Murder Outside the Lines (Pen & Ink)
3rd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C.
Kensington Cozies (September 28, 2021)
Paperback : 352 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496724631
ISBN-13 : 978-1496724632
Kindle ASIN : B07ZPKF5M5
With Halloween just around the corner, the fall colors in Georgetown are brilliant. As manager of the Color Me Read bookstore, coloring book creator Florrie Fox has arranged for psychic author Hilda Rattenhorst to read from Spooktacular Ghost Stories. But the celebrity medium arrives for the event in hysterics, insisting she just saw a bare foot sticking out of a rolled-up carpet in a nearby alley. Is someone trying to sweep murder under the rug? Florrie calls in her policeman beau, Sergeant Eric Jonquille, but the carpet corpse has disappeared without a trace.
Then in the middle of her reading, Hilda chillingly declares that she feels the killer’s presence in the store. Is this a publicity stunt or a genuine psychic episode? It seems there’s no happy medium. When a local bibliophile is soon discovered missing, a strange mystery begins to unroll. Now it’s up to Florrie and Jonquille to expose a killer’s true colors . . .
It’s almost Halloween in Georgetown and there is a special event at the Color Me Read bookstore. Store manager and coloring book creator Florrie Fox has invited Hilda Rattenhorst, a psychic author to read from Spooktacular Ghost Stories. When Hilda arrives everyone knows something is wrong but when she announces she saw a bare human foot sticking out of a rolled-up rug not far from the bookstore they are all taken aback. Florrie dials up Sergeant Eric Jonquille who also happens to be her boyfriend and tells him what the psychic claims she saw. When he arrives at the supposed scene there is no sign of the rug or the foot.
As Hilda gets to the middle of her reading she tenses, and declares “There’s a killer in the building!” and collapses to the floor. Florrie thinks it may just be a stunt but fears it is the truth. When bodies start dropping Florrie realizes the psychic may have been right.
In another spooky development, the owner of the bookstore, Professor Maxwell has received an unexpected package that contains an eerie object.
It’s time for Florrie to grab her sketch pad and try to make sense of all the clues so she can help her beau catch a killer. She also needs to help her boss get the full story about the “gift” he has received.
I was very happy to reconnect with these characters and at the perfect time, Halloween.
I love that Florrie is a coloring book creator and she uses her creative side to help understand what is happening around her. It doesn’t happen fast but when a doodle helps all the clues start to fall into place it is just so cool. I love the relationship she has with Sergeant Eric Jonquille. He tries to keep her out of his cases but he knows her and that her insights can be helpful. The rest of the core characters bring the quirkiness required in a cozy series. They are all cleverly created and interesting.
The mystery has several light paranormal elements, which is fun in a Halloween mystery. An old mystery gets twisted up with the new one and Florrie is in the middle of it all. She notices things other people miss and she even happens to be in the right place at the right time to prevent an event from becoming dire in the nick of time. There are several twists to unwind and secrets to reveal. She follows clues to uncover a surprising component and that sets up a heck of a scary showdown.
Ms. Davis is a marvelous storyteller. I have no trouble escaping into her mysteries. The characters are fun and relatable. The settings are always picturesque. The mysteries are so well-plotted and intriguing. As I expected Murder Outside the Lines sucked me in and held on tight. It was definitely A Perfect Escape.
The unique coloring book covers in this series are an added bonus. Be sure to grab markers, colors, or colored pencils when you get the books.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.
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.”