Death by Committee

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I was surprised to like this book as much as I did. The setup is pretty familiar: a youngish woman inherits a house in a small town and encounters all sorts of mysteries in that seemingly-innocent place. But Abby is really likable and I thought her interactions with the other town residents were more believable than in lots of these cozy mysteries. The murder mystery itself wasn't that interesting and it was fairly obvious early on what happened. Of course, this book served to set up what I assume will be a series, so I'm hopeful the books that follow will grab me more.
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This is very much a story involving a few of my favorite things.  I love all the bits that make up this series - a character starting over, an inherited old house, and a giant dog.  I liked Abby though I hope for her sake she learns to say no - especially to the quilt guild - in the future!  Her relationship with her aunt was very special and I could see why she got so involved with the investigation and was insistent that her aunt was innocent. 

I enjoyed the mystery very much and liked the community of Snowberry Creek with all the characters in the quilter's guild and other places.  I'm hoping in the future some of the characters (especially Tripp) get a bit more developed and the mystery itself is a bit stronger.  It was as much front and center as I would have preferred.  However, this was a fun start to a new series and one I'm looking forward to continuing.  I especially need more Zeke!  Any book with a big dog like Zeke is automatically going to be a win for me!
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This book takes the now-familiar trope of a woman inheriting a house or business and moving in to a new town just when she needs a fresh start. I don't mind the trope, and Abbey is likeable. But the mystery didn't grip me. Although Abbey has ample reason to want to figure out who killed her late aunt's "archrival," there just didn't feel like there was enough tension in the book. Perhaps it's the committee angle. Abbey gets volunteered to take over her aunt's role in various committees, which then plays a role in how she solves the crime. But the killer seems kind of obvious, and to be honest, there didn't seem to be much riding on who did it, anyway.

It was an okay read, but I want more from a mystery. (And I read lots of cozies, so it's not that.)

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley.
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When Abby inherits her aunts home in snowberry creek.  She is excited.  She has so many beloved memories spent with her aunt quilting.  While clearing out the  backyard a body is found.  The dead body belongs to her Aunt's rival.  Abby isn't sure what to believe or who to trust.  With the help of a lovable dog and a cranky tenant.  Can Abby figure out who killed Dolly and clear her Aunts name befor the killer strikes again.  This was a cute book it had me hooked from the first page.   I was rooting for Molly to clear her Aunts name.
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DEATH BY COMMITTEE, the first in a new series (Abby McCree Mysteries), is a compelling and ultimately astonishing cozy mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. After many years in an entrepreneurial marriage in which she and her husband built their own business, our protagonist finds herself divorced and alone after discovering his infidelity and legally insuring an equitable divorce settlement. Her beloved aunt Sybil of Snowberry Creek, Washington, passes, and bequeaths Abby all her property. So as one door closes, another opens, even though it means ongoing grief for the aunt with whom she couldn't spend the desired time as a child, after her own parents' divorce.

Abby also inherits a wonderfully devoted Mastiff and a grumpy tenant, with probably PTSD and a strong vein of loyalty. Unfortunately, loyalty is not found in every citizen of Snowberry Creek; several elderly quilters are opposed to Abby simply because she is Sybil's niece. Then the lady who was Sybil's chief opponent in the Quilting Guild is discovered deceased---in Sybil's, now Abby's, backyard blackberry bramble patch. Dolly didn't put herself there; it's a clear case of homicide. Now Abby has to determine how to clear her late Aunt's reputation.

I found DEATH BY COMMITTEE an absorbing cozy, with a really unexpected denouement which had me fired up too, just as it did Abby. I'm anticipating the next in this exciting series.
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Solid start to this new cozy mystery series that introduces us to Abby as she adjusts to newly divorced life following the natural death of her Aunt. She inherited her Aunt's house and has undertaken the huge task of cleaning things out and getting things into shape. This includes the yard which has become overgrown. When some growth is stubborn she hires goats to help clean it out only they find a whole lot more then she bargained for when a body pops up during day one. Well of course being her Aunt's yard makes her the prime suspect which bothers Abby enough to start asking questions. Add in a handsome renter and a tough dog to get a murder mystery that will make you laugh while keeping you guessing. Well written with lots of little details to really pull the reader in. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
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Death by Committee is the first book in the Abby McCree Mystery series! We meet our main character, Abby McCree, after she goes through a rough divorce and must now tend to her late Aunt Sybil’s estate. Not long after, Abby discovers that her aunt’s only known rival is buried in the backyard. Abby refuses to believe that her sweet aunt would do such a horrible thing, so she sets out to find the truth.  

