When Nora Alexander drives into Piney Woods, Texas, to fulfill her dying mother’s last wish, she has no idea what awaits her. First she is run off the road, then the sealed letter she delivers turns out to be a scathing rebuke to the town’s most beloved citizen and favored candidate for Piney Woods Pioneer: Adam Brockwell. Next thing you know, Adam has been murdered in a nasty knife attack. Suspicion instantly falls on Nora, one of the last people to see him alive. After all, everyone in Piney Woods loved him. Or did they? Nora learns that her mother had a complicated past she never shared with her daughter. Told not to leave town by Tuck the flirty sheriff, Nora finds a job with Tuck’s Aunt Marty trying to get the rundown Tunie Hotel back in the black. The old hotel was Piney Woods’ heart and soul in its heyday as an oil boomtown. Now the secrets it harbors may be the key to getting Nora off the hook. She’s going to need to solve the mystery quickly to avoid arrest, or worse: becoming the killer’s next victim.
In this enjoyable mystery, Nora travels to a quaint Texas town where she is soon entangled in a murder investigation and uncovers an abundance of secrets about her mother’s past and the past of the town’s favorite man and benefactor. With the help of local B&B owners and the hotel owner, Nora draws on her inner strength to cope with the challenges she faces. Her interactions with Tuck add a potential romantic interest to her life, which I suspect will be a thread in future books in the series. Some aspects of the plot were somewhat predicable, though there were a few unexpected twists. Overall, an interesting and well-paced start to a new cozy mystery series.
FTC Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review.
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About the Author
Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning mystery writer. She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.
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