Title: Murder Most Lovely
Author: Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Genre(s): Murder Mystery
Page Count: 246
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Lacetown Murder Mysteries: Case One
A killer at a small-town literary festival. Bumbling drug dealers. A kidnapped cat. Starting a romance among all this chaos might be the death of them.
Michael Fleishman is excited to meet his favorite mystery writer, Russell Withingham, at Lacetown’s Literary Fest. He is not expecting to cross paths with sexy hairdresser Jasper “Jazz” Dilworth—or become embroiled in a real-life mystery. As Lacetown’s only mortician and the county coroner, Michael is called to his first murder scene and is shocked to recognize the victim—Russell’s young lover.
Jazz only wanted to confront his ex, Russell, over his cheating. Instead, he meets the adorably awkward Michael and becomes a murder suspect. Soon Jazz is teaming up with Michael to clear his name. Along the way, they are helped and hindered by Michael’s sassy assistant, Kitty, the grumpy Sheriff Musgrave, Russell’s creepy PR rep, Norbert, and Michael’s lothario grandfather, who likes his manhattans strong and his women saucy. And of course, Mr. Pickles Furryton the Third….
This could best be summed up as a classic cozy mystery with a healthy dose of m/m romance. Set in Lacetown, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan (I Google map-ed this to see if I could figure out exactly where – alas, not familiar enough to figure it out) this is kept small and intimate. A small cast of characters keeps things simple, and a neat plot twist kept the mystery engaging.
I should note, I have a fondness for cozy mysteries and this fell firmly in that category. I have a fondness for m/m romances, and I greatly enjoyed the interaction between Michael and Jazz. There was just enough self-doubt, angst, and dating to make the romance work. It was a tich “insta-love”, but not infrequently, that’s the way many romance books roll.
What dropped this from a 5 star to a 4 star read was description repetition. I noticed several instances where something was described (the town, feelings, a job, etc.), only to have the same thing repeated a page or two later. I found that to be somewhat disconcerting and a tich annoying.
As I noted earlier, there was an interesting plot twist which I won’t elaborate on, but definitely added to the overall story line.
Another point in favor of the characters – I greatly appreciated that our main characters are in their 40’s and 50’s. This is a refreshing change from a 20 or 30 year character old complaining about how “old” they are.
If you love cozy mysteries, interesting characters, and an engaging plot, you’ll probably enjoy this selection. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Lacetown mysteries progress in coming books.