Title: Murder with a View
Series: House-Flipper Mystery
By: Diane Kelly
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
A DREAM PROPERTY
Carpenter Whitney Whitaker, her cousin Buck, and guard-cat Sawdust just scored a hot property near downtown Nashville in a tax sale. While the Music City Motor Court might not be much to look at now, the two plan to transform the motel’s twelve units into six one-bedroom condominiums with popular mid-century styling. But surprises await when Whitney discovers a squatter living in Room 9 and her cat Sawdust uncovers a body in the bed next door.
A LIVING NIGHTMARE
The murder victim is none other than Beckett Morgan, an up-and-coming country-western singing sensation who’s taken Nashville by storm with his number-one hit “Party in the Pasture.” Beckett’s left a long trail of broken promises and broken hearts, and the list of suspects seems endless. So does the line of female fans intent on halting the flip and turning the construction site into a shrine for the deceased star. If Whitney and Buck don’t help Detective Collin Flynn nail the killer, they’ll never be able to clear out the star-obsessed groupies, complete the remodel, and recoup their investment. But just who silenced the singer and why?
Murder with a View is the third book in the House-Flipper Mystery series by Diane Kelly. This is also the first book in this series and by this author that I have read. As one would expect, I had a bit of trepidation beginning at book three in a series. I was pleasantly surprised when I quickly began to feel like the major characters in this series were old friends and thus really enjoyed the adventure of this cozy mystery.
Whitney and her cousin Buck (along with the help of Presley Pearson) outbid Thaddeus Gentry III in getting the Music City Motor Court Motel at a tax sale. With ideas abounding to transform the property into luxury condominiums, Whitney and Buck go to the new property to begin their renovations. Low and behold but what (or should I say who) do they find “squatting” in one of the rooms? Jimmy (navy veteran) is just passing through Nashville and saw this abandoned motel and decided to crash there for a few days. Whitney and Buck hire Jimmy to help with the transformation of the property. I may have forgotten to say, Whitney usually brings her cat “Sawdust” to work with her. During the course of clearing out the motel rooms, Sawdust discovers a body. Yikes – that could really drop the property value! It turns out that the deceased is Beckett Morgan, an up-and-coming country-western singing sensation who’s taken Nashville by storm with his number-one hit “Party in the Pasture.”
As the reader can quickly surmise, it is in the best interest of this new real estate adventure to quickly find out who perpetrated this heinous crime so that the groupies will leave the property? Whitney is in a relationship with Detective Collin Flynn so it does seem that she has an inside track on some information not known to the general public.
I really enjoyed the journey that Whitney took this reader on to unravel the layers of Beckett Morgan’s life and murder. It was just convoluted enough so that I was kept guessing throughout the tale.
Each chapter is from the perspective of Sawdust or Whitney – which I found interesting and added a bit of a smile to my face, being a cat lover and all. I especially loved chapter 3 where Sawdust is mentoring Cleo (a kitten brought home by Whitney’s roommate Emmalee) – showing her the ropes so to speak. His “purr-spective” added some fun!
During the process – Whitney and Collin went to a concert given by Lacy (an ex of Beckett’s). I loved the fact that they got into the musical experience. Whitney buys herself a concert t-shirt on the way out. “You know, so I could prove how cool I was to the kids in homeroom.” I loved that! Produced a hearty chuckle from me, which further endeared this book and the writing of Diane Kelly to me.
Favourite quote: Who needs an alarm clock when you’ve got a cat to tell you when it’s time to wake up!
Without a doubt, my exposure to Diane Kelly’s writing via Murder with a View will drive me to seek out other titles by Ms. Kelly.
If you like an engaging cozy mystery with entertaining characters (cats as well as the humans) and a plot which keeps you guessing until the end – then I highly suggest reading Murder with a View!
Rushing out now to get the previous books in the series before book 4. 🙂