Writer’s Retreat Mystery, #1
The fact that Katrina Pomeroy had been murdered was in and of itself a newsworthy event. The fact that she had been murdered on Friday October 13th exactly eleven years after she’d been one of five teenagers to survive the Friday The 13th Massacre, made her passing worthy of notice by the national news agencies Jillian Hanford used to work for. When an old editor of Jillian’s offered her the chance to write a human interest piece about Katrina’s life and subsequent death, she jumped at the chance to re-launch her currently defunct career. Of course in order to make the sort of impact she was after, she’d not only need to write about Katrina’s unusual life, but she’d need to answer the question of who was responsible for her death. She knew she’d need help so she decided to enlist the help of the five writers currently living at the writer’s retreat on Gull Island. Jillian would soon discover a decade old secret covering a shocking truth that was better left unrevealed. (Goodreads)
Although this is a brand new series for this author, fans of her books will recognize a few thing from other series. All of her books have great character development, a great small town setting, great mysteries and lovable animals. And this one is no exception.
The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. Jillian is a reporter who has returned to Gull Island to help run her brother’s retreat after he suffered a stroke. She is smart, feisty and inquisitive and has never backed down from a mystery. Jackson is a very successful writer of mysteries who has moved to Gull Island to run the newspaper. He has a very active imagination, and like Jillian, he loves to have a mystery to solve. Clara is a psychic who loves to write paranormal mysteries. She is able to look at people’s behavior in a different way than most people. Working together to solve a eleven year old mystery that may have ties to present day keeps the three of them very busy. The secondary characters add a lot to the story and I am sure they will continue to be important in future books. And of course, Blackbeard, the parrot, stole the show. He is able to communicate with Jillian and is instrumental in helping to solve the mysteries.
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there on Gull Island, watching all the action taking place and eavesdropping in on conversations. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. I was drawn into the action from the beginning of the book and dragged along until the conclusion.
As is usual for this author, there are a couple of mysteries to solve and they are woven together perfectly to make the reader really have to think in order to solve them. There are enough suspects to consider and clues to sift through that I was unable to decide who the culprit was until it was revealed at the end. I kept changing my mind as new clues were revealed. The ending surprised me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. Kathi Daley has penned many great cozy series and you can add a Writer’s Retreat Mystery series to that list.