Death by Committee

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Abby McCree finds herself starting a new chapter in her life after her divorce but homicide wasn't on her radar. When her favorite aunt passes away and leaves Abby her house in a small town in Washington state, Abby is happy with her choice. That changes pretty fast when a hungry goat, part of an urban herd used to clear her mess of blackberry bushes, decides to munch on a quilt hidden within. Upon close inspection of the quilt, once unearthed, a corpse is found. No accidental death here and the police soon identify the woman as one of Abby's Aunt Sybil's neighbors. Everyone thought she was basking in a warmer climate and was going to return soon. Not that she had never left. Even though Aunt Sybil has passed away, she becomes prime suspect as there was some friction between the two women. Abby refuses to entertain the idea that her aunt could have even hurt a fly let alone commit murder. But there is that body buried in the yard and that means a killer may get away with the crime if Abby can't solve the murder fast.
Along with the house comes a big lovable dog named Zeke and a cute guy as a tenant. Oh, and the friends of Aunt Sybil want Abby to fill in for her Aunt on a committee that looks like trouble in capital letters.
This mystery was perfect for a few hours of escape - there were enough twists, turns and great characters to keep me from going to bed on time. The true sign of a good mystery.
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This is the first in a new cozy series and I really enjoyed this book.  I have never read this author before but I will look for other books by her for sure.  The main character Abbey McCree has recently divorced and was forced to fight to get half of the business from her ex-husband.  She has recently moved to Snowberry Creek after she inherits her Aunt Sybil’s Victorian home.  She also inherits her Aunts positions on several committees including the Quilting club as well as a tenant Tripp Blackstone.  Tripp is an added attraction for the ladies in the quilting guild who meet at Sybils/Abbey’s house as they plan the garage sale fundraiser.  Abbey is also roped into serving on the Senior Affairs committee.  As Abbey is working to clean our part of her new yard she is working to clear out an old blackberry patch that is so overgrown she cannot do it by hand.  Tripp tells her you can hire goats (so clever way to find a body) who will eat it away and the next day that is what they do.  In the process they find the dead body of her Aunt Sybil’s arch rival Dolly Cahill.  Seems Dolly was not always the nicest person in town and since Aunt Sybil and Dolly had a screaming match at church she is assumed to be the murderer.  Dolly’s friends give Abbey the cold shoulder and also drag Tripp into this by assuming he was Sybil’s accomplice.  Abbey is not going to let her Aunt’s name get dragged into the mud and be an easy out for the sheriff.  Turns out the sheriff is a friend of Tripp’s and intends to investigate fully.  There were plenty of suspects and the although I guessed who the murderer was it did not in anyway stop me from enjoying the story as there were plenty of other clues and red herrings to have me guessing back and forth.  Hope Abbey can find some younger friends going forward in town.  I am looking forward to the next installment in this series.
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Death by Committee by Alexis Morgan
Book #1: Abbey McCree Mystery Series
Source: NetGalley
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Abbey McCree certainly doesn’t lack for support in the wake of the loss of her beloved aunt Sybil.  Abby has inherited her aunt’s beautiful yet sprawling home, a delightfully slobbery mastiff, a sexy yet surly tenant, a seat on nearly every committee in town, and a gaggle of blue-haired friends dead set on helping Abbey navigate her grief.

With a house full of boxes and closets and rooms to sort through and a yard in need of serious attention, Abby puts her nose to the grindstone and gets to work.  Trouble is, just as she’s starting to make some headway, Abbey and her surly (yet hot!) tenant make a grisly discovery, a body wrapped in a quilt buried in the back flower bed.  To make matters far worse, the woman buried among the brambles was the only woman in town known to openly dislike Abbey’s aunt Sybil.  

Thankfully, the local cops aren’t completely clueless and don’t just go with the obvious, Aunt Sybil whacked the old bird before her own death, case closed!  Like the cops, Abbey isn’t at all accepting of the easy answer and she certainly isn’t going to let the town assume the worst of her aunt, a woman who spent her life giving selflessly to the town.  Though she’s no experienced investigator, Abbey is determined to clear her aunt’s good name. 

As it happens, when Abbey’s aunt Sybil died, she left Abbey with a host of blue-haired friends who have lived in the same small town for decades.  Those old birds aren’t just supportive, energetic, and friendly, but they know every secret, every dirty deed, and every bit of gossip ever spread in town.  With the ladies’ help, Abbey has clues to begin her search and as she digs, the ladies help her with more answers and more questions.  Oh, and from time to time, they help with a ride along 😊  As Abbey gets closer to uncovering the truth, she discovers the mean old lady may not have been quite so mean, her aunt was definitely not responsible for her death, and there a load of missing quilts that break the case wide open. 

