Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery with lots to keep you guessing
Cons: Characters could be a little stronger
The Bottom Line:
Takes a deadly turn in this
Be Sure to Paint This Book Read
The blessing of having a huge to be read pile is you never are hurting for books to read. The curse of having a huge to be read pile is it sometimes takes much longer than you intend to get to books you fully intend to read. That was the case with Paint the Town Dead, the second Aurora Anderson mystery. When I enjoyed the first back in June, I had hoped to read the sequel before now. I still wish I’d read it sooner since I did enjoy it.
Aurora “Rory” Anderson is excited about the decorative painting convention that is coming to her seaside town of Vista Beach in Los Angeles County California. She is taking some of the offered classes and helping out her mother who is one of the venders for the week-long event. Even better, her friend Jasmine has recently returned to town. As a fellow decorative painter, she is part of the convention as well.
Not that the week gets off to a smooth start. The convention is being held at a new hotel in town, and building it has led to quite a bit of controversy. In fact, there are picketers around when Rory shows up to help her mom set up. However, nothing prepares her for Jasmine to collapse and die during the first class of the convention. The police think it was a horrible accident, but Rory isn’t buying it. Can she find proof that her friend was murdered?
It was great to be back in Vista Beach and with these characters again. I love this small town setting, and I love the beach, so that’s definitely a plus. While I like the characters, I felt they weren’t quite as developed as they could be. Don’t get me wrong, I did care about them and I cared about the outcome. They just need a little something more. This applies to the series regulars and the suspects equally.
However, the plot more than makes up for any deficiency with the characters. Things get off to an exciting start in the very first sentence, and events just keep happening as the book progresses. Each of the suspects were so viable I thought I had it completely figured out several times before the end, yet when the real villain was revealed, it once again all made sense. I truly enjoyed trying to figure it out with Rory.
So if you are looking for an exciting mystery that will keep you guessing until the final page, pick up Paintthe Town Dead. You’ll be happy you did.