Title: The Advice Column Murders
Author: Leslie Nagel
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Page Count: 243
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
What’s the couple next door really hiding? Vintage fashionista and amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter finds out in this engrossing cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.
In a small town like Oakwood, Ohio, everyone knows everyone else’s business—except for Charley Carpenter’s standoffish new neighbors, who tend to keep to themselves. But behind closed doors, Paxton Sharpe’s habit of screaming bloody murder at all hours of the day keeps Charley awake all night. Coupled with the stress of the increasingly delayed expansion of her shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, the insomnia is driving Charley crazy. Her only distraction? The local paper’s irreverent new advice column, “Ask Jackie.”
Jackie’s biting commentary usually leaves Charley and her employees rolling on the floor, but her latest column is no laughing matter. An oddly phrased query hinting at a child in peril immediately puts Charley on high alert. After arriving home to a bloodcurdling scream next door, she follows the noise into the basement and makes a grisly discovery: the body of Judith Sharpe’s adult daughter.
With Detective Marcus Trenault off in Chicago, Charley decides to take matters into her own hands. Convinced that the murder is connected to the desperate plea for help in “Ask Jackie,” she embarks on a twisted investigation that has her keeping up with the Sharpes—before a killer strikes again.
Leslie Nagel’s delightful Oakwood Mystery novels can be enjoyed together or separately:
THE BOOK CLUB MURDERS | THE ANTIQUE HOUSE MURDERS | THE ADVICE COLUMN MURDERS
The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel is the third book in the cozy Oakwood Mystery series. Each book in the series is a new case to be solved so while the characters have carried over from book to book it would be possible to read any as a standalone if choosing to do so. There would however be a bit of character building left out as their lives have progressed from book to book.
In this third installment of the series Charley Carpenter is in the middle of dealing with several setbacks with the expansions in her shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. Things seem to keep happening and she needs to figure out who seems to want to slow the work down. However, before Charley has a chance to figure out just what is going on she hears screams coming from the neighbor’s house and upon investigation Charley comes across her standoffish neighbor Judith Sharpe kneeling over her eldest daughter’s body.
With Judith seemingly in shock and her husband not there Charley ushers Judith’s younger twins to her own home to take care of them as long as needed. With a new detective one this case Charley doesn’t see herself getting involved until she gets a little nudge from her friends to look into the case.
The Oakwood Mystery series is again a fun one to come back to with this latest addition. With a strong female lead with ties to law enforcement the sleuthing is always fun to follow. With this particular book the author has taken a cozy story and mixed it with a whole lot of family drama to wade through to find a killer so I found it that much more compelling to wade through the secrets and lies until the end. Once again I’ll be looking forward to returning to this small town if the series continues.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Leslie Nagel is the author of the USA Today and Amazon bestsellingOakwood Mystery Series. She lives in the all too real city of Oakwood,Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground.In addition to writing about murder, she also teaches writing at a local community college. After the written word, Leslie’s passions includeher husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong blackcoffee, not necessarily in that order.