Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery filled with twists
Cons: Characters, while good, could be a little better
The Bottom Line:
Rory finds neighbor
Start of twisty mystery
That’s hard to put down
Murder of a Neighbor
We are currently having our first real Southern California winter in several years. (Rain!!! Yeah!!!!) Ironically enough, I have selected two books in a row set during summer heat waves. (I had no idea, I swear!) It was certainly fun to enjoy warmer weather vicariously through A Palette for Murder.
Because Vista Beach, California, is right on the beach, not everywhere has air conditioning. After all, it’s only a few days a year that things get hot enough to truly need it. However, a heat wave in the small, Los Angeles County community is making residence leave their windows open in the hope that they can cool off a little. A group of thieves in neighboring towns are taking advance of that.
And it looks like those burglars have finally hit Vista Beach. One morning Aurora “Rory” Anderson finds her neighbor Willow dead on her kitchen floor. It looks like a robbery gone very wrong, but the police aren’t so certain. In fact, they start looking at Dawn as a suspect. Dawn has been a good friend to Rory and her family, so when Dawn asks for Rory’s help finding the killer, Rory agrees. As she begins to investigate, she learns that Willow had many hidden secrets. But which one of them lead to her murder?
The characters in this book are good; we care enough about them to care about the outcome. I’m definitely rooting for Rory to get her love life figured out, and I really enjoy her best friend. I do feel they could be stronger, but that’s not a reason to skip this series.
The mystery in this book is very strong. There are so many secrets and twists along the way that my jaw actually dropped a couple of times. I did figure out the killer a bit before Rory did, but I didn’t mind at all since the ride was so delightful. I had a very hard time putting the book down and finished it up in just a couple of days instead of my usual three.
Those familiar with the series will know that Rory is a toll painting enthusiast. It continues to color Rory’s world with Willow having taken some classes in addition to being Rory’s neighbor and Dawn being an instructor. I really enjoy this theme since painting isn’t something that pops up in many of the books I read.
Watching how the twists of the plot come together for a logical solution makes reading A Palette for Murder a lot of fun. Fans of the series will be delighted to return to Vista Beach. If you are new to Rory’s world, settle in for a good book today.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.