Wow. That’s the only word that comes to mind. I haven’t read such a strong cozy series debut in a LONG time. It was amazing! 

The characters were vivid and delightfully well-created. Everyone stood on their own and felt realistically crafted. I connected with almost everyone. 

The mystery itself was just captivating and nail-bitingly awesome! Chapter one gripped me in and hooked me until I turned that last page. Everything just fit together perfectly, and it was so suspenseful and kept me guessing. 

Overall, I really love this series so far, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
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Death by Committee ticks all the boxes for a new cozy series: a small town with the prerequisite elements (a vibrant community, a police department with a hands-on chief, go-to bakery); a curious, connected newcomer; nosy neighbors; a mysterious yet helpful love interest; a protective pet; and a dead body. Meet Abby McCree, a recent divorcée and loving niece to her elderly Aunt Sybil. When Abby was a child, she and her aunt shared a love of quilting, even planning a personalized quilt for Abby. Sadly, her aunt recently passed on to the Quilting Guild in the sky, but she left Abby her dilapidated mansion in Snowberry Creek, Washington. Abby hasn’t just inherited Aunt Sybil’s massive house, complete with a third-floor room quilting emporium, there’s also Tripp, a “sexy tenant” who doubles as the estate gardener when he’s not at class, who lives in a Grandmother cottage on the overgrown grounds.

Abby’s new life is a far cry from her harried life as a condo-living, small business owner and entrepreneur. Her marriage ended when she discovered her husband and business-partner Chad was cheating on her. Her ex paid Abby half the worth of the company (thanks to a court order) and showed her the door. Abby has the time and the money to settle into Snowberry Creek for a spell and ponder her future.

Her aunt’s quilting guild embrace Abby, although their friendship leads to Abby “inheriting” her aunt’s myriad responsibilities in the town. Accepting a posthumous award honoring Sybil’s civic volunteerism somehow leads to Abby taking her aunt’s seat on the Senior Affairs group. How did that happen?

Abby painstakingly cleans and organizes her Aunt Sybil’s house, hoping to discover her name-sake quilt. She can’t ignore the grounds either, telling Zeke, Aunt Sybil’s animal shelter rescue, a “slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree,” that “the heavy growth of blackberries and other weeds,” weren’t “going to prune themselves.” Two hours later, she’s ready to throw in the trowel.

“I hear people around here rent goats to take out blackberries when they’re out of control like this.”

Abby jumped and nearly lost her balance, which would’ve sent her stumbling forward into the blackberries. Two strong hands caught her shoulders and held on just long enough to make sure she was steady on her feet before dropping away. As soon as she was free, Abby whirled around, her heart pounding in her chest as she punched Tripp on the arm.

A punch that hurt her fist a lot more than his hard muscles. Still, she goes down fighting: “Darn it, Tripp, don’t sneak up on a person like that. You scared ten years off my life.” Bring on a flock of black and white goats who chomp down eagerly on blackberries while Tripp and Abby look on in fascination. Why is one of the goats tugging on a piece of fabric? Tripp pries “the fragment out of the goat’s mouth,” tossing it to Abby.

It appeared to be part of a patchwork square, one that looked vaguely familiar. As soon as she spread it out to get a better look at it, she knew why. The dark blue plaid had been part of a dress she’d worn when she was ten, one of several she and Aunt Sybil had cut up to make the quilt she’d been hunting for.

Eureka, the elusive quilt is in the house yard: ““That’s my quilt, all right.” Then she gagged as the breeze shifted in her direction. “Good grief, what’s that awful smell?”” Tripp phones Gage Logan, Snowberry Creek’s chief of police. The body wrapped up in the quilt is Dolly Cahill, Aunt Sybil’s “only known rival.” The local constabulary may consider Abby’s late aunt to be the chief suspect in the murder, but Abby’s convinced that her aunt could never have committed such a heinous crime. Let the amateur snooping begin!

