Murder of a Good Man (A Piney Woods Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Camel Press (January 15, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
E-Book ASIN: B076XVG8JP
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.
Secrets, lies, and a murder. Piney Woods is nothing like Nora Alexander ever imagined, but people thinking she killed Adam Brockwell is just plain crazy. Her mother seems to have had a past with the man, but she never mentioned the man to Nora. Why would she want him dead? Well, the plot thickens when the will is read and even the handsome police chief Tuck Watson thinks she may have done it and has told her not to leave town. To be able to stay she gets a job at the Tunie Hotel behind the desk. The owner turns out to be the chief’s aunt who hopes to renovate the place and bring it back to the glory it had not so many years ago. Nora meets several people and some secrets are revealed, but are they enough to prove her innocence?
The characters are what really made this mystery shine. Nora’s mother’s deathbed wish sends her to Piney Woods where first she meets Tatty and Ed, who own a B&B. Nora quickly moves in and the three become fast friends. They never doubt her innocence for one minute. She meets Marty, a woman driven to fulfill her dreams of making the Tunie Hotel a thriving business again. Max also works at the hotel. They also believe Nora had nothing to do with the murder. Chief Tuck Watson is easy on the eyes and he is sweet on Nora from the moment they met. If they could just get this murder mess straightened out. We are introduced to several more characters, like Adam Brockwell’s son, the Reverend Alton Siddons, and a woman from the bank who handled Adam’s investments. All the characters are all unique, memorable and pretty fleshed out for the first book in the series.
Ms. Trent takes these wonderful characters and swirls them together in quite a mystery. Seems not everyone thought Mr. Brockwell was a “good man”. He had secrets and enemies. This story is full of little twists and turns, but the final one just about gave me whiplash. Surprised, you bet I was. It is not a story I will soon forget. There is also a happy event at the end and Nora has a revelation I can’t wait to see play out in the next book.
I loved these characters and their story so far. I am excited to see what the author has in store for them next. My next trip to Piney Woods can’t happen too soon.
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.
Family secrets abound in this small town novel. . . Not an easy mystery to figure out.
There is an amazing amount of secrets revealed that I never really saw coming making this a fascinating read, to say the least.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
The characters are fun, believable, charming and welcoming.
I can’t wait to read more about this little town.
~My Reading Journeys
An intriguing start to a new series set in the Piney Woods of East Texas. And since I have family in East Texas, I felt like I was right at home.
. . . an interesting and well-paced start to a new cozy mystery series.
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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.”