Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele Pariza Wacek
About Murder Next Door
Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Love-Based Publishing (April 19, 2022)
Digital ASIN: B09QZ476FW
Everyone knows vampires don’t exist.
So when Mildred Schmidt, one of Charlie’s customers, is convinced that her next-door neighbor’s housesitter is actually a vampire, Charlie of course has to step in to see what is really going on.
What she finds is … disturbing. The house sitter DOES have some peculiar habits—like digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night.
Surely, they aren’t … graves.
But then Polly, a local teenager, goes missing.
Of course, teenagers DO run away from time to time.
Less explainable is the dead body that then appears in the “vampire’s” yard.
Luckily, Charlie is hot on the case, and not a moment too soon as she races to not only find Polly, but to discover the killer before the bodies start to pile up.
Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.
Did you say, vampire?
Yes, and he’s digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night!
Well, it is Redemption, Wisconsin and strange things seem to happen there. But vampires?
Soon Charlie is caught up in finding a missing mailman, a missing teenager, a murder, a psychic, and yes, a vampire who everyone believes is responsible for it all.
We are back in Redemption, Wisconsin and I have to keep reminding myself this series is set in the 1990s when I wonder why Charlie doesn’t have a cell phone. But when that memory kicks in I find myself easily immersed in the quirky small town and its eccentric residents.
Redemption is a peculiar place and the perfect setting for a cozy mystery. Readers quickly learn that is more than just a place though. The residents believe the town has power and like the Hotel California, once you check-in, you can’t check out unless the town is willing to let you go. This gives an overshadowing eerieness to the whole story which makes it different from most traditional cozy mysteries.
This time we meet Mildred, one of Charlie’s tea customers who is worried about what is happening next door. It seems her longtime neighbor has disappeared and someone else is living in his house. The “housesitter” is a very unusual man with some unusual habits and it has poor Mildred completely twitterpated. We also learn that across town a teenager from a large family has gone missing. Then a dead body is found in the missing man’s yard and the entire town is in an uproar. Charlie arrives just in time to stop the surge ready to take the housesitter/vampire down.
The author really plotted this story well. It had a really good flow. Again, Charlie’s friend Pat becomes her sleuthing partner with Pat thinking that a visit to the new psychic in town will get them off to a great start in finding what is going on around town and if anyone truly is in danger. Well, that didn’t go as planned.
I enjoyed how Charlie encouraged and finally was able to convince Mildred to talk to the police. Officer Brandon Wyle listened patiently to Mildred’s outlandish report and then turned to Charlie after Mildred left the room to find out if the woman was truly delusional. Then he tells Charlie to butt out and leave everything to him. Later he realizes it may be beneficial to keep Charlie involved. What was even better is they get together several times to compare notes and by the end appear to be on common ground and maybe more in the future.
All the mysteries were solved by the end of the book although one happened very abruptly when all the clues finally slipped into place for Charlie. I was surprised, the ending could have gone two ways. All I will say is Charlie is one lucky woman.
Murder Next Door is an entertaining story containing several mysteries tangled together in an intriguing way that kept the pages rapidly turning. I can’t wait to escape into the next Charlie Kingsley Mystery and 1990s Redemption, Wisconsin. It is quite the place and she is quite the protagonist. I also to check out the author’s Secrets of Redemption series where Charlie was first introduced.
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About Michele Pariza Wacek
When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They’re clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com. For a free prequel to her cozy mystery series, The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, visit https://mpwnovels.com/freebies/
Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.
Purchase Link – Amazon –
Also by Michele Pariza Wacek
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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.”