DOLPHIN BAY COZY MYSTERIES

LEENA GROVER

A book review

It’s an adorable series full of suspense, emotions, plenty of twists, some drama and excitement. The protagonist, Anna Butler, 55, and her dearest friends, Julie and Mary, solve puzzling cases. They stick together like family and aren’t mere onlookers whenever anyone of them has problems. All the three cases are very interesting and lovable. You can’t put it down.

Book 1

Raspberry Chocolate Murder

Anna Butler, a 55-year-old widow lives with her daughter, Cassandra, 36, in a small town of Dolphin Bay. She owns the Bayside Books, the bookstore for nearly twenty years. She always dreamed of owning a cafe along with the bookstore but she is shocked and furious to find her application to open the cafe being rejected. Her best friends, Julie, a creative writing teacher and the author of romance novels and Mary who acts more or less as a caretaker for her grandkids, never let her down.

They are aware that this must be the handiwork of Lara Crawford, the town mayor, who hates Anna and wants to prove that Anna murdered her husband. They confront Lara in her office but she snubs their complaint and loves to watch Anna suffering from the humiliation.

After her husband’ s death, Anna was diagnosed with cancer and responded well to the treatment. Her friends encourage her not to give up. Meanwhile, her daughter Cassandra or Cassie has returned to Dolphin Bay to take care of her mother after a brief stint in Hollywood. She suffers a major setback after her business manager robs her of her wealth. She has lost interest in life and lacks the motivation to do anything, much to her mother’s disappointment.

Lara Crawford threatens to reopen her husband, John’s death case. As if it was not enough, her friend Vicki seeks her help to prove her son Cody’s innocence in the murder of a girl found dead in the woods. His baseball bat was discovered besides the girl’s body who was supposed to be his girlfriend, Brianna. The bat also has fingerprints and many witnesses report his fiery temperament and frequently checking upon her. Anna along with her besties and her close friend cum admirer, Gino, the former police chief take it upon themselves to prove his innocence or guilt. There is a major twist in the story as another character plays an important role.

Anna’s friend Mary tells her about Rain, her paying guest, who had Brianna’s contact details. Who is she? Did she have anything to do with her death? A very delightful cozy mystery.

Book 2

Orange Thyme Death

Due to her best friends’ timely intervention, the town approves of her opening the cafe, in spite of the evil mayor, Lara Crawford’s attempt to ruin her life and reputation. Her daughter, Cassie, lends her excellent moral and physical support putting aside their difference of opinion. She also does sleuthing on her part to assist her mother in her investigation.

Another unfortunate murder puts Anna in a precarious situation. She is taken into questioning by Teddy Fowler, Cassie’s former school friend and a fan. Cassie is upset with her mother being framed for a murder. The body of William Parker, has been found in her bookstore by Anna herself.

Lara leaves no stone unturned to link this murder with that of her husband by stating that William, handyman who did odd jobs like plumbing, roofing etc. was a witness to the murder. So, Anna promptly killed him, fearing that he may expose her as the case against her has been reopened.

It turns out that he had made several enemies who would like to see him dead. He was in a partnership with Tim Buckner but both of them had a major feud accusing each other of embezzlement. Cassie learns from her source at the Yellow Tulip Diner about Parker’s affair with Ethan Lapin’s wife and got her pregnant. The case gets increasingly interesting as plenty of secrets tumble out. The postmortem reveals that he had been both poisoned and whacked on his head. The suspicion shifts to Cassie who was also seen in the concert attended by the deceased. Suspects are plenty, Anna herself, her daughter Cassie, Tim Buckner, and Ethan Lapin.

Do read this book to find Anna’ s sleuthing skills with her best friends, her new date, Gino, and her daughter, Cassie’s attempt to clear her name.

Book 3

Apple Caramel Mayhem.

Anna, her friends and daughter are attending a public meeting held at the Castle Beach Resort owned by Charlie Robinson, her husband’s friend.

The speaker is Mike Donovan who discusses about his plan to develop Dolphin Bay and encourage tourism by constructing a bunch of three story buildings right along the Coastal Walk. Most of them object to his proposal.

Anna hears that he might have bribed Lara to approve his project. She hears a scream and finds Donovan’s dead body. Charlie Robinson seeks her help after being considered as a prime suspect as the murder weapon, an antique dagger was discovered from his office.

Anna and her friends step into action. One of her friend, Julie’s ex-beau Paul, is also found dead under mysterious circumstances. Are both these murders interlinked? Anna comes to know about Charlie’s affair with the deceased’s wife, Claudia, further making him a prime candidate for a murderer. How will she prove his innocence or guilt?

I had earlier mentioned about a character who plays an important role in all the three stories. Who is it? Find out by grabbing this enthralling series. Highly recommended for reading.

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