- Title: A Luring Murder
- Author: Stacy Verdick Case
- ISBN: 978-0-9837137-4-6
- Publisher: Before the Fall
- Genre: Mystery
- Stacy Verdick Case Website: http://www.stacyverdickcase.com/
- Stacy on Facebook: A Grand Murder
- Stacy’s Official Blog: So Stacy Thought
- Stacy’s Twitter Feed: @SVerdickCase
- Stacy on Goodreads: Stacy Verdick Case
The irreverent detective is back, and this time she’s on vacation. God help us all. St. Paul, Minnesota Homicide Detective Catherine O’Brien and her loving husband Gavin are vacationing on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. When a local is murdered Catherine is tapped to help the small town Sheriff until the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrives to take over the investigation. Catherine is surprised when her partner Louise and Diggs the forensic pathologist, whose crush on Louise is only dwarfed by his own genius, show up to assist instead of the BCA. Before long Catherine and Louise discover this sleepy little town has a dark side hidden beneath its placid lake charms. Somewhere in the tangle of cheating and deception is a motive for murder.
This book takes place just after the end of A Grand Murder, when Catherine and her husband are on vacation. While it is a continuation of the story from the first book, it is capable of being a stand alone book – although I think you’ll love Catherine as much as I did and WANT to read the first book in the series.
I have been a fan of mystery books since I first started reading as a child. Mystery’s are probably my favorite genre of all. Since I so thoroughly enjoyed A Grand Murder, I was thrilled when Stacy emailed me asking if I’d read and review the next book in the series, A Luring Murder. It arrived in the mail on Friday Feb 1 and I started reading it that evening. I stayed up until 3:30 am to finish it, because I just couldn’t wait to see how it was going to end.
I am able to connect with the main character, Catherine, very well, and she had me laughing on page 1 at her reaction to waking up on vacation at a Fishing Resort. Growing up, my dad owned a Bait Shop and my entire extended family loves to fish and eat fish. I do not. I refuse to touch a fish, and I eat chicken while they all devour the fish. Catherine has such a perfect detective personality. She is grouchy and tough when she needs to be, and shows her softer, caring side when she refers to her husband. Her partner feels like she needs to do a better job of holding her tongue when interviewing, because she just asks the first question that comes to mind, but I think that is part of what makes her so good at her job. She can refrain when the situation calls for it
As the story progresses, Catherine’s partner, Louise, who was injured in the first book, shows up to help her investigate a murder that has occurred at the resort where she is staying, the first in the town’s history. The small town where the story is set has a sheriff and a deputy, and that is the extent of their law enforcement personnel. Since they’ve never encountered a murder, they need the help of these “big city” detectives to guide them. Not to mention that as residents of the small town themselves, they are less than impartial when it comes to investigating and interrogating their fellow citizens.
I really enjoyed how Catherine and Louise are able to play their personalities off of one another as they conduct interviews. You can really detect the bond that has developed between these two partners. They are able to pick up on one another’s non-verbal clues, and trade off being “good cop” vs “bad cop” as the situations unfold.
When a second murder occurs in the town, the situation heats up. Catherine is struggling to balance the need to solve the murder and spend quality time with her husband while they’re on vacation, and Louise is struggling to balance taking time to recover from her injury while helping Catherine solve the murder.
As always, I never want to spoil an ending to a book, especially a mystery, when the author has taken such care to unfold the story. I won’t tell you how it ends or “whodunnit”, but I will tell you I didn’t see the ending coming.
My questions and thoughts emailed to Stacy, and her reply:
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter. Her Catherine O’Brien mystery, A Grand Murder, is available from Before the Fall Books. Her second Catherine O’Brien mystery Murder is a Family Affair, will be released shortly.
Stacy is hard at work on her third book in the series.
Stacy’s non-fiction work has appeared in numerous publications including Authorship, Fiction Factor, First Draft, Kiss of Death, Heart of Romance, Valley Forget Romance Writers Newsletter, Dr. DP Lyle’s Website Midwest Muse, and Absolute Write.
Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my review. The author has also generously sent funds to cover a giveaway for my readers and promotion of the review and giveaway. Regardless, all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced in any manner. As always, I bring you my true and honest feelings on any book I have read.