Cover Image: A Deadly Discovery

A Deadly Discovery

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Needing a change one day, as I sometimes crave a calming walk in the green countryside, I picked up cosy mystery ‘A Deadly Discovery’ by JC Penney. Knowing the book was fourth in a series, I didn’t know what to expect.
Literary agent Allie Cobb lives in Rushing Creek, Indiana where her life revolves around her clients, their manuscripts, taking her cat Ursi for a walk, family and friends. Having previously investigated local murders, and being injured in the process, before this book starts Allie had promised her nearest and dearest that she would drop her private investigating. But when a body turns up in the local woods, everyone wonders if it could be a girl who disappeared twenty ago. As Allie asks questions around town, tensions with the police department arise with suspicions of clues missed at the time of the original disappearance. 
This is a different style of whodunnit in that the story is firmly anchored and clues processed in the head of detective Allie. This is a tell-don’t-show style that sinks us into Allie’s daily life and concerns, the reader must unravel the clues from the seemingly ordinary. Of course this is a mystery story so clues, and red herrings, can be anywhere.
Diving into a series mid-way has its benefits and issues. I’m sure I missed lots of references to characters and past stories that would help my reading of Allie’s detecting and understanding of Rushing Creek. From page one a lot of names and relationships are introduced, featured in the previous novels, that I struggled to remember. A character cast at the beginning would help.
Kenney has created a believable small-town world at Rushing Creek where lives, secrets, resentments and loves have been entwined since birth. It reminded me of Charlotte Hinger’s Lottie Albright genealogical mystery series, set in another American small town. When everyone knows everyone else, secrets are not simply embarrassing or shameful. They can be deadly. 
An easy, gentle read without a confusing tangle of multiple suspects. I guessed the murderer well before Allie’s big reveal scene, which owed much to the trend of Poirot. I finished it feeling curiously unattached from the people involved, perhaps because Allie dominates the story so thoroughly.
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This is just a well written cozy mystery. This is the 4th book in the series but it can easily be read as a standalone book. The characters and setting are charming and the book is an easy read. I must admit though my favorite character is Ursula.
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After the harrowing events from her last murder case, literary agent Allie Cobb is determined to stop her amateur sleuthing.  But when the unearthing of human remains in a state park brings a haunted mother to Allie's door asking for her help to find her daughter's killer, she can't refuse.  Determined to uncover the truth about Valerie's murder, Allie looks into the relationships in Valerie's life. As Allie narrows down the list of suspects she realizes that the killer is determined on keeping his stellar reputation intact at any cost.

Allie arranges to bring the key suspects together in the guise of a 9/11 charity committee meeting and hopes to flush the killer out.

This was another entertaining read in the Allie Cobb mystery series.
I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Beyond the Page Publishing with no requirements for a review.  I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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Allie found herself in a jam, she had made a promise to her boyfriend and mother never to get involved in a murder mystery again, but she couldn’t ignore Connie’s cry for justice. She was long past the age where she needed permission to do anything. Allie was on a trail hunting for clues, she knew she was twenty years too late, but she was adamant to get justice for Connie. An engaging puzzle with a satisfying ending.
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I really liked Allie's character. She is a very strong, independent woman who is very perceptive to minute details, very aggressive in her inquiries, and loves to go to the library for research.  I loved all the book and detective stories mentioned throughout the book.  It added an element of fun to the story. This book is written more like a tv crime show with lots of action and bold characters. Allie's only flaw is that she treats her relationship with her boyfriend more like a friendship because they don't really interact with each other that much.  This is the fourth book of the series so I would love to go back and read the other books in the series to see how they compare with this book.  I would highly recommend this book to readers that love a great mystery to solve!
Thank you to NetGalley and Beyond the Pages Publishing for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!
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A Deadly Discovery is the fourth Allie Cobb mystery by J.C. Kenney. Released 19th Jan 2021, it's 218 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats.

Although it's the fourth book in the series, this small-town cozy works perfectly well as a standalone. The author is adept at providing necessary backstory without spoon feeding or info dumping all over readers. The characterizations in general are three dimensional and believable with a protagonist who's a literary agent and a delight. The action moves along at a fast pace and never drags or meanders (a definite danger with cozies). There are some slightly rough spots with the dialogue in a couple of places, but it never detracted or yanked me out of the story. I liked the information the author provided about the publishing industry and marketing; I found it interesting. 

The plot resolution was a little more linear than I'm used to, but all in all the denouement was satisfying and well written. The language is squeaky clean and there's no on-page blood or gore. I recommend it to fans of small-town cozies with amateur sleuths (plus cat). It's a quick and satisfying read. I enjoyed it enough that I intend to go find the previous books in the series. 

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Allie Cobb is a literary agent running her family's agency in Rushing Creek, Southern Indiana, started by her father. Despite vowing that she will no longer get involved in murder investigations, she agrees to help when a woman's body, Valerie Briggs, is found in a woodland park. Valerie's mother, Connie begs for Allie's assistance so she relents when she learns that Valerie vanished some twenty years earlier.

