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An Abel Adventures Mystery (1)
GIVEAWAY FOLLOWS REVIEW
Finished: Dec. 23, 2012
First Published: May 2, 2012
Publisher: Seven Realms Publishing
First sentence: "The fussy little man held out a legal-sized manila envelope."
Publisher's Summary: "It's been two years since her fiance's death. Amy Abel needs to start over. And what better way for a shy, risk-averse woman to start than to sink all her savings into a travel agency specializing in adventure. Her first project? A mystery road rally through the European countryside.
At the starting line in Monte Carlo, Amy finds herself attracted to Marcus Alvarez, the most mysterious of her two dozen game-loving clients. But the rally gets off to a rocky start when an eccentric writer, the only person who knows the game's solution, is himself murdered back in New York.
So who would kill a harmless mystery geek? And why are weird accidents beginning to happen along the way? To her horror, Amy discovers that this fictional mystery was based on a real, unsolved case, one that Marcus knows too much about. Now she has no choice but to join forces with Fanny, her domineering mother, and solve this on her own, before the killer strikes again."
Acquired: Received a review copy from the author to participate in Premier Virtual Author Book Tours book tour.
Reason for Reading: When I learned that Hy Conrad was a writer for all eight seasons of one of my favourite TV shows ever, "Monk", I just had to read his book. I was intrigued by the plot also as I've always been fascinated by car rallies ever since my parents told me about participating in one in the '60s before they got married.
I just adored this book! It was perfect reading for me the month of December. A delicious cozy that kept me returning to it during the hectic holiday season when I didn't have a lot of time for reading and I found myself joyously cuddling up for quick breaks with this book. An entertaining mystery with a unique plot. I absolutely love the concept of Amy Abel's travel agency extraordinaire. The opportunity for imaginative plots for future books is bound only by the author's imagination, which he seems to have no short supply of! The short blurb at the back describing book two already has me salivating for the next one.
I loved Amy as a character. Down to earth, adjusting to single life after the death of her long-term partner (almost husband), living with her recently widowed and spunky but interfering mother, Amy is a person easy to relate to and sympathize with. Though she has a lot of baggage on her shoulders she is a quick-witted, competent woman, able to rise to any occasion, not letting anyone get the better of her. The secondary characters are a cast full of eccentric personalities as one expects in a cozy. This is the type of mystery where one of the group of participants must be the murderer and the killer within the midst must be found. As I've mentioned, this is what I call a cozy mystery; it is not fast-paced but pleasantly diverting and amusing. The mystery at first seems deceptively simple as we are given an obvious scapegoat who on and off becomes both more and less guilty in the reader's eyes; there are also a couple of other obvious suspects and when the true killer is revealed a fancy bit of 'twistery' is a delightful end to a perfectly adorable read.
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