Cover Image: Murder at Royale Court

Murder at Royale Court

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Member Reviews

Cleo Mack has found her place as the director of Harbor Village, an active adult community in Alabama. In addition to over seeing the over haul of the facilities she is also involved in overseeing the planned activities. In the midst of renovations is the classic car symposium and guest speaker. I must say that even though I am not into cars, the historical info was interesting and the guest speaker would have most likely had me enthralled by such a wealth of knowledge. Completely unrelated is the death of an investment banker at least it seems unrelated until there is talk of shady dealings and a possible one of a kind mystery investment long lost car being to unsuspecting people. Chances are Cleo wouldn't have become involved if not for the fact that she was there when the body was discovered and her ex-husband/current boss (weird, right LOL) is a possible suspect and she knows that her daughter's father is many things but a murderer, he is not. From real estate deals to controlling siblings, this story has it all and a little romance as well. Highly entertaining and a nice look at how one can be retired without being tired!
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This was a fun, cute cozy mystery! I love the theme throughout, and I will definitely be continuing with the series.
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This is the second book of the Cleo Mack series.  You can read it without reading the first book but I would recommend you read the first one before you read this one so you can have a better background.  This is a highly enjoyable read.  I like Cleo Mack and the supporting characters.  It is a fast read that is perfect when you need something light and funny to read.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Cleo is a very savvy lady.  To run the complex where she lives, she needs to be.  She’s smart, level headed, curious but cautious.  But she does have a habit of getting involved in murder mysteries.  This time, she and her friend find the body wedged into a bathroom, highly uncomfortable were he not dead.  The victim, as often happens in cozies, is not a very nice guy.  In fact there are lots of folks who might have had a beef with him.  The victim was not the one with whom I had the greatest issue.  It was the wacky brother of the friend in whose shop the corpse was discovered..
Cleo become the Mother Confessor for her friend Ann and her family as they try to work out some knotty issues, including the brother selling a family owned property without consulting his sisters.  Then there are two oddball characters who are involved in a Classic Car show, one of whom is downright creepy and the other just questionable.  Is either one of them deeper in the murder than seems at first?  Even though I did suspect the actual villain, I am not going to spoil the fun for any reader.
There is a lot of like in the series, including fully rounded seniors who still have lots of life.  I enjoy reading about people in the prime of their lives, even if it is late prime.  And not one of them is dotty.  High paw!
Four purrs and two paws up.
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Murder at Royale Court is the second book in a cozy series by GP Gardner. Released 4th June 2019 by Kensington, it's 229 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

Mysteries are probably my favorite genre. I love cozies, gritty procedurals, golden age interwar British country house classics; bring 'em on! I was unfamiliar with this author previously, but loved the cover and premise (bonus points for yarn shops with cat). It was a quick and entertaining read.

Despite the cover, the plot is only tangentially associated with a fibrearts shop. The MC, Cleo, is a late middle aged early retiree who has moved to Alabama and taken a job working as an executive director at the retirement village where she also lives. Most of the plot is centered around her managing a large antique collectible car show and a series of lectures for the residents of her residential complex.

The plot and story arc are easy to follow and are paced well . The murder is bloodless and happens off page. There is a chaste romance element (one kiss, nothing graphic). and the language is very clean. Nothing to scandalize. There are a couple places in the text where a secondary character says 'gee-dee' and (I counted) 7 'damns' but nothing worse than that. The characterizations are, if a trifle formulaic, easy to follow and keep straight in context. All in all this is a solidly entertaining cozy mystery which will appeal to fans of the genre. The author plays by the rules with regards to the clues and the denouement is satisfying.

