Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am pleased to feature Death by the Finish Line by Alexis Morgan today!
Death by the Finish Line (An Abby McCree Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Washington State
Kensington Cozies (December 28, 2021)
Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496731271
ISBN-13 : 978-1496731272
Kindle ASIN : B091M8HQ62
When a dead body turns up on a race route, Abby McCree hits the ground running to catch a killer . . .
Overcommitted Abby has once again been drafted to use her organizing superpowers—this time for a 5k charity run that’s part of the Founder’s Day Celebration in Snowberry Creek, Washington. At least she has help, albeit from an unlikely source: Gil Pratt, a member of her handsome tenant Tripp Blackston’s veterans group and co-owner of a motorcycle repair shop with his brother. Abby and Gil may seem like an odd couple, but they work great together.
The event seems to be running smoothly—until city council member James DiSalvo is found murdered in a ravine along the race route. Unfortunately, Gil’s brother Gary had a very public argument with DiSalvo minutes before the race, making him the prime suspect. Now the two race organizers must again team up to prove Gary’s innocence—before the real killer makes a run for it. But one wrong step and Abby may be the next one to come in dead last . . .
Abby McCree’s special organizational skills have been called on again for an event in Snowberry Creek. The Founder’s Day Celebration will include a Salmon Scoot 5k charity run and Abby is happy to plan it as long as she gets help. She is surprised when Gil Pratt, co-owner of the local motorcycle repair shop volunteers. He is also a vet and a member of her hunky tenant Tripp Blackston’s veteran’s group. After a quick chat, they agree to work together and make a fine team.
The big day arrives and everything is in place for the run to be a huge success. They have plenty of volunteers along the route including a medical team in case of any injuries. The runners are soon off and running and crossing the finish line with Tripp as one of those coming in with the first group. Soon is it time to account for a few stragglers so Abby starts to make her way along the route. She comes across a couple of teenagers that tell her a man has fallen down a ravine just off the race path. By the time help arrives they find city councilman James DiSalvo dead and his death was no accident.
Shortly before the race, Gil’s brother Gary was seen having a very heated argument with the councilman so he immediately becomes the police’s main suspect. Gil believes in his brother’s innocence so asks Abby to help him prove it. It’s a race to find the killer before they can run off and kill again.
I really enjoy the characters in this series. Abby is a wonderful protagonist who has settled nicely into the home she inherited from her aunt. She has made friends of all ages and is a trusted member of the community. She is developing a very comfortable relationship with her tenant Tripp Blackston. The handsome gentleman also has several admirers including one that loves delivering her “famous tuna casseroles” so the poor man will never go hungry. They both are in love with Abby’s mastiff Zeke, a big gentle giant that immediately stole my heart.
Ms. Morgan introduces us to a great new character in Gil Pratt. Abby wasn’t sure about him when they first met. In fact, he scared her a bit, but over the course of this story, they became good friends. His brother was a key suspect in this book but we didn’t really get to know too much about him. I hope both these characters appear in future books in this series. I do have a fear of an Abby, Tripp, Gil, romantic triangle and I am not sure how I feel about that when Abby and Tripp’s relationship is just starting to take off.
We also meet James DiSalvo and learn a lot about him after his death. He was an awful man and had plenty of enemies. Enemies equal suspects and he had a nice wide pool. The mystery really has that small-town twist. The police chief is friends with Gil and Gary and he really tried to give Gary the benefit of the doubt and didn’t just stop investigating when all the evidence was pointing right at him. The author really twisted the case up with plenty of red herrings to keep her readers guessing. I could say my guess was half right but it was not firmed up by any good theory until all the clues were spelled out for me. I had a lot of fun following along with Abby as she dished out baked goods and played a little pool while trying to root out a killer.
While this author can write one heck of a mystery it is the wonderful characters that bring me back for book after book in this series. They are believable and genuine. I love the veteran tie-in and all the good works Abby gets involved in. I would love to jump into the pages just so I could be her friend.
Death by the Finish Line is a winning addition to this series. I can’t wait to return to Snowberry Creek!
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About the Author
Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.
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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.”