On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
The Deadly Art of Deception (Caribou King Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Cozy Cat Press (September 30, 2016)
Paperback: 230 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01LZ698BS
Only two seasons matter in Coho Bay, Alaska––cruise ship and winter. Caribou King, owner of The Broken Antler Gallery, is hip-deep in tourists when her old college pal Taylor shows up asking for refuge, saying she has no place else to go. Cara is cautious; Taylor was the wife of one of Alaska’s most renowned artists––Jonathan Snow, who was mauled to death by a bear the previous year. Why would his widow want to return to the location of her tragic loss? Something about Taylor’s story just doesn’t ring true. Of course, she may not be the only liar in town. Taylor’s former father-in-law accuses her of killing his son in front of a diner full of people, except he may have had a stronger motive. A handsome boat captain seems to fancy both Cara and Taylor and can’t make up his mind between them––or between lying and telling the truth. And the local constable mistrusts everyone, but may have a reason to be mistrusted himself. Will Cara help her old friend Taylor, or will doing so get her into a heap of trouble? When a headless body is discovered in the bay, Cara wonders just who she can trust in this tiny town.
Coho Bay, Alaska was just a small town on the Alaskan coast before cruise ships made it one of their stops. Now the town is supported by “cruise ship season” which is nearing a close for the year. Everyone knows everyone’s busy and gossip travels at the speed of light. Caribou King (Cara) owns the The Broken Antler Gallery, her sister, Mel, and her husband, Bent, own and run the local diner and her parents are off in the wilderness on a Moose Count. Cara is surprised when her friend Taylor returns to Coho Bay. Her husband was an artist just starting to take off with his career when he was killed by a bear. Taylor left town shortly after. Cara cannot get a straight story from Taylor but it seems to be her husband’s death is in question. Soon after her arrival the town is shocked when a body sans head and hands is found in the bay. Can the deaths be connected? Does Taylor’s reappearance in town have anything to do with the dead man? Who can Cara really trust to find answers?
I was familiar with this author from her Jake and Emma Mysteries so I knew this story was going to be good, and I was not disappointed.
I have not read many books set in Alaska but the author’s descriptive words painted some beautiful pictures in my mind. Set near the end of the summer the weather was very changeable. One day summer like and warm, the next could bring rain or even snow. You would have to be one tough cookie to live there year round.
Caribou King, the name made me shake my head a bit, but I was fine calling her Cara is a complex protagonist, smart, funny, comfortable hunting elk and moose with her father, but awkward around men and a bit naive. She is tall for a girl, was the football quarterback in high school because there weren’t enough guys to fill a team. There aren’t many men in town and most are taken or look at her as a buddy rather than a woman to date and she is fine with that. She lives in the apartment above the gallery and takes most of her meals at the diner, where she helps out every morning at 5:30 a.m.
The story focuses on Cara and her family, Taylor, her friend from college, Taylor’s ex-father-in-law, the local police officer and visitor who has booked a cabin for the summer. Ms. Crowder wraps them in terrific mystery that had both me and Cara twisted up in knots trying to figure out whodunit. At times the story became very suspenseful making the book hard to put down and easy to read in one sitting.
I really enjoyed this book and think we have hit just the tip of the iceberg with these characters. I am excited to see what book number brings. Maybe a little romance for Cara??
Linda grew up in Loveland, Colorado, the youngest of six children. She moved with her parents to California when she was 16 and spent the next 16 years of her life in the Bay Area before moving home to Colorado and finally to Wyoming.
In her writing, Linda draws from her vast and varied experience with people facing domestic violence, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and suicide. Her nonfiction is full of practical strategies and her fictional characters leap off the page with all the nuances, strengths and frailties that draw readers to her work.
Her current projects include the third Jake and Emma Mystery, “Justice for Katie,” now out and a new edition of “Life Isn’t Just Luck” to give readers even more real-world advice and activities. Linda is also working on a series of inspirational short stories and exploring a humorous new series called “It’s a Gift” about a young woman determined to make the most of every day of her life.
Follow Linda on Twitter https://twitter.com/LJCrowder
Check out her Author Site www.lindajcrowder.com for news and snippets of upcoming books.
Find her on Facebook – She loves to share books she’s read and recommends and she enjoys chatting with readers. www.facebook.com/lindajcrowderauthor
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”