With Death by Committee, Alexis Morgan has created a world that readers will want to revisit: I have lingering questions that I hope will be addressed in the second (and third and fourth…) “Abby McCree Mystery.”
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Abby McCree has inherited her favorite aunt’s (Sybil) property in a small town in Washington. She also seems to have inherited several of Sybil’s friends, community projects, and tenant of the guesthouse (Tripp). While clearing the backyard Abby and Tripp find a dead body. This body brings up all kind of questions about Sybil from the police and several of the people around town. Abby is determined to clear her aunt’s name. 

This is a fun start to a new series. Since Abby seems to have inherited a group of senior ladies from her aunt’s quilting group and a good looking mysterious man as a tenant, this makes for an interesting cast of characters.  In addition to the unique group of friends Abby as her adorable dog Zeke to protect her. The setting of the small town adds realism to how everyone seems to know everything about everyone. This mystery is well paced with several twists and turns. There also seems to be a possibility of romance for future books because there is definitely some chemistry between Abby and Tripp. I look forward to reading more books in the future. 

I voluntarily agreed to read a copy of this book supplied by NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.
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This is first book in a new "Abbey McRee"  series by Alexis Morgan who has had great success writing romances . This is her first cozy mystery and it did not disappoint.  I enjoyed the cozy elements of a small town, a old home , a smart savvy protagonist and a great sleuth. I highly recommend this book. 
 The series is set in the charming fictional small town of Snowberry Creek, WA. 

Abbey McRee is recently divorced and starting her life all over again. She of course has inherited her Aunt Sybil's Victorian  home in Snowberry Creek.  Although I tire of the "inheritance factor" in all cozies this is presented with gratitude and appreciation by Abbey.  She has a  Mastiff dog name Zeke who is her constant companion and a welcome addition to the premise of the story.  With this house comes great responsibilities to the town and the people who live in the town,. She jumps right into join her aunt's long time quilting group,  the local senior affairs committee and care of  a tenant that comes with the house. Abbey takes all this on with gusto and I like how the author writes her as willing to do everything to fit in and make her home in this town. 
When an enemy of her aunt's is discovered  buried  in  the yard, suspicion falls on her deceased aunt and her renter.  Abbey is determined to clear her dear aunt's name and identify the murderer. 
I like Abbey as a protagonist She is fearless and smart.  She chooses her friends carefully and cherishes her new friends and neighbors.  She is likable and believable. .

This has all the right elements for a successful cozy series. Likable main character,  great supporting charcters that all add to the story  and a fun sleuth with a charming location.  The  members of the quilting group are smart feisty senior citizens who help Abbey during her sleuth and prove to be good friends for her.   All the charcters are well drawn and the sleuth was well crafted to conclusion, The author has set the stage with this book for a long successful series .  
Thank you for the ARC to Kensington Publishing and to Net Galley. I highly recommend this new series for all that enjoy cozy mysteries . Cross posted review.
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Death by Committee by Alexis Morgan takes us on a journey to Snowberry Creek, Washington.  Abby McCree has inherited her Aunt Sybil’s Victorian home along a Zeke, a mastiff mix and a tenant in the mother-in-law cottage who assists with chores.  Abby is recently divorced and is still deciding what she wants to do with her future.  She has been going through the contents of the house box by box and assisting the quilting guild with the preparations for their upcoming garage sale.  Abby hired goats to clear out runaway blackberry vines and notices one of them is chewing on fabric.  Tripp Blackston, her tenant, goes over to check it out and uncovers a body wrapped in a quilt.  The victim was Aunt Sybil’s rival, Dolly Cayhill who has not been seen since before Christmas.  Deceased Aunt Sybil is Chief of Police Gabe Logan’s top suspect since she had an argument with Dolly at church over the presidency of the quilting club.  Abby knows that her aunt would never have harmed a soul and sets out to prove it with the help of three of her aunt’s friends.  Somehow Abby also finds herself the new head of Snowberry Creek’s Committee on Senior Affairs, managing the quilting guilds garage sale and searching for twelve (well, now eleven) missing quilts.  Join Abby as she stitches together the clues to reveal a killer in Death by Committee.  

