Hunting a Killer on Vacation
We are fast approaching summer, which means family vacation time. Of course, for Jessica Fletcher, vacations often mean she finds herself caught up in a murder. That’s the case once again with Killer on the Court, the newest tie-in novel to the classic TV series Murder, She Wrote.
Jessica has just sent her latest novel to her publisher, and she is ready for a little rest and relaxation. Fortunately, her nephew, Grady, and his wife, Donna, are spending a month in a cottage by the beach thanks for Donna’s employer. They’ve invited Jessica to come and visit, and she can’t wait to spend time with them and their son, Frank.
Unfortunately, Jessica’s first morning there, Donna stumbles on the body of her boss in a private tennis court. While Jessica doesn’t intend to get involved, she can’t help but wonder about some of the details of the case. Will she solve the crime?
Outside of the characters in Cabot Cove, Grady and Donna were always my favorite supporting characters on the show. Probably because we saw Grady the most of all Jessica’s nephews and nieces. Fans of the characters will be delighted by their appearance here. Author Terrie Farley Moran has expertly captured the two of them. I could hear and see them just like they would have been on the show. I loved getting to spend the time with them. I enjoyed their son, Frank, for the most part, although at times I felt like he wasn’t really acting his age. Still, I got some laughs from him, as I was supposed to.
Unfortunately, the plot of the novels wanders a bit. We spend as much time on vacation as we do solving the mystery, or so it seemed to me. Ultimately, the solution made sense, but I needed a few more twists and red herrings along the way to keep me fully engaged. That includes a slow start to the novel as well as some detours along the way. We do get some interesting twists, don’t get me wrong, but I could have used one or two more of them.
It might also help if we got to know the suspects better. I could definitely distinguish between them, and keep their family relationships straight, which is always a good thing. But I didn’t feel like we got to know too many other details about them.
Now, all this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book. I really did enjoy spending so much time with Grady and Donna again. The solution to the mystery was logical. The time on the beach was good even if it did slow the story down some. It’s just that the book could have been stronger.
Fans of Murder, She Wrote will definitely enjoy revisiting favorite characters in Killer on the Court. While not the strongest mystery, they will still find it worth their time.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.