The Bottom Line: First in a series books can be tricky, but I found this one to have avoided most of the pitfalls.  Though there is a great deal of background information, there isn’t so much that it overwhelms and/or bogs down the story.  What’s more, Abbey, the old birds, her awesome mastiff, and her surly yet hot tenant are all really good, solid characters I definitely want to know more about.  Based on all the information the old birds have stored in their collective brain, I would say Snowberry Creek is going to offer a whole host of mysteries just waiting for Abbey McCree to solve.
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When I was finished reading 'Death by Committee' I was smiling.  This charming story made me feel good by the end.  There were delightful characters with expert suspense, humor and romance.  I figured out the whodunit early on, but I still was engaged until the very end.  I look forward to more.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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Death by Commitee by Alexis Morgan is the first book in Abbey McCree Mystery series and it definitely shows promise.

After her divorce Abby has inherited her aunt's house and her only wish is to peacefully restore the house and get her life back. However she is immediately pulled into many community obligations that her aunt has been included in. 
Fortunately her aunt's tenant, dark and brooding Tripp is helping clean the yard. 
Unfortunately, he discovers a body of a local woman buried in the corner of Abby's yard. 
The woman was her aunt's archenemy and while police are being thorough and following every lead Abby feels she needs to clear her aunt's name.

Very nice start with a lovable both main and secondary characters as well. Very realistic amateur sleuth without reckless or irresponsible moves placed in real situations.
Many laugh out loud moments and interesting facts about quilting.
There is a romance angle that shows promise to develop even further. Solid story with few red herrings just to keep it interesting. I can't wait to see Abby's next adventure.
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What a fun beginning to a new cozy mystery series!  Alexis Morgan has a hit!  The lead character, Abby, has inherited her dear aunt Sybil’s home and property.  When Abby decides to have some landscaping done, the body of Sybil’s arch rival is found in a shallow grave.  Of course, Abby inadvertently gets involved in the investigation and is determined to clear her aunt’s name.  This book made me laugh at loud at times,  and it was a really enjoyable read.  The  identity of the murderer was not super obvious from the beginning, but when I figured it out, I was actually excited to get to the end to confirm my theory.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good cozy mystery.   Thanks to #NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was an alright book for me. It was enjoyable to read and there was a nice cast of characters but it was missing that spark that would’ve made it great. It is the first book in the series, so I hope the second book brings a bit more to the table.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid for this review.
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After inheriting a rundown estate from her late Aunt Sybil, Abby McCree settles into life in the tiny town of Snowberry Creek. Though really, there’s no time to settle. Aunt Sybil had many obligations, and now Abby’s expected to carry the mantle. Soon she’s taking the reins of the local quilting guild, serving on the city’s Senior Affairs group, and planning garage sales. But then her tenant, Tripp, discover a body buried in her backyard— and it’s Aunt Sybil’s fierce archrival. As all signs point to Sybil as the murderer, Abby becomes focused on finding the real killer and clearing her aunt’s name.

Author Alexis Morgan has woven an irresistible plot. Abby, making a new beginning after a nasty divorce and the death of her aunt, is immediately embroiled in a murder mystery without obvious answers. The murder was obviously personal— the body was wrapped in one of Sybil’s handmade quilts. And the idea of having the body found near Abby’s house leads to some thick tension. There’s a constant need to have the murder solved, not just because Sybil’s name is being sullied, but because Abby is in ever-increasing danger. This builds slowly over the course of the book, leading to a fairly explosive ending. It’s very effective.

Of course, the reason it truly works comes down to the character of Abby McCree. She’s strong, smart, and determined. While some cozies have the main character bumble through the investigation, she carefully plots her actions without putting herself in unnecessary danger. Abby is such a realistic character that she keeps the story grounded, allowing for some zany moments that feel quirky rather than like caricature. Her journey might have quiet moments, but it’s never boring.

It helps that the mystery is intricately woven. There are some solid suspects, a tricky red herring or two, and plenty of twists to leave couch sleuths guessing. While Abby never really considers her aunt a suspect, Morgan provides enough evidence to create doubt for the reader. This little bit of plotting is brilliant enough to make all evidence questionable, even when it appears obvious.

However, beyond the puzzle itself, a great cozy mystery is made or broken with its cast of secondary characters and, fortunately, author Morgan has populated Snowberry Creek with some wonderful denizens. The quilting guild is a particular highlight, especially as the women develop excuses to be near windows with a view of Tripp doing yardwork. Tripp, though sometimes gruff and bossy, works as a romantic interest and foil for Abby. Morgan deserves kudos for writing a complex partner— someone who obviously needs to work on expressing his emotions, but with enough tenderness to get the big moments ‘right’.

