I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Point of Death: An Austin, Texas Art Mystery (Michelle Hodge,#0) by Roslyn Woods
on January 1st 1970
Genres: Cozy Mystery
This is a prequel to the Michelle Hodge Series: Twenty-four year old Shell Hodge is in the final stretch of her quest for a master's degree in art history when tragedy strikes at her art co-op near the University of Texas at Austin. She finds the body of beautiful and charismatic Dr. Leone, her art teacher from UT, and she is forced to endure a long and aggressive interview by the police. Believing that the approach of the detectives--targeting the students who cared most about their teacher--is unlikely to result in the capture of the real murderer, Shell embarks on her own search for answers. A strange circle of clues leads back to her best friend's ex, Jeremy. Meanwhile, that same best friend, Margie--an aspiring chef and a successful baker--has some ideas of her own about Jeremy, one of them being that she wants to keep her little dog and herself as far away from him as possible. Enlisting the help of a handsome psychologist seems like a good idea at first, but learning that he also has a secret and that it, too, leads back to the murder victim, puts Margie on an emotional rollercoaster while Shell winds up at the point of death when she finds herself facing a killer.
Those are becoming my new thing lately! They are cute and fun but with an edge that keeps you begging for more.
This was no different. Although, the beginning of this book had me a little worried.
Margie is introduced first but it started to seem like most of the story was going to surround Shell. The mystery definitely did because that girl goes looking for trouble! In all the wrong places, might I add. But as I continued to read I realized that there were actually three characters and the stories just intertwined.
Margie is probably my favorite. She’s a total knockout but she doesn’t know it. She’s had some trouble with me and is thinking she needs to swear them off. Insert plot line number one! Her soon to be ex is thrown out of her place and he decides to go flipping nuts on her. While this is happening, she meets a guy named Donald Carter. Now, this guy is like a slice of heaven! He has his own issues though but he is friendly enough to stick up for Margie, even though they just met.
“I think of myself as a feminist, you know, but I’m still a girl, I guess. My secret belief is that nearly every girl likes to be rescued. I think it’s ancestral or evolutionary or something.”
Shell was totally crazy. I was worried about her multiple times! She just does not know when to say no to herself. The mystery does involve her since she found her teacher impaled by a palette knife. A lot of fingers are pointing at her so she does have an investment on finding out who the actual killer is! But do we really have to go into people’s houses, alone? I think not woman!
“You’re sort of insane about solving puzzles, aren’t you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Just the way you have to figure things out. You can get obsessive.”
“This isn’t just any puzzle, Patrick.”
“So, you’ll be that much worse about finding your answer, ” he said.
Then there is Gina. She is mixed in with these two but not as deep. She seems smart and cute too and of course, all three are very friendly. She just was not in the book quite as much as the first two.
This was great. Put into places where it seemed reasonable. The characters all seemed like they were having real conversations. Nothing seemed forced. The plot lines, and there are a few, even played out quite well along with the mystery. I think I enjoyed it even more because of the comedy that was peppered in.
Moms don’t normally have a handle on current styles for people our age
I felt like sending this part to my daughter. It doesn’t help that I’m also bohemian, which is exactly the opposite of what is normally in style!
“You’re just barely out of college.”
“Like I said,” he answered, as if she had just made his point. The he added, “I’m thirty-four.”
“Wow, that’s old!” she said. “Exactly my brother’s age. Did they have pencils when you were a kid?”
So, as the clues came out I thought I had it pegged. I was at like 57% and patting myself on the back. There are a LOT of clues but it takes some time to get all of those clues actually put together. Plus, there are quite a few characters in this. An entire class worth of characters. Only at the beginning did I worry, as I continued reading and got to really know the characters I was pleasantly surprised that the women, and their prospective others, added a great deal to the story.
This was super cute! This is book 0 in the Michelle (Shell) Hodges Series. After reading about her I am not even a bit surprised that she is going to find herself embedded in more mysteries. And I cannot wait to read them!