Friday, December 25, 2020

Death at the Gazebo (A Mirror Pond Cozy Mystery #1), by Minnie Crockwell (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Minnie Crockwell, December 2020

Sallie Chilcoat is a romance writer, one who moved from her home state of Washington to Virginia, to be with the man she thought she was in love with. That didn't work out, but she's still in Virginia, living in a fairly high-end small town, in a condo development that's very nice, but with a mortgage she can afford.

Sallie tries to keep her writing career to herself, but she's living across the hall from a friendly, likeable, extremely chatty gossip. Beth is an older woman, friendly and outgoing, with no family anymore. Sallie enjoys her company, even if she has to watch what she says.

Then one day, she's looking out the window of her condo, and sees a man playing an accordion in the gazebo. She goes out for a walk, and on her way back, she finds the accordion player still in the gazebo, but no longer playing. He is now dead.

She calls 911, and before the police arrive two of her neighbors, Cass and her husband Dan, arrive. Dan says they barely know the dead man, Alan Staples, while Cass seems far more upset than bare acquaintance makes likely. It's not long before Sallie, and Bill, the handsome handyman whose looks she's been admiring, are conducting their own investigation of their neighbors.

They're both smart, observant, competent people. They also both have their own set of emotional insecurities, though we see Sallie's from the inside, as it were, and Bill's only through what Sallie observes. Amongst their neighbors, both in the condo development and in the nearby area, they find a plentiful supply of potential suspects. The dead man turns out to have been a ladies' man who has been making trouble among the ladies since he was a teenager in a foster home.

This is a lively, fun story, and Michelle Babb, as always, does a great job with the narration. Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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