies - I'm a huge fan - but this book feels like it's a step above. The writing, the character building, the plot, all felt more on the level with Barbara Michaels, or Earlene Fowler (maybe?).  I felt like this book took longer to read than most of equal length, even though the story kept me invested.

 

The characters in this book are well-written, solid and real. There are no caricatures here. I'll admit I really don't like Vi, but she's real - she reminds me in many ways of some of my own relatives. Clyde's mom is a nag and Clyde is trying to power through a very traumatic event. The most humorous element of the book are the dogs, Baxter and Tuffy, with a few scenes that had me giggling a bit. Oh, and the deputy, Tom and his unfortunate lack of grace definitely lent itself to moments of levity. Mac is a love interest you can get behind and I love the background to their story. If the author continues to have Clyde fight against her 'gifts' I'll not continue reading the series, but her qualms are justified in the short term.

 

Having talked the book up, I'll now admit I guessed the killer pretty early on in the book but I'll still argue the plot was very well done. Old crimes and new, plenty of suspects and a little bit of misdirection. While I knew who the killer was, I didn't begin to guess at the motivation until the end - I totally had that part wrong, so no enjoyment was lost to my early guess.

 

I'm really looking forward to the next book; I hope it will come sooner rather than later.