Four stars.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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Murder at Royals Court is a very well written mystery.  Enjoyed the plot and the characters.  Beautiful setting.  Author is new to me and I will be reading more of their books.  My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my digital arc.  This is an unbiased review.
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Murder at Royale Court is the second story in A Cleo Mack Mystery series.  I recommend reading Murder at Harbor Village before picking up Murder at Royale Court.  It will allow you to learn how Cleo came to be living in Fairhope and managing Harbor Village.  Cleo Mack is enjoying her new life in Fairhope, Alabama.  She has a close group of friends, an active social life and is busy learning her new job at Executive Director of Harbor Village.  As part of their new lecture series, Reg Handleman will be giving automobile themed talks for three days which ties in with the upcoming automobile show to benefit the hospital.  Cleo is surprised to learn that money can be made by investing in cars and that there are scam artists who take advantage of that fact.  When Devon Wheatley, a local financial planner is murdered, Cleo finds herself searching for answers.  The mystery is complex as Cleo plunges into the world of finance looking for suspects.  One clue, though, gave away the identity of the culprit to me.  I wish solving the crime had been more of a challenge.  The resolution of the crime was supposition instead of facts.  I would have preferred definitive answers.  There are a numerous characters in Murder at Royale court, and I found it difficult to keep track of them (employees, residents, guests, shopkeepers at Royale Court).  While I found some of the information on automobiles interesting, I could have done with less of it (though car lovers will relish it).  I thought it bogged down the story.  I like the developing romance between Cleo and Riley.  They make a cute couple and seem compatible.  There is humor sprinkled throughout the story and lovely descriptions of Fairhope.  I liked the reference to Fannie Flagg and the movie Fried Green Tomatoes based on her book.  Murder at Royale Court has charming characters, frisky felines, a complex crime, amazing automobiles, and vindictive villain.
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Some mysteries suffer from a sophomore slump but not this one. This, the second in the series, is as strongly crafted as the first. Cleo is busy with some renovations to several of the apartments at Harbor Village in Fairhope, well as the main event in town, an auto show. The guest lecturer will be staying at Harbor Village and giving his lectures there. Things will get hectic but Cleo gets a huge surprise when she and Nita find a body when they go to the knitting shop. She wonders if the dead man and his murder could somehow be connected to the auto show. With the help of her senior friends at the retirement village - a wonderful group of older folks - she sets out to track down the killer. Add some romance and an ex-husband, it all comes together in a very enjoyable entry to this series. It even has a cat. I'm looking forward to future mysteries for Cleo and the residents of Harbor Village. It's a place a place I could imagine living in myself despite the local body count.
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Murder at Royal Court is the second in the Cleo Mack Mystery series. Although it can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the fist in the series to get a feel of the characters and circumstances surrounding Cleo's new life. This cozy takes place in Fairhope, Alabama, a small town on the coast, and centers around Harbor Village, a retirement community with many interesting residents. Cleo is a college professor who took an early retirement and suddenly found herself as the Director of Harbor Village. In this book, Cleo and her friend Nita have volunteered to work at Ann's knitting shop for the day, while she was busy setting up plans for a knitting retreat. What they were not counting on was finding a dead body in the shared washroom. Once it is determined that he was strangled, Cleo's friend Ann asks for her help as her brother, Usher seems to be the main suspect.

There are many things I enjoy about this book. First it is the many and varied residents of Harbor Village. They are not all main characters but their individuality, quirks and eccentricities add so much to the story. This book was also about an antique automobile show that has come to Harbor Village, complete with a lecture series given by a car afficenado, scams about a long lost Bugatti to invest in, some romance for Cleo, family relationships, and life in Harbor Village in general. There is also murder and mayhem with several red herrings, and some twists and turns. The plot unfolds slowly and builds nicely until the reveal. I will say that I was pretty sure I knew who the murderer was just past halfway, but wasn't positive until the reveal. This did not diminish my enjoyment of the story in any way. If you enjoy a good well-paced and plotted cozy mystery you should enjoy this book. If you like cars, especially classic ones, you will probably enjoy this book. If you like a cozy with more mature characters, you will love this book. I recommend this one as well as the first in this series.
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"Murder at Royale Court" earns 5/5 Cadillacs...Entertaining and Clever!

Another very enjoyable read! Life after retirement, even early retirement, should be marked with a bit of adventure...but murder? And as a retired teacher myself, it seems our heroine works way too hard for my idea of a post retirement life...and running into suspicious deaths? Only in my cozy books is that exciting! Cleo Mack has settled in as Executive Director of Harbor Village, and is busy, busy, busy with maintaining and renovating the facility, managing the staff, seeing to residents' needs, and providing a nice environment. First up is Grand Concours, an antique auto show, with a car exhibit, raffles, gala, and a guest speaker expected to interest more than the Harbor Village residents. But...murder revs up! 

The murder mystery follows a traditional cozy formula, but it takes a bit longer than I like to get into the murder and the investigation. There's a surprising level of justice and additional storylines offering some intriguing predicaments ripe for continued shenanigans. Cleo can't get away from her ex-husband who is in some way her boss, and as conflicts arise it's hard not to be disappointed that she doesn't tell him where to get off. I really enjoy the first-person narrative punctuated by Cleo's mature perspective and her perspective on many of the quirky residents. Although I was entertained by Gardner's descriptive writing style and dialogue, it seemed some of the description of day-to-day behaviors like getting drinks, driving around, and being at home was a bit more than I liked. However, I really enjoyed this second book and am eager to read more.
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I loved this book!  This series is one of my favorite cozy mystery series.  It has just the right amount of everything.  I really like the main character and the supporting characters are perfect.  The friendships, a little romance, and an interesting mystery.  I hope all the new characters introduced during this book stay on for the next book.  I liked how the main character was mentoring the young man who didn't have a family.  I hope there are many more books in this series!
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This is the second book in the Cleo Mack series; however, if you have not read the first book, the author brings readers up to speed with regard to characters and relationships without interfering with the storyline.

I admit that I felt a slight twinge of dismay when I saw that the story revolved around an antique car show that was to take place in Fairhope. I am not a fan of cars, but one of the characters, Red Handleman, was invited to Harbor Village Retirement  Center to host a series of lectures prior to the actual show. I admit that Handleman's presentations pulled me in, and, like Cleo, I wish I had known some of his tricks to use when I was in the classroom. Using his lectures as a way to introduce readers to interesting stories about cars was a clever touch.

