Kill Them with Canvas (A Paint by Murder Mystery)
by Bailee Abbott
About Kill Them With Canvas
Kill Them with Canvas (A Paint by Murder Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639101047
ISBN-13 : 978-1639101047
Digital ASIN : B09Q7Z7TDJ
In Bailee Abbott’s second book in the Paint by Murder mysteries, Chloe and Izzie are taking their paint party business on the road—with murder as the first stop!
Chloe Abbington and her sister, Izzie, are enjoying huge success running Paint with a View, their paint party business in the tranquil western New York lakeside town of Whisper Cove. Now, their aunt Constance—president of the local chapter of the Chautauqua Sisterhood—has hooked them up with a gig hosting a Halloween painting party. The guests will be painting a local ghost legend, the Lady of Chautauqua Lake, who died a hundred years earlier and rises from the lake every October to haunt anyone who dares venture out on All Hallows’ Eve.
The event seems to be going off without a hitch, until Chloe overhears an argument between Constance and Viola Finnwinkle, the Sisterhood director, about the fate of the local chapter. Both women leave and the sisters finish their painting. But the next morning, Viola’s body is discovered floating face down near the town ferryboat dock, her long red hair spread around her. Eerily, the image is an exact replica of a painting Chloe and Izzie had discovered at the event the night before.
What’s more, the police find Constance’s purple knit hat lying on the ground near the crime scene. Constance pleads innocence, saying the hat mysteriously went missing during the event. Frantic that she might be charged with murder, she begs Chloe and Izzie to help her. The sisters believe their aunt is innocent, but if so, who’s the real killer—and when will the next victim turn up?
It’s almost Halloween in Whisper Cove and Chloe and Izzie are making the most of the holiday with several events for their Paint with a View painting party business. The first event is for their Aunt Constance and the local chapter of the Chautauqua Sisterhood. They will be painting a picture of the Lady of Chautauqua Lake who died a hundred years ago and has become a legend who rises every All Hallows Eve from the lake to haunt the small lakeside town.
The sisterhood director, Viola Finnwinkle has decided to attend the painting party and the event is going well until an argument between the director and Aunt Constance, president of the local order erupts after she informs Constance the local chapter will be merging with others. Soon both abruptly leave the event while other guests finish their paintings. The next morning Viola’s body is found floating by the ferryboat dock eerily just like a painting Izzie and Chloe found left behind at the Chautauqua Sisterhood party the night before. A piece of evidence found at the crime scene puts Aunt Constance at the top of the suspect list. Their aunt is not a killer! Chloe and Izzie drop their brushes to prove her innocence but will they find the true killer or will they paint their aunt into a corner?
Izzie was hard for me to like in A Brush with Murder. In reading this 2nd installment of the Paint by Murder Mystery she has not grown on me and Chloe is faltering in my affection. Chloe came across as downright rude at times. I was so happy to see Willow is back to work for the sisters Abbington because they spend a lot of time out of their shop trying to clear their aunt’s name. Willow is also the one that paints the pictures of the projects in progress to help painters see the pictures they are trying to paint in steps. I assume Chloe painted those while Willow was away. Chloe worrying endlessly over her love life got to be too much for me too. Adding their cousin Spencer to the mix didn’t help either because we see she has a lot of immature traits and thoughts as well. Aunt Constance has some interesting friends, one who is always extremely close literally which was a little creepy but she added an interesting element to the story. Chloe and Izzie have grown a little since the last book but I hope there is some big development in book three.
The mystery was very nicely plotted with a small group of suspects from members of the Chautauqua Sisterhood, Dewey, the ferry manager, and Aunt Constance. The sisters make a valiant try to solve the mystery but they should be extremely thankful for Max, a fluffy white Maltese poodle mix with and love of sniffing out evidence. He moved the investigation along more than once. Chloe and Izzie’s investigation was very by the seat of their pants impulsively darting from one thing to another but a last-minute plan reveals all. I never truly focused in on the true killer which made the that reveal was super satisfactory for me.
I loved that the story was set during Halloween. The legend of the Lady of Chautauqua Lake was a great theme. I easily pictured the woman from the author’s description and the paintings she was featured in. I would have loved to be part of that painting party.
Kill Them With Canvas was an entertaining cozy mystery marred by some truly over-the-top characters. There were so many good things about the first two books in this series. I think the right character development can make book 3 a Perfect Escape.
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About Bailee Abbott
Bailee Abbott is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Bailee also writes the Sierra Pines B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long.
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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.”