Death by Committee is a cute cozy mystery.  I thought it was a quick and easy to read book.  Abby McCree is newly divorced from a cheating husband and out of job since he bought out her share of the company.  Moving to Snowberry Cree gives Abby a new start.  She has inherited a large Victorian home along with the contents plus the oversized Zeke and a handsome tenant in the mother-in-law cottage.  Abby is an appealing character who is helpful and friendly with the elderly ladies of the quilting guild.  Louise Allen, Jean Benson and Glenda Unger are the three quilting guild members who rope Abby into various projects and enjoy watching Tripp work in the yard (frequently without his shirt on).  Tripp Blackston is ex-military and a college freshman who is renting the mother-in-law cottage.  There are frequent mentions of Tripp’s physique as the ladies ogle him.  The author is setting him up to be Abby’s love interest, but I do not admire his bossy attitude and hair trigger temper.  The mystery is straightforward with a small suspect list, a red herring and pointed clues.  Abby talks with several people to gather information, but that is the extent of her investigating.  Solving this whodunit is a piece of cake. I did like how the mystery was wrapped up at the end.   I like Gage Logan, the chief of police.  He is friendly, helpful and has a sense of humor.  Death by Committee is a good start to An Abby McCree Mystery series.  I hope the author takes the time to develop her characters in the next book and provide more details on the town.  Death by Committee is a light hearted cozy mystery with a charming Victorian home, a cute mastiff mix, beautifully crafted quilts, three busy older ladies and killer on the loose.
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This is a great book!  Abby is going through a major change in her life, and when her aunt passes away, she moves into her house and tries to start over.  Then, Abby finds a body buried in the yard, and sets out to prove her aunt wasn't a murderess.  I thought this was very well plotted, with great characters and a very good mystery.  Can't wait for book 2!
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Abby McCree isn’t sure what she plans to do with her life after divorce, but the unexpected death of her Aunt Sybil has drawn her to Snowberry Creek. Abby quickly finds herself roped into duties as a landlord and chairing various committees that were previously the responsibility of her Aunt Sybil. What she didn’t expect was to find the dead body of her aunt’s main rival in her own yard. Now, Abby finds herself the target of anger from various people… but is one a killer?

I can’t sew a lick, but I’ve always been fascinated by quilting and the amount of work that goes into each and every quilt. DEATH BY COMMITTEE centers a lot around the quilting community in Snowberry Creek as we are getting to know the residents in this first book of the Abby McCree series. I love the tidbits that Alexis Morgan shares with us about quilting, almost as much as I love the characters.

And oh… the characters! Abby’s tenant, Tripp Blackston, is an enigmatic mystery, as his protective and somewhat brooding nature is tempered by his appreciation of the small toys Abby impulsively gives him. Abby is a bit impetuous at times, but I love that she wants to help her aunt’s friends even if it means being volunteered for all sorts of things.

I am a huge fan of Alexis Morgan’s paranormal stories, so I couldn’t resist seeing her perspective on a cozy mystery. DEATH BY COMMITTEE is the first book in her Abby McCree series and oh what a fun start to the series! I’m already in love with Abby’s dog, Zeke, as his protective nature towards Abby warms my heart. If you’re looking for a new cozy mystery series, give DEATH BY COMMITTEE a try.

*review is in editing queue at Fresh Fiction*
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Abby McCree has inherited her Aunt Sybil’s large Victorian home in Snowberry Creek, Washington. Along with her aunt’s house, she also finds herself taking Sybil’s place on various projects and committees in the community. While fixing up the grounds of her inherited property, Abby and her handsome tenant,Tripp Blackstone, discover the dead body of Sybil’s longtime rival. Dolly Cahill is a snowbird who hadn’t been seen in months. She had a very heated and public argument with Sybil and then friends assumed Dolly had headed for warmer climates. However, now Sybil is the prime suspect in Dolly’s murder and it’s up to Abby to find the real killer and restore her late aunt’s good name.

The book does a good job of balancing the backstory of the main characters and telling the current story, which is especially welcome in the first book of a new series. The reader gets to know Abby, Tripp, and others gradually without too much information overload at the beginning. Abby is also getting to know her aunt’s good friends Glenda, Jean, and Louise as she investigates Dolly’s death. The reader really only gets to know Glenda, who plays a large role in this book. The local chief of police, Gage Logan, is a good guy and I liked that he is portrayed as intelligent and honest and also accepts help from Abby and Tripp.