My first read in this delightful series, A Deadly Discovery was charming and intriguing. As Allie assists with the town's 9/11 memorial event, she enlists her friends and boyfriend, Brent to help gather information from years ago and the victim's reticent high school friends. She is a good investigator and whilst rooting out and gathering clues she ruffles a few feathers and rattles the closet handles of some of the town's residents.

In a tale packed to the rafters with secrets and betrayals, the mystery element held my interest and kept me keen to continue reading. J. C. Kenney's novel also highlighted current issues, in particular, mental health. I enjoyed deciphering the clues alongside Allie as well as the great relationships she had with Calypso Bosley (Allie's assistant), Star and Jeanette. Of course, Allie's cat Ursula deserves a mention, too.

This fourth book in the Allie Cobb Mystery series is fabulous, fast-paced, and fun. I'll be reading the other books as well as the next book in this compelling series and here's hoping I enjoy them as much as A Deadly Discovery!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Beyond the Page Publishing via NetGalley, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I loved this!  The characters are awesome, even the cat!  It's an easy read, cozy mystery.  I will be looking for more books from this author for when I need a feel good, light read.
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Allie Cobb is an amateur sleuth who has been asked to help with a 20-year old cold case of a murdered young woman. The police bumbled the investigation two decades earlier, but the grieving mother is desperate for answers and closure. Despite swearing off investigations, Allie agrees to help. But hunting for damning clues and uncovering secrets often leads to danger. Will Allie figure out who the killer is before more trouble brews? The well thought-our story-line and evolved characters draw you in. Four stars.
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I've enjoyed all of the books in this series and this one, #4, is no exception. Allie not only runs a literary business in her hometown - editing books and assisting authors with publication - but she has found another talent. She is very good at solving murders. Despite the fact that she would rather scale back, so to speak, on that part of her life, she can't find her way to say 'no' when the mother of a woman, missing twenty years, turns up in the town park. It's no wonder that the dead woman's mother hasn't any faith in the police being able to solve this crime. Allie takes on the case and that causes friction with the police. She's going to need all of her wits about her if she is going to catch a killer before she ends up as the next victim. Turns out there are a lot of locals who have twenty year old secrets that they really, really want to stay secret. Which one will go to any lengths to muzzle Allie?
This is a well written series with a solid mystery to keep the reader engaged to the very last page. Add to it a bit of romance and a delightful cat and it's a winning combination.
My thanks to the publisher Beyond the Page and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Even though Allie vowed to hang up her detectiving hat at the end of the previous book in this series she once again finds herself tracking a killer around her hometown of Rushing Creek. This one is the most complicated yet because Allie has even less help from the RCPD than usual because this book involves looking into a cold case of a young woman who disappeared twenty years ago and Matt wants to avoid any suspicions of impropriety while working new developments in the case his father failed to properly investigate. The woman’s mother came to Allie to ask for her help and Allie is too kindhearted to turn her down.

This was an enjoyable read. A good entry into the series that sees relationships evolving and characters growing. I particularly liked Calypso in this instalment, the kind of woman I’d have liked to be/to be best friends with when I was her age.
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An enjoyable cozy mystery. Small town relationships help our charming protagonist solve the twenty year old mystery. Interesting and engaging characters. Thrilled that I guessed the murderer early on in the tale. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley.
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Never having read the Allie Cobb Mysteries, I was immediately interested in A Deadly Discovery based on a quick read of the first few pages, during which I took an immediate liking to the main character. In the beginning, the writing felt tight and the plot moved quickly. With the character actions described clearly and good dialogue, it felt like we were off to a great start.

The story did slow down, however, near the middle, primarily because the author fell into what I call the cozy-mystery trap—summarizing what’s about to happen in a paragraph before getting into the action or dialogue. A certain amount of this writing style is perfectly normal, and almost unavoidable, but it just became too much of a regular occurrence for my taste. While this won’t bother many cozy fans, who gobble up this style freely, I found it an impediment to moving the story forward.

Overall, the story will appeal to traditional mystery fans thanks to it’s plot, likable protagonist, and smooth dialogue, but the cozy fans are going to love Ursi (the cat), who sometimes steals the show.
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A Deadly Discovery is the fourth book in the Allie Cobb Mystery series by J. C. Kenny.

