Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Killer Party (A Tourist Trap Mystery #9)

Author:  Lynn Cahoon
Genre:  Mystery

Trade Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book; Audiobook
ISBN#:  9781601836366; 9781515968252
Lyrical Underground Publishing
188 Pages
$15.00; $23.02; $5.99 Amazon
July 18, 2017


For a gang of old college buddies, the quaint resort town of South Cove, California, is the perfect spot for a no-holds-barred bachelor party.  But for Jill Gardner - owner of Coffee, Books and More - this stag party is going to be murder...

After a few months of living with her boyfriend Greg, Jill is still getting used to sharing such close quarters, but she's got no hesitation about joining him for a weekend at South Cove's most luxurious resort.  While Greg and his college pals celebrate their buddy's upcoming wedding, Jill intends to pamper herself in style.  But when the groom is found floating facedown in the pool, Jill must find the killer fast, or she might not have a boyfriend to come home to any more...


Jill Gardner, - owner of Coffee, Books and More - is still new to having her boyfriend Greg King, South Cove's police chief, living with her when they're invited to a weekend getaway.  Well, not so much of a getaway when it takes place at The Castle, which is only ten miles out of town.  But still, it's a weekend she doesn't have to work or think about anything but fun...or at least that's what she expects.

The reason they're even there is because Greg's friend Levi, a tech millionaire, is getting married and has rented the entire place for his close group of friends.  What Jill doesn't expect is how close this group is.  Greg's known everyone since he was a kid, and they pretty much stick together; albeit not the way she'd expect.  The girls are in one place, and the guys another.  No mingling with their spouses here!  Not something she likes, but it's only for a weekend, right?

Wrong...before Jill even has a chance to get to know anyone, Levi is found dead floating in the swimming pool, and since Greg knew the victim, it's the job of a neighboring town to investigate the murder.  However, since he can't officially investigate and doesn't want to jeopardize his own job, he calls on the sleuthing skills of his girlfriend to help him (surreptitiously, of course) find out who the murderer might be.  While he doesn't want to believe it's any of his friends, Jill isn't so sure.  She saw enough of the interaction to realize someone may have wanted Levi gone.

But finding out isn't going to be easy.  These people are keeping it close to their vest and not saying anything, for whatever reason.  And is Levi's girlfriend Jessica really grieving or is she just a great actress?  Since no one will talk, Jill's going to have to tap into the powers of the Internet and her own attention to detail to discover who killed Levi and why - and if there's another person on the agenda...

I have to tell you that this is one of the most delightful series I've ever read.  Each book is filled not only with an intriguing mystery, but several subplots as well that blend well with the story and keep it from having 'dead spots'.  And, if you're paying attention, they usually lead into the next installment of our narrative.

The characters are well-written, fully dimensional and it's a pure pleasure to spend time with them.  Watching the progression of Jill and Greg's relationship is a plus, too, along with the rest of South Cove's residents.  It doesn't hurt that there's a possibility of romance on the horizon for one of their community in a future book.

While we watch Jill unravel the mystery in her own unique way - not stepping on toes or being too invasive - we realize once again that things are not what they seem, and the answers we're looking for might be closer than we think.  When the ending comes close, and the killer is revealed at last, we realize that obsessions come in many different forms, and even the most obscure of them can be the most visible if we're paying attention.

This is the ninth book in the series, following Hospitality and Homicide, but can be read as a stand alone.  It is, as always, outstanding and an entertaining way to spend your hours reading.  I look forward to the next in the series.  Highly recommended.


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