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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 Sends a Postcard (Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery, #3)

Murder Sends a Postcard - Christy Fifield

I'm vacillating between 3.5 and 4 stars on this book.


Glory owns a vintage/souvenir shop in a North Florida beach town, left to her by her uncle.  The shop comes with a cantankerous parrot named Blackbeard, who is sometimes the embodiment of her uncle's ghost, and if the author let him, he'd steal this show.  Since the author keeps his character(s) in check, we are fortunate that the rest of the characters are likeable enough to keep a reader reading.  Glory has a tight circle of friends and one annoying cousin, who thankfully makes infrequent appearances.


The author's bio says she lives in Oregon, so she either does her research, or she's lived at some point in the past in Florida.  As a Floridian, I felt right at home in Keyhole Bay; she even wrote some of the less friendlier aspects of the old-timers-vs.-tourists distinction with accuracy.


The reason I debate between 3.5 and 4 stars was the plot.  It's a good story, but this is one of those mysteries where the author doesn't give the reader any clues.  I didn't actually mind because I was enjoying the story, but some readers find this leaves them feeling cheated.


In retrospect, I suppose there was one clue given, at the same time that the murderer made their one and only appearance in the entire book before the climactic scene. 

(show spoiler)


The final scene, by cozy standards, is somewhat graphic and quite detailed.  It's not a typical cozy finale.  If your imagination is detailed and you don't like blood, you might want to skim over this.  I didn't struggle with it, but it certainly left an impression.


I'm enjoying the character evolution in this series, and the mysteries are interesting enough that I'll gladly look forward to the next book.