Staff Review by James
Sleuthing has never been so… colorful.
I don’t often read cozy mysteries, so I decided to give the genre a try by selecting Color Me Murder as my staff pick. Immediately, I was drawn into the intricate life of Florrie Fox, an amateur artist in her own right who manages an adult coloring bookstore, Color Me Read, in the heart of Washington, D.C. While hunting for an apartment, Florrie accepts an offer from the bookstore’s owner, Professor John Maxwell, to move into the carriage house on his estate. She thus becomes ensnared in her esteemed boss’s family drama, which takes a deadly turn when she finds Delbert, the professor’s disagreeable and conniving nephew, dead in the bookstore. When Professor Maxwell is arrested as the prime suspect in Delbert’s murder, it falls to Florrie to uncover clues to prove her beloved boss’s innocence.
Often, what determines the quality of a mystery book is how well the author (and reader) knows their characters, enough to evaluate which characters are plausible suspects and which ones aren’t. And it’s evident that author Krista Davis knows her characters well. Florrie may not have a background in forensics or private investigative work, but she is an insightful woman. She does everything she can to convince the police that Maxwell is innocent—and even goes so far as to pursue some angles that the police hadn’t considered. It is Florrie’s natural skill as an artist that enables her to page through the potential suspects in Delbert’s murder. I really enjoyed how Florrie sketches each person she interviews, so that her sketchbook helps her reexamine the suspects at the end of each day of her investigation.
The supporting cast of characters is as vibrant as Florrie. There’s her sister Veronica, who coaxes Florrie to live more adventurously—and inadvertently helps Florrie uncover some clues. There’s Jim, a homeless man who hangs out near Color Me Read and provides Florrie with some invaluable assistance. And finally, there’s Sergeant Eric Jonquille, a beat cop who’s assigned to protect Florrie when she finds herself in danger… which, in turn, causes some sparks to fly between the two of them. As Florrie delves deeper into Delbert’s sketchy past, she finds that any number of people could have nursed a grudge against him. Ultimately, the culprit turns out to be the character whom you least expect, which makes Florrie’s journey to uncover the truth all the more exciting to read. I can’t wait for the next Pen & Ink Mystery Novel!
Pairs well with: strawberries and cream torte, which is one of the exclusive recipes within. Read during: a break from an afternoon coloring session.
Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color! Download the PDF and start coloring today.
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.
When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.
Average Customer Review
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An amazing cozy that is sure to captivate many readers!
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018)
Reviewer: Dani Pirok@ touchmyspinebookreviews.com
I absolutely LOVE the books that Kensington publishes and Krista Davis's Color Me Murder is no different! This was a fantastic book with a beautiful artistic cover you are able to color in yourself! This is a must read that is not to be missed. You can find my full review of this book @ https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com/2018/03/03/arc-book-review-color-me-murder-by-krista-davis/