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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review - Death in Dark Blue

I reviewed the debut novel, A Dark and Stormy Murder (click here), and was honored to have a guest post by author Ms. Buckley (click here) that shares her love of Gothic books.  I hope you enjoy this look into the second book of this new series that specifically gives homage to the classic Gothic books of Mary Stewart and others like Victoria Holt and Phyllis A Whitney.

Author: Julia Buckley

Copyright: May 2017 (Berkley) 304 pgs

Series: 2nd in Writer's Apprentice Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth

Main Characters: Lena London, new writing assistant to a best-selling author

Setting: Modern day, Blue Lake Indiana

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the book cover:  "In the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana, Lena London is settling into her dream job, but someone is making her life a nightmare…

Things are beginning to go right for Lena. She’s got a new job assisting suspense novelist and friend, Camilla Graham. She lives rent-free in Camilla’s beautiful, Gothic house. She even has a handsome new boyfriend, Sam West.

After being under attack by the media and his neighbors, Sam has recently been cleared of suspicion for murder. Journalists and townsfolk alike are remorseful, and one blogger would even like to apologize to him in person. But when she’s found dead behind Sam’s house, Lena must dodge paparazzi as she unravels the many mysteries that threaten to darken the skies of her little town and her new found love with Sam."

The gang from the debut book are back.  Lena is back as Camilla's assistance, Sam is looking for his missing wife Victoria with new clues, Policeman Doug Heller is moving on from Lena, BFF Allison and hubby John make a few appearances, and of course the animals - Lena's cat Lestrade and Camilla's German Sheperds Rochester and Heathcliff.  Belinda Frailey, the research librarian extraordinaire, is the breakout character in this addition to the series. 

Blue Lake in the winter adds a gray and blustery atmosphere to contrast with the Greek Iles search for Victoria. The invasive nature of paparazzi adds to the isolated feeling of the cold.

The plot kept a good clip between the popular blogger's death and the ramping-up sub plot of finding Victoria - who is likely held against her will. 

The two part climax is suspenseful and delivers quite a twist in the second part.  The scope is big and bold with the international search for the missing Victoria.  The wrap up promises that the intensity will continue in the next book.

I enjoyed this novel more than the debut book.  Lena seemed more cohesive and stronger and Sam is emerging from his snarly tendencies as he finds townspeople accepting him.  Ms. Buckley stepped up her game on the plot and it has certainly paid off.  There are many emotions that run deep throughout the story that provides some poignancy.   

Rating:  Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend. 

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My first cozy mystery ever - Iced (Resort to Murder #1) by Avery Daniels is on pre-sale for a whopping
low price of .99. This low price will be for a limited time only.  The official release day is May 31st. 

Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime. 

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who knows what's best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn't understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice. 

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to her widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

Preorder the kindle edition (click here.)
Print book is due shortly, I will include link then.

Oh, and if you have a blog and would like to do a spotlight or a review, just leave me a comment.

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