Allie Cobb, after a particularly anguishing investigation four months ago, has sworn off investigating.  But then, when returning from a walk with her cat, Ursi, Allie meets Connie Briggs sitting on the steps to Allie’s apartment with a battered box next to her.  Connie will ask Allie to look into her daughter’s, Valerie, disappearance some twenty years ago.  Connie tells Allie that a body she is sure is her daughter has been found in a local state park and asks Allie to investigate.  Once Allie hears the story about Brigg’s daughter, there is no way that Allie can say no to looking at what happened that day, twenty years ago.  Allie soon becomes aware that she won’t be getting much help from the police department.  It seems that the police chief who investigated the disappearance is the father of the current police chief and the ex-brother-in-law of Allie, Matt.  Matt’s father reportedly didn’t perform much of an investigation into the young lady’s disappearance. As Allie begins to look into Valerie’s disappearance, she is relieved to find that many of her close friends still live in Rushing Creek and hopes they will provide information that will point to the killer.  When she is forced off the road while bicycling home, she feels that her sleuthing moves in the right direction and hopes to resolve the mystery before the killer can put an end to her inquiries.

I’ve enjoyed this series since the beginning, it provides a look at life in a small community, and it’s exciting residents.  The story is well-written and plotted.  The characters are well-developed, believable, and enjoyable.  There twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.

I will be watching for the next book in this exciting series.
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This is  one of my favorite cozy series and I found it gripping and enjoyable.
I was happy to meet again and catch up with Allie, Ursula and the fleshed out cast of characters. They are likable and relatable.
The mystery is solid, full of twists and turns, and it kept me guessing till the end.
I appreciated the empathy of the writer toward the victims and how he talks about the rich/poor relationship in the town.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and it's highly recommended.
Many thanks to Beyond the Page Publishing and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I find Allie Cobb to be a delightful character.  Her devotion to her town is admirable, as evidenced by her devotion to getting justice, in this case, for a girl who had disappeared 20 years ago when Allie was in middle school.  I like to look inside of the workings of her mind, and J. C. Kenney is expert at letting us do so.  I just had one issue with 'A Deadly Discovery' and that was the detachment in the relationship between her and Brent.  That is unsettling to me, if they are supposed to boyfriend and girlfriend. The heartwarming conclusion brought me to tears, especially the interchange with Matt's father.  I strongly recommend the entire series and it's quirky look into life in Rushing Creek, Indiana.
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This is the 4th installment in the Allie Cobb mystery series.  Allie is a literary agent in her hometown of Rushing Creek Indiana.  She has been involved in a couple of murder investigations over the last couple of years and her family has asked her not to ever get involved again as her life has been at risk each time.  Allie has promised, however, when the body of a missing girl has been found after 20 years the missing women’s Mother asks her to get her daughter justice.  Allie wants to say no but she cannot as her heart breaks for the Mother of Valerie Biggs.  The tricky thing is the police will not help her this time as the current police chief and her ex brother in law Matt is trying to get justice as well since his Father and former police chief dropped the ball 20 years ago.  Allie’s heart is in the right place and she does have a knack for getting people to talk to her and get results.  The ending was very suspenseful and so glad Allie was able to pull it all together and get justice.  I was a little surprised that her boyfriend was not that involved given he is now living in town.  I do enjoy this series and Allie along with all her family and friends.  Good series and look forward to the next installment.
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Can literary agent Allie Cobb solve a 20 year old cold case? This is the first book in this series that I’ve read but I had no problem reading it as a stand alone story. I like that Allie is a strong independent woman who puts the clues together to solve the mystery rather than stumbling on the identity of the killer by accident.
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Allie should be busy running her literary agency - that's what local law enforcement, her friends, and her love interest Brent think- but she finds herself pulled into a cold case when Connie turns up at her door begging her for help.  Connie's daughter Valerie disappeared 20 years ago but her remains have just been found.  Connie is rightly concerned that there's more to the story than she's been told.  Allie, of course, dives right in but finds that there are more secrets in Rushing Creek than one might think.  This is a cozy so readers know that there will be red herrings.  Allie is a strong character (sometimes a bit much) but she gets the job done.  Oh and there's Ursi the cat!  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This will be fine as a standalone.  It's well crafted and fun.
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J.C. Kenney, the author of “A Deadly Discovery” has written a suspenseful, intriguing and cozy mystery. The protagonist Allie Cobb, has an uncanny way of solving mysteries. This is a series of books, but can be read alone. I intend to go back and read the other books. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes about 20 years to the past when it pertains to the events and characters, and an unsolved murder. The author describes his characters as complicated, complex, determined, and quirky. There are secrets, betrayals, threats, danger and murder. There is also a feisty delightful cat that love to be talked to, fed and walked with a harness.

Allie Cobb has a business editing books, and helping authors publish books. Her beau or boyfriend works at the library. In the small town, one of the residents asks Allie for help in solving a 20 year old mystery where her daughter had disappeared. In the present, a dead body is found that turns out to be the missing daughter. The mother believes that the police didn’t do their work 20 years earlier, and doesn’t trust them. Allie has an unusual talent for solving murders, and against her better judgement, decides to help this woman. Both the Police and the killer do not want Allie on this case.

I would recommend this entertaining and suspenseful cozy mystery for readers who enjoy these genres.
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