The characters are well developed and the story is interesting. I requested this book because I have lived in a retirement community for four years now and was curious to see how one would be represented in a mystery. Fairhope, Alabama is an actual place, and was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine in 2016. My community has about 2,000 residents, and is much larger than Harbor Village. Still, the problems Cleo faced as Executive Director and resident of Harbor Village seemed to fit in with what I know about life in my own community. Residents do have their quirks, and the murder took place in the Royale Court shopping center rather than at Harbor Village, which allowed residents to gossip and pose possible scenarios without living in a crime scene.

I recommend this book to readers of cozy mysteries. If you are of "a certain age," you will probably enjoy Harbor Village even more!

Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
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The guy in the john is dead?
Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner is a wonderfully entertaining mystery set in Alabama.

Cleo Mack
Cleo Mack is a retired social worker and college professor, but currently, she is in charge of Harbor Village Retirement Living Center. She is also a mother, grandmother, and a widow. Cleo doesn’t get a lot of work done since she is so busy with Village Harbor functions, to the lives of her friends, new boyfriend, and ex-husband/boss.

•	Extremely smart, well educated
•	Stays busy
•	Has a social life
•	She’s a social butterfly

She doesn’t take good care of herself (like remembering to eat and sleeping enough)

The mystery was well thought out and with clues laid out nicely. The suspect list is continually changing, which kept me wondering if my pick would be correct or not.

4 Stars for Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner
My rating for Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner is four stars. I enjoy the story, and I figured out who did it before the sleuth. So, if you like cozy mysteries, this is a good book to read.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Great Escapes Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner 

Anyways, until next time, 
Karen the Baroness
Happy Reading

If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out
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Murder at Royale Court by G. P. Gardner is the 2nd book in the Cleo Mack mystery series, and a very enjoyable book.  When Cleo arrived in Fairhope, Alabama and quickly makes friends, got a job, and a place to live at Harbor Village, working as the director.   In this adventure a car show is coming to town, and  a car lecture at the Village over several nights.  On top of that a man was found dead at the Royale Court shopping center by Cleo and her friend.  Cleo tries to determine if there is a link from the murdered man to the car show, with the help of her Harbor Village friends.   I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to the next book in the series.   Ms. Gardner please keep them coming.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.  

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
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This is the 2nd book in this delightful series and a series I quite highly recommend. The charcters are enjoyable and the sleuth was very well crafted to conclusion. I have not read the first in series but do recommend it as you will start out with a foundation of knowing the charcters. It was easy enough for me to catch up with this book as the author does a excellent job of describing everyone and introducing her readers to the series. 

 Murder at Royal Court is the second in the Cleo Mack Mystery series. This cozy takes place in Fairhope, Alabama in  Harbor Village, a retirement home of eclectic fun active residents. Cleo is a college professor who took an early retirement and is the new director of the retirement village . She also is a sleuth as a pastime which she is quite adept at. .  She is a smart , active senior and a great charcter. 

When a body is found  Cleo takes on the sleuthing as she tries to help a Harbor Village’s resident who suspects her brother .  Suspects abound  and soon Cleo is on the way to solving the murder with the help of her retirement village residents.  Thank you for the ARC. My opinion is my own.. 

It is such a delight to read a series with a senior Protagonist  !  Thank you to the author for featuring Cleo as smart, vital and a savvy investigator. I love the fellow residents of the village and enjoy getting to know them through the author. I look forward to the next in series. This is a delightful read that I highly recommend . Well done to the author !
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Cleo Mack is the director of Harbor Village which is a vibrant retirement community on the gulf coast of Alabama. She lives on site and has become good friends with many of the residents. When accompanying one of those friends they  stumble upon a dead body and now she finds herself involved in a murder investigation. 

The story has a nice flow with likeable characters and the author does a good job setting the scene. I have read both books in the Cleo Mack series and I feel I am beginning to know the main characters but I would like to continue to learn more about each of the main characters. This book could also be read as a stand alone. Thanks to Lyrical Underground and NetGalley for an ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Cozy Mystery and Classic Cars
This is a nice addition to the series, I have read them all! The story moves quickly with lots of details, clues, suspects, and surprises. Part of the story revolves around a concourse of classic and sports cars. That in itself captured my interest. I have enjoyed this series and it seems that the stories just keep getting better. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
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I liked the first book in this series and I liked this one.
It's a bit slow paced at the beginning but it soon becomes a page turner you will not be able to put down.
I like Cleo, she's a very clever no-nonsense woman. I also love the cast of senior characters who are all likable and well written. Tinkerbelle the cat is sweet and lovely.
The mystery is good, no plot hole, and it kept me guessing till the end.
I like the setting and I would have preferred some less discussione about cars.
I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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I enjoyed my second visit to Royale Court (a shopping area). Lots of activity at the senior community. Antique cars are featured. A hint of romance. An ex-husband. A murder, of course. Several suspects. A captivating tale.
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