It was about time I went back to reading more traditional cozies, so I was happy to agree when Marianne Jones asked me to review her book, The Serenity Stone Murder.
The peaceful city of Thunder Bay is shocked when one of its most prominent businessmen is murdered with a stone stolen from a nearby church garden. Visiting the city to attend a retreat, Margaret and Louise become intrigued by the circumstances surrounding the murder and quickly find themselves embroiled in the investigation.
This cozy mystery focuses on how two vacationing friends attempt to investigate a murder. Not because they are directly involved or knew the victim or his family, simply because they can’t control their curiosity. More by chance than by design, they come across a clue that ultimately helps solve the mystery.
This was a sweet mystery and an enjoyable read. The story moved along nicely, but without the page-turning suspense that many mystery lovers have come to expect. For me the murder took backseat to the interaction and friendship between these two women. Both artistic types, Margaret and Louise are polar opposites. Margaret comes across for the most part as more level-headed, whereas Louise is a bit flighty, and dare I say, eccentric. At Louise’s bidding, Margaret sometimes makes decisions that go against her better judgment. As the story progresses, you begin to feel like you know them, or identify with the characteristics of one or the other. Their bickering adds a lively element of humor to the story. They don’t agree on lots of things, still somehow their friendship endures – despite the occasional road bump.
A cast of supporting characters adds color to the story, including other attendees at the women’s retreat, local people, a somewhat recluse artist and a retired cop. And, of course, you can’t help but love Louise’s pampered dog, which she insisted on bringing along.
The story takes place in Thunder Bay, Canada, and the author slips in lovely descriptions of the region and its natural beauty. Perhaps another place to add to my to-be-visited list in the future.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.