Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Advent of a Mystery, by Marilyn Leach--Review

256 pp, Barbour Books, September 2010, ISBN 9781602605695

Berdie Elliott is a former investigative reporter, and the wife of the new vicar of Aiden Kirkwood. This is a new calling for Hugh, after a military career, and Berdie has retired from her own career to be the vicar's wife. But she hasn't given up her skills or her active mind, and when an elderly parishioner, Miriam Livingston, is murdered in her home after an evening of caroling and an Advent party at the vicarage, Berdie can't help looking into things. Especially when the village constable is willfully blind to anything but the most obvious evidence, and locks up the most immediately obvious suspect, Jamie Donovan, who quarreled with Miriam Livingston at the party, and whose engraved screwdriver was found near the victim's body and had clearly been used as the murder weapon.
     Hugh wants Berdie to stay out of it, to avoid risks both to her own safety and to their still-new status in the village. Both her professional instincts and her sense of justice draw her in, though, and Hugh also can't remain opposed. Too many things don't add up, and Berdie, with her friend Lillie in tow, keeps digging. When they discover that Miriam Livingston is someone other than whom the village has always believed her to be, things start to spiral out of control and the dangers to Berdie that had worried Hugh from the beginning begin to materialize.
     This is a really engaging "cozy" mystery, with likable and interesting characters. I hope we'll be seeing more of Berdie and her friends and neighbors.

Note:: I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley

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