Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: A Grand Murder by Stacy Verdick Case

When Nathan Stanley, a prominent businessman, is murdered on the front steps of his home, detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise are given two days to solve the case. The investigation turns up a long list of suspects with a variety of motives for wanting Stanley dead. Even the chief of police is on the list. Can Catherine and Louise figure out who killed Stanley and why?

In this first book of a planned series, Stacy Verdick Case, creates a Cagney & Lacey type of detective mystery for readers to enjoy. Catherine and Louise couldn't be more different from each other. Catherine is a mess all the time and her mouth shoots things off before she has time to think. Louise never has a hair out of place and carefully plots out her every move. Their witty banter adds a great deal to this light mystery that will have you laughing as you dig deeper into the investigation.

Case does a superb job of creating her characters for A Grand Murder. They definitely make this a fun book to read. I liked the relationship between Catherine and Louise, just as much as the relationship between Catherine and her husband Gavin. They both added a personal element to a story that mostly takes place on the job. The introduction of Digs, who has a crush on Louise, made for several funny moments, as did the character of Mel. The plotting out of the murder investigation could have used a tiny bit of work, though. In one spot, the detectives opt to visit the murder scene because of a lead, but that lead is never followed through. The author does wrap up the loose ends nicely, but it kept bothering me they quickly abandoned a lead they felt was promising without any explanation.

The book could use some editing. There were places like "break" instead of "brake" and "innocents" instead of "innocence" that should have been caught by a good editor. I also found it unnerving that the Author's Notes were used not only to thank her supporters but to stick it to those who tried to discourage her and "one finger salute" the agent who didn't like her work. I feared posting an honest review might lead to my being bad-mouthed here or elsewhere online. It almost prevented me from posting a review at all, which would be a shame because I enjoyed the book overall and would definitely recommend it, in addition to wanting to read the next book in the series.

If you want a light mystery with engaging characters, you'll want to pick up A Grand Murder by Stacy Verdick Case. It's definitely worth reading.

  • Paperback: 224 pages

  • Publisher: Before The Fall Books (August 9, 2011)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0983713707

  • ISBN-13: 978-0983713708

  • SRP:  $14.95

  • Also available for Kindle and Nook.

    I received a free e-copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

    This is the nineteenth book I've read for the following challenge:

    It is the twelfth book I've read for the following challenge:

    It is the fifth book I've read for the following challenge:

    It is the fourth book I've read for the following challenge:

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