Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to feature Brush Up On Murder:
An Aurora Anderson Mystery
by Sybil Johnson today!
About Brush Up On Murder
Brush Up On Murder: An Aurora Anderson Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – California
Vista Beach Press (October 10, 2023)
Print length : 284 pages
ASIN : B0CFSZGMD8
Love is in the air in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and decorative-painting enthusiast, Aurora (Rory) Anderson.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, residents are training for the annual Love Run and expressing their undying affection for each other by attaching love locks to the pier railings. But a string of bank robberies is ruining the romantic vibe.
While Rory helps friends prepare for a Valentine’s Day wedding, a body is found and the groom is implicated in the murder. Convinced of his innocence, Rory puts her heart into the investigation. Can she identify the killer before someone else encounters their own brush with death?
It’s almost Valentine’s Day in Vista Beach and there are a lot of things happening. The Annual Love Run/Walk, a wedding, and the love locks are being moved from the pier railing to a new spot by city hall. The events are being marred though by a bunch of bank robberies and a dead body. Having the groom on the suspect list really is putting a strain on everyone too. Rory believes Zander is innocent she just has to prove it. Love was in the air before the murder. Can Rory get things back on track by revealing the bank robber and catching the killer? Or will there be another brush up on murder before she can?
We last visited Rory, her friends, and her family back in 2019. I am so happy that Sybil Johnson has brought this series back! I knew Aurora (Rory) Anderson’s stories were not over.
Rory is a computer programmer and helps her mother at her shop, Arika’s Scrap ‘n Paint. She is a strong protagonist with a huge heart. She goes to great lengths to help her family and friends in any way that she can. Rory is very involved in helping her friends, Solange and Xander, get everything just right for their upcoming wedding. She and Detective Martin Green have been dating for a little while. It is a new but very comfortable relationship. He doesn’t like it when she and her BFF Liz butt into his cases but when one of her friend’s bridesmaids is murdered and Zander is the prime suspect, she was not just going to do nothing. I love the way Rory and Liz work together. I had missed this duo. They and all the other characters in this story are very well-crafted and continue to evolve very well. The dialogue between characters felt very true to life.
The mystery was a twisty one. Secrets, lies, murder, a missing person, a scavenger hunt, a robber, a killer, a timely rescue, and more. Ms. Johnson packs a lot into less than 300 pages and those pages were flying. All the subplots flowed effortlessly together with the murder mystery. The clues were dropped nicely with a red herring or two. I discounted the guilty party early on so I was surprised when events started to skew in their direction.
I really enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing style. She brings the small town of Vista Beach to life with her words. I love the locks of love subplot and could so easily visualize the locks handpainted by Anika, and them and others filling the pier railings. The movement of the locks to a safer place was very interesting too with lock-pickers involved to save the locks so they could be saved and moved. It would have been so sad to have them cut off and trashed.
Brush Up With Murder is a well-written return to this series with engaging characters and complicated mysteries. Fans of the series will be thrilled to revisit the people of Vista Beach but it is written for new readers to enjoy as well. You can always read the previous books while waiting for the next book to be released if you wish.
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About Sybil Johnson
Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After twenty years in the computer industry, she decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Sybil now wields pen and paint brush from her home in Southern California.
If you’ve been missing this series, you’ll be glad to glad to get a new entry. If you are new to the characters, Brush Up on Murder will have you hunting down Rory’s earlier cases. Check out the rest of the Aurora Anderson Mysteries.
Brush Up On Murder is another wonderful book in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series, it is engaging, flows well, and keeps the reader on their toes. The author does a great job creating a world that grabs the reader and pulls them in, keeping them engaged from start to finish. The characters are vibrant and exciting. I really enjoyed Brush Up On Murder.
Brush Up On Murder is a delightful cozy mystery that combines, intrigue, and a well-crafted plot. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an engaging and entertaining cozy mystery read.
~JK Joy Mysteries, Thrillers, Suspense
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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.”