Saturday, April 23, 2022

Spring Reading 2022 Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries Book 3)

Murder Next Door features the residents of Redemption, Wisconsin in the 1990s and all the odd quirks of their personalities and their hometown. The protagonist Charlie is an entertaining character; she makes herbal teas and has a penchant for becoming involved in mysteries. As a relative newcomer to Redemption she is not always aware of the town's history, especially the odd disappearances (and sometimes reappearances) that have happened in its past, but her growing circle of friends keep her informed of the latest events. When an elderly woman tries to convince Charlie that a vampire has moved in, a local teen disappears, and a new psychic shop opens - it seems that something strange may be going on.

I have not read the earlier adventures of Charlie and her acquaintances, so I was not aware of the reasons for various attitudes the characters displayed. Hints were given about the relationships, but readers who start at the beginning of the series will be more informed and the byplay will make more sense to them. I appreciated the author's ability to work humor into the story. Mildred's insistence that a housesitter is a vampire because he only comes out at night, Pat's determination to visit Madame Rowena for a psychic reading, and Charlie's attempts to rein in their imaginations all offer some comic relief to the tension of the murder and missing person cases.

For those who enjoy small towns, memorable characters, and a slightly unwilling sleuth who bakes when she is stressed, this is an enjoyable choice.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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