Read and Buried
An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery, #2
By Erika Chase
Author’s Website: www.erikachase.com
Brought to you by reviewer Andra
“Hosting an award-winning novelist is quite a Christmas coup for the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society.” “But when he’s murdered in Lizzie Turner’s house, she’s got a holiday homicide on her hands …”
For their very first guest author event, most of the book club members can’t wait to pull out all the stops in Southern hospitality. But for Lizzie, Derek Alton is nothing but trouble–from his massive ego to his smarmy moves. When he’s found murdered in her living room, it seems someone decided that this womanizing writer would be better off dead than read.
After suspicion falls on Lizzie’s friend, she and her fellow book club members discover that Derek wasn’t who he pretended to be. Cracking this case means going up against Lizzie’s boyfriend, police chief Mark Dreyfus, “and” unearthing a novel’s worth of nasty secrets. And as they get closer to uncovering Derek’s scandalous final manuscript, someone hiding in plain sight is out to write “finis” to Lizzie’s sleuthing for good.
As I carry on my journey through An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series, I am totally enthralled and satisfied with this latest installment, Read and Buried. What bad lucky for Lizzie…a murder right in her own living room. That certainly put a damper on her decorating plans for Christmas.
I loved that the cast of characters who could have been the murderer was long and took so long to unravel everyone’s connection to the deceased (and a slime ball deceased he was…in my humble opinion) in addition to finding out why he had come to town at all! I found the “initial” connection between the women in Derek Alton’s notes for his new novel quite ingenious, clever really. I did feel sorry for Lizzie at times…MANY women figured Lizzie knew something about the book Derek was writing because Derek was killed in her home. Let me just say, the path to the killer is a convoluted, twisty and entertaining road with no shortage of suspects. I enjoy Lizzie’s sluething style, though her boyfriend Chief Mark is certainly not as understanding of her extracurricular sluething activities.
The interactions between Lizzie and Officer Craig were often tumultuous but definitely entertaining. The sparks certainly flew between the two of them. Officer Craig really seemed to want to ruffle Lizzie…wondering if Officer Craig has a thing for the chief??? Regardless, it will be fun to see how these two interact in the future. I wonder if in a future book…far far away…they will actually become friends?
Lizzie bristled. Craig seemed to be enjoying this. “I don’t like your tone of voice, Officer Craig. You’re implying much more happened than did. It was a dinner. Period. Nothing more. And besides, the chief already knows.”
“So tell me, did Mr. Alton take the hint when you hung the mistletoe?”
Lizzie exploded. “No. There was no hint, no message, no kiss under it. I already told you, but in case you’ve forgotten, I was decorating the house when he stopped by. Unexpectedly.”
The slow and steady growth in Lizzie and Mark’s relationship was a realistic and believable portrayal. I just love reading about a love story in its infancy. Time will tell whether they last. As well, the depth and growth of Molly following the revelations about her deceased husband from the prior book was both believable and entertaining. Loved hearing about all her wild wardrobe choices. 🙂
The decorated houses Lizzie encountered on her runs sounded so festive (I do enjoy Christmas cozies):
Lizzie gave a chuckle as she turned onto her street and saw what the Beauchamps had done to their front porch. The country-style house had a traditional porch railing running across the front of it, and on that railing to the far right side sat an angel, halo slightly askew, one knee drawn up, leaning against the corner post.
As seems par for the course with The Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series, I am kept guessing until the very end. Well done Erika Chase. I look forward to book #3 in the series, Cover Story (as well as book 4 and 5 of course).