Death by Committee has a fantastic heroine, a splash of humor, and a wonderfully crafted mystery. It’s a bit like the many quilts described in its pages— stitched together beautifully.
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5 stars 
Death by Committee by Alexis Morgan is a phenomenal book. It is the first in a new series. I picked it up not really expecting much from it; however, I was very pleasantly surprised at how fast I was drawn into the story. Morgan has written a fun, interesting cozy murder mystery with well-developed characters. I loved Zeke the mastiff and the whole small town atmosphere weaved throughout the story.
I read this book in just over one day. I did not want to put it down. I highly recommend this book to anyone. One extremely added bonus, there is no swearing or sex, so the book is readable by anyone.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The views given are my own. #DeathByCommittee #NetGalley #KensingtonBooks
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This is rather simplistic in characters and plot so it’s a quick cozy. I liked Zeke the best!  It bothered me that, at the end, what Abby did is just dumb.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, atmosphere, and characters.  I would recommend the book to friends and family for their reading pleasure.
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Surely Aunt Sybil wasn't a murderer!  Abbey's just inherited Sybil's house in Snowberry Creek, along with her mastiff Zeke (love this dog!),  a quilting group, and wait for it- a tenant named Tripp.  Whew. That's a lot to take in but she's determined to make a new start after her divorce. Tripp isn't the murderer either, she's pretty sure (well, sure enough to work with him to find the real culprit.). This is a nice start to a new series.  It's not too twisty and you might guess the villain early one but that's okay because now we're set up for more adventures.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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Death By Committee was a good cozy mystery. It was kind of slow to start and I kept wondering if we'd ever be introduced to any suspects. However, the writing was good and the main character, Abby, her tenant, Tripp, as well as the other characters were very likeable. I loved the ending. It really makes me look forward to reading the next book in the series. I definitely want to see what happens next for Abby and everyone in Snowberry Creek.

Note: I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.
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Death by Committee by Alexis Morgan is the first book in the new cozy Abbey McCree Mystery series. As with most cozy mysteries the characters are introduced in this first book that will appear in later installments but the mystery is contained and solved within the book.

Abby McCree had just gotten divorced and had to sell her half of the business she shared with her husband over to him when she found out her Aunt Sybil left her in her will. Needing a fresh start Abby decides to move into her Aunts former home and make it her own in small town Snowberry Creek, Washington.

Once settled Abby finds that all of Sybil’s old friends are turning to her to fill the whole that her aunt had also left in their lives. Getting volunteered for project and project Abby is thankful that her aunt’s tenant is helping maintain the property. As the two try to clean up the land they never expected to stumble upon the body of Sybil’s nemesis in the small town. Abby can’t believe her aunt would be a murderer so she vows to do what she can to find the real killer.

Death by Committee was a fun start to this new cozy series. There’s some laughs, likable characters, a darling dog and even a bit of romance all mixed into this first book. I also liked that the local law was involved the whole time in the story instead of some cozies that tend to forget them completely or make them overly incompetent. With all the likable secondary characters in this opener I’m more than curious where the series will head next.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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2.5 stars
This was an uneven series debut. The pluses include appealing main character Abbey McCree, recovering from a divorce and the death of her favorite aunt. Abbey moved to her aunt's small town home after inheriting her neglected old mansion and much of her aunt's life, including the presidency of the local quilting club and memberships in various local committees.

Abbey was shocked when the body of a women who had fought with her aunt is discovered in the backyard. Abbey's hunky tenant Tripp and the local police chief remind Abbey daily to stay out of the investigation, but in the normal way of cozies, she doesn't listen.

Some problems: Tripp is a not very well drawn character. His physical attributes are much better described than his character. He is clearly meant to be a hero, but his hair-trigger temper and heavy-handed bossiness get in the way. The police chief, Gage, is a more sympathetic guy.

As far as the plot goes, it was pretty easy to spot the murderer early on. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.
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A charming read! This book was filled with humor, surprises, and a great mystery! I really enjoyed all the characters, especially the dog! if you are looking for a lighthearted read with a well executed mystery, look no further.
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Really enjoyed this story.  The characters were so real and the setting was great.  I had a hard time figuring out who dunnit and didn't expect it to be the one it turned out to be.  thank you Alexis Morgan for this wonderful mystery.
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Death by Committee.
I loved this 1st book by Alexis Morgan ,all the making of a good series .
Abby’s aunt Sybil suddenly passed away leaving Abby a house friends and a tenant also a mastiff dog called Zeke.
After a bitter divorce Abby needed a fresh start .
After finding a body buried in the back garden ,  Abby’s aunt became number one suspect and Abby needed to clear her  name.
Loved the plot the characters are fun , I was suspicious would the killer was but it didn’t spoil the ending.
Looking forward for the next book with Abby .
Many thanks to the publisher and nettgalley for a advance copy to read and review, all my thoughts are my own.
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This is a good fast read,  lots of twists and turns!   Helps to have a hunk of a renter, for eye candy!  Enjoyed this book.
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Loved it. Abbey McCree appealed to me immediately. Her tenant even more so. The chief of police has potential, too. The culprit was obvious early on but the book was entertaining and pleasant reading. The dog is a wonderful bonus. Great cover! I am eager to read the further adventures of Abbey McCree.
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