A FRESH BEGINNING AND MURDER

MIRANDA BRICKETT

A book review

This is a refreshing cozy mystery set in the exotic and quaint town of Prairie Crocus in Canada. The story is awesome and fast paced without a single dull moment. I love it.

Claudia Porter and her twin Madeline receive a farmhouse in Prairie Crocus as an inheritance from their Great Aunt Alexandra. The farmhouse is in a bad shape and Claudia is disappointed to see a lovely cottage in a pathetic condition. The farmhouse needs a major renovation. Claudia meets Emily Graham, her new neighbor, when she is undecided about where to stay overnight. They become good friends and she recommends Scott Anderson, the town handyman as a go-to person for house remodeling. Claudia is shocked to find empty beer bottles inside the farmhouse and broken door indicating unwanted visits from squatters. She decides to take a look around the property and screams in shock after seeing a stranger fishing by the lake.

After a brief exchange, he goes away. She stumbles upon a dead body and calls the police. Officer Carter Klein arrives at the crime scene and suspects her of committing the crime. She wants to clear her name and steps into investigation. She spends a night with Emily after failing to get an accommodation in the bed and breakfast. She learns from her that the deceased, Ron Pentz, had a business partnership with Clark and they operated a store Go outside that supplied hunting items, fishing materials and so on.

When she is visiting the farmers market on Saturday, she also notices a scuffle between Clark and a young guy sporting a blue Mohawk hairstyle. The young guy, Taylor Hain, is an environmental enthusiast and wants this business to be closed. Clark notices one of his guns missing which Officer Klein produces for him to confirm. The officer says that he believes Ron was shot dead from the same gun. This sets Claudia thinking. She discovers that Ron was a cheat and a gambler and embezzled the business funds for gambling. She also meets his widow Gwen who says she was unaware of his misdeeds. Her list of suspects include Taylor who despised Ron’s business, Gwen who might have killed him for insurance, Clark who might seek revenge for ruining him.

Her investigation has some interesting and stunning revelations. She fares better as an amateur detective than Officer Klein. She also has a sorry past of her own. Do read this book to find out the real culprit. It has plenty of twists and suspense is well maintained until the end. Highly recommended for cozy mystery lovers.

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