The book is evenly paced and cozy without being too cutesy. There is more than one suspect in Dolly’s murder and because Abby hasn’t been able to spend a lot of time with aunt recently, there is even some doubt that maybe she didn’t know her aunt as well as she thought she did, which adds some intrigue to the mystery. Having the main suspect be someone who has already passed away is a unique twist for a cozy as well.

It quickly becomes obvious that Tripp will become the love interest for Abby. The two have chemistry, but the author doesn’t rush their relationship. The Quilting Guild and quilts play a large role in the story, but not a lot of details about quilting are shared. Also, the book is supposed to take place in Washington state, but there isn’t a real sense of place and Snowberry Creek is just a generic small town. However, these are things that could be developed in the future. I like the main characters and would be interesting in reading future books to get to know more about Abby and and the other residents of the town. Fans of Elizabeth Craig or Erika Chase will enjoy this start to a fun new series.

~ Christine
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I loved meeting all the folks Snowberry Creek, Washington.  Well, most of them.  I would have loved to have known Aunt Sybil, but her memory lives on.  You just never know what is going to happen in a small town, which is one reason why I like them so much.  I think Abby inheritance turned out to be a little more than she expected, but I think it was all growing on her and she was enjoying it all.  If you are going to be a landlord, you might as well have a Tripp of a tenant.  Oh, and those older ladies, well they aren’t blind!!  Someone does need to share a good tuna casserole recipe with them though.  Zeke, can’t say enough good about him.  Always trust a dog’s instinct.  Can’t wait to see what happens next with these good folks.  I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.
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This was a great start to a new cozy mystery series.  The characters are fun and there is a little romance, that I am really excited to read about.  There were two intertwining mysteries that kept me guessing until the end.  I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.
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Death by Committee by Alexis Morgan is the 1st book in the Abbey McCree Mystery series, and a great start.  I really loved this book and can't wait for the next book in the series.  Abby McCree moves to Snowberry Creek, after inheriting her Aunt Sybil home.  Abby is ready to start a new life after a bad divorce, so she moved there with her dog, a Mastiff, named Zeke.  While cleaning up the overran yard, Zeke and her tenant Tripp, finds the body of her aunt's rival, and the mystery begins.  This book is very well written full of great characters, and a well thought out plot.  When I started this book, it kept me reading page after page.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries, I strongly recommend this book. 

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I give 3 stars because it was an enjoyable and entertaining book but really a "standard" cozy mystery.
It's well written, the characters (both humane and canine) are likable and the mystery was ok.
I think there's a lot of potential but this first book isn't expressing it.
I look forward to reading the next installment to see what will happen.
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC
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Death by Committee is the debut of the Abby McCree Mystery series set in the small town of Snowberry Creek, Washington.  Abby is recently divorced and has inherited an old rundown Victorian from her beloved Aunt Sybil and along with the house comes her aunt's tenant, Tripp Blackstone and the ladies of the quilting guild.  

While cleaning up the overgrown brush in the backyard, Abby's Mastiff Zeke digs up a piece of quilt, and not only is Abby surprised to find the quilt that had a special meaning for her but that it's wrapped around Aunt Sybil's biggest rival, Dolly Cahill.  Nobody had seen Dolly in a few months but most assumed that she had gone off to Florida for the winter.

Immediately the police focus on deceased Aunt Sybil or Tripp as the main suspects in Dolly's murder but Abby knows that her beloved aunt wouldn't hurt a fly and she's pretty sure that military vet Tripp wouldn't either.  Joining forces with Tripp and the ladies of her aunt's quilting guild, Abby sets out to pin down a killer.

A catchy plot that quickly draws you in.  An interesting mix of characters and a deliciously drooling dog point to many more adventures with Abby.

I received an advanced copy of Death by Committee from NetGalley via Kensington Publishing.  While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.
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A very cozy mystery with just the right mix of cozy and mystery. Very well written with a good flow, making it a joy to read. The only problems are the inaccurate picture on the cover and the title that makes little sense.
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