I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Reference to Murder by Kym Roberts
Published by Lyrical Underground on May 16th 2017
Charli Rae Warren is back home in Hazel Rock, Texas, spending her time reading, collecting, and selling books—at least, the ones that don’t get eaten first by her father’s pet armadillo. Running the family bookstore is a demanding job, but solving murders on the side can be flat out dangerous…
The Book Barn is more than just a shop, it’s a part of the community—and Charli is keeping busy with a fundraising auction and the big rodeo event that’s come to town. That includes dealing with the Texas-sized egos of some celebrity cowboys, including Dalton Hibbs, a blond, blue-eyed bull rider who gets overly rowdy one night with the local hairdresser . . . and soon afterward, disappears into thin air.
Dalton’s brother also vanished seven years ago—and Charli is thrown about whether Dalton is a villain or a victim. After a close call with an assailant wielding a branding iron (that plays havoc with her hair) and some strange vandalism on her property, she’s going to have to team up with the sheriff to untangle this mystery, before she gets gored . . .
This first book in this series is the first book I read during Dewey’s 24 hour readathon! I wasn’t blown away but thought it was a pretty good cozy mystery. It left me wanting to know more about the characters, especially Charli.
Since the first book was not my favorite in the cozy mystery genre, I started this one with trepidation but hope. I was also hoping that Charli would make up her mind and this would not turn into a love triangle. I understand though, because I would not know who to choose between these two strong, courageous, handsome men either.
What’s more fun about this one is that I know some of the characters now so there is none of that first book introduction. There are some characters that are unknown since the town is having a rodeo, but they add to the already eclectic mix of characters from the town. Charli has made some life decisions and with how book one ended, I’m not surprised.
What is funny is her relationship with Cade and Mateo. I wish I could kick them both in the shins! And once again when she starts being threatened they are there for her. Sort of. Both are alpha men that think they know best. In this case, maybe they do, but in Charli’s defense it’s not like she’s putting her life on the line here. She is actually much more reserved than in her first case!
The downside to this is that, like in the first story, many of the clues do not lead toward the killer. And once the killer is outed they go into the reasons why. Stop your yapping and kill people, geez. When are villains going to learn this? Also, I can’t remember what they did to the body considering the body could not be identified. They had to do something but I don’t think it was ever brought up.
Other than all the talk at the end, which was needed to bring the story together, I felt that this was a really solid cozy mystery. Charli’s characterization came out even more and so did the characterization of the others in the town. I found myself wanting to immediately read book three! Sadly, nothing seems to be out there yet about book three, but I’ll be here when it is!
|Overall:||4 / 5|