Getaway With Murder: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries
Brand New Series
Setting – North Carolina
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250815975
ISBN-13 : 978-1250815972
Kindle ASIN : B08R2L2ZJL
Getaway With Murder is the first in a cozy series from Diane Kelly set in a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where secrets hide behind every hill.
As if hitting the half-century mark wasn’t enough, Misty Murphy celebrated her landmark birthday by amicably ending her marriage and investing her settlement in a dilapidated mountain lodge at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the old inn teetering on both a bluff and bankruptcy, she must have lost her ever-loving mind.
Luckily, handyman Rocky Crowder has a knack for rehabbing virtual ruins and for doing it on a dime, and to Misty’s delight, the lodge is fully booked on opening night, every room filled with flexible folks who’d slipped into spandex and ascended the peak for a yoga retreat with plans to namastay for a full week. Misty and her guests are feeling zen—at least until the yoga instructor is found dead.
With a killer on the loose and the lodge’s reputation hanging in the balance, Misty must put her detective skills to the test. Only one thing is as clear as a sunny mountain morning—she must solve the crime before the lodge ends up, once again, on the brink.
Misty Murphy celebrates her 50th birthday in an unusual way. She signs divorce papers and moves to the inn she has purchased at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While the inn needs a considerable amount of help, the divorce does not. She and her husband have parted amicably and remain friends.
After a misstep with one contractor, Misty meets Rocky Crowder. He gives her a bid for the work needed that won’t break her budget while adding a fantastic new space and even better he can start the work immediately.
Rocky’s speedy maintenance and construction and Misty’s new hire Brynn allow her to host a yoga retreat that fills every room for the whole week. But the week doesn’t go smoothly as the yogi instructor is found murdered. This isn’t good for Misty or her business. She didn’t know she was going to have to add detective to her innkeeper skills but with the yogis set to leave in just a few days, she is going to have to catch a killer before the bus arrives to take them back down the mountain or die trying.
I really enjoyed this story.
It is so great to have a protagonist leave a marriage and both parties are happy and remain friends both for themselves and the college-age sons. There is no tension and no animosity. In fact, her husband sends her a wonderful gift and offers his help after the murder. This all means Misty Murphy is comfortable in her own skin and ready to take on the huge venture she has ahead of her.
I also am very happy with Rocky Crowder, like Misty, he has grown children he spends time with but his wife is out of the picture. This leads him and Misty to make an unusual arrangement that works for both of them with the promise of their relationship growing in interesting ways.
Misty’s assistant Brynn is more of a wild card as she didn’t reveal some things about herself during the interview. Misty also makes quick friends with the diner owner, Patty, across the parking lot.
All these characters are believable and well fleshed out for the first book in the series. Misty has a connection to the inn from her childhood too which makes her huge move and purchase very understandable.
The guests are a diverse group and barring that someone traveled literally over hill and dale to kill Sasha Ducharme Carlisle one of them is a killer. So Misty has access to all the suspects and the rooms in which they are staying. I enjoyed the way she handled her investigation by getting to know her guests. She took part in some of the yoga sessions and observed them during breakfast and their downtimes in the evening. At one point, I took a little break to formulate my own suspect list more formally because I was as in the dark as Misty and the police. The author was very tricky. She gave an excellent clue to the culprit that I totally dismissed.
Diane Kelly really took her time describing the location of this inn including Misty’s trek up the mountain, and when the guests took a hike. I loved that. She painted wonderful pictures of the area for someone like me that has never had the pleasure of traveling the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Another element that I really enjoyed was that Misty has a cat named Yeti and Yeti gets to pen some short chapters from his point of view. Knowing what a cat is truly thinking is never really possible but the author really captured this cat’s catitude really well. They are also good for a chuckle or two.
Getaway with Murder was such a captivating mystery. I had a hard time putting it down when I had to close my eyes to sleep. I did that one more chapter thing until my Kindle fell to the floor as my eyes slid shut and my hand let it go. The next day I hurried through my work so I could get back to it.
This book has everything I look for in a Perfect Escape – Strong characters that are easy to become invested in, a setting I loved to visit and want to visit again and again, and a mystery that tests me by being well-plotted.
I am excited about this series. The author needs to tread carefully because while an inn brings in a new set of guests for each installment, she can’t kill too many people on the premises because tourists will not want to stay there. It will be fun to see how the series continues.
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Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.
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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.”