Monday, June 20, 2016

A Dark and Stormy Murder

Title: A Dark and Stormy Murder
Author: Julia Buckley
Expected Publishing: July 5th 2016 by Berkley
Format: eBook, Paperback, 304 pages
Genre: Suspense
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing / Penguin Group (USA) for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: A Writer's Apprentice Mystery #1

When I first saw the cover of ‘A Dark and Stormy Murder’, I had assumed that it would be a cozy mystery. The cover art and title just gave off that feel. As I started the first chapter, with a preamble that at first I did not associate with the title, I soon realized that it was from a book that the main character and her mentor are writing together. A book that in ways parallels the life that Lena is living.

Let me back up a bit. A friend wondering if she would be interested in working as a personal assistant contacts Lena London, a recent college graduate with no employment leads on the horizon. What her friend used as the final bait was that it was for Camilla Graham, a Gothic Mysteries author that Lena has idolized since her teen years. Packing up everything she owns, including her cat, Lena quickly head off to Blue Lake, Indiana and an adventure that adds suspense and romance to both the lives of Lena and Camilla.

Certain parts of the book are rushed and others seem to dawdle and become repetitive. All the basic plot lines are included: a body, a detective, a bitter recluse, a house with a secret, a town that has already make up its mind, confronting a murderer, making new friends and suspecting others, knocking down brick walls to get the answers, and last but not least, what book would be complete without love interests?

Everyone seems sinister in a Noir type novel. This killer ‘was as invisible as a mailman or a telephone work; he was background music’ (I loved that quote). For being a laid back kind of small town, there sure is a lot going on since Lena arrived and seems to have stirred up a hornet’s nest of activity. As Lena and Camilla brainstorm their novel, they cannot help but to reflect on the goings on in Blue Lake and thus take it upon themselves to solve both the mysteries of Graham House and jump into the middle of the disappearance of Victoria West.

I loved how I had thought that I had the whole thing figured out. How names seemed to be obvious and yet, that was not the answer, Julia Buckley still had a couple of secrets up her sleeve. By the time that the story was winding down, I found myself hoping that this would be a new series. It appears that I will not be disappointed. I could not find a publication date for the next book, but I do hope that it is not too far off.

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