Cover Image: A Brush with Murder

A Brush with Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A Brush with Murder by Bailee Abbott is the 1st book in A Paint By Murder Mystery, and it's off to a good start.  Wow this book grabbed me from the very first page, and kept me going. This book has more twists and turns, that kept me reading page after page. Just when I thought I was on the right track, I realize I wasn't. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
When Chloe Abbington and her beloved dog Max, arrived in Whisper Cove after driving for nine hours from New York, she was exhausted. Her sister Izzie was starting up a small painting event business within the next couple of days and Chloe was happy to help out. She’d been in New York for a few years and with a broken relationship behind her, coming home to Whisper Cove was a balm to her stressed soul. Their Mum and Dad owned a fancy boat on the lake their home fronted and sitting, gazing out at the wildlife and calm lake was peaceful. But there wouldn’t be any peace for awhile…

Chloe and Izzie’s helper Willow were at the shop preparing for upcoming events when Fiona, the local newspaper reporter (with a known sting in her tongue) visited. But it was later when Chloe went to put trash in the bin behind the shop that she received the first shock – Fiona was dead out the back of their shop. Detective Hunter Barrett was immediately on the scene and with Chloe being alone, she was a suspect. Chloe was unable to locate Izzie, but her parents soon arrived. The detective was frustrated at every turn and with Chloe also investigating, the danger escalated. Would they find the killer before another person died?

A Brush With Murder is #1 in A Paint by Murder Mystery series by Bailee Abbott and it was quite enjoyable. I did find it was a little drawn out, but my biggest criticism was how the author had Izzie hiccupping all the time. It was constant and after the first few times, it broke the story while I rolled my eyes. Instead of ‘she said’ or ‘she replied’ or even ‘she sobbed’, it was ‘she hiccupped’. I think at least 30 or so need to be removed! Apart from that, I enjoyed the location and the plot, and didn’t pick the killer! Recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I like the idea of a mystery series set around a paint shop. But I’m afraid I found the execution of the story in A Brush with Murder to be a bit choppy. 
The main character Chloe is volatile and kind of abrasive. Her temper is on a hair trigger. She is rude to family, friends and old boyfriends. 
The story may have been choppy because there were multiple things going on in addition to the murder of a mean columnist. I can’t go into all the pieces because it would spoil the end of the story. There were too many threads. I feel like a first book should have a tighter focus since the author is introducing a whole cast of characters as well as solving a mystery. 
This was a good effort. I finished but I don’t feel drawn to continue following the story because I’m not really into the main characters.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting mystery with a great plot filled with secrets, lies, and an annoying ex-boyfriend. The main character moved back home to start her life anew in a place where she had friends and loved ones to support her. I liked her and her openness to try something new with her life. There was not enough action for me, and I felt that the mystery dragged a little bit. The climax of the story was the most exciting part, of course, and had me at the edge of my seat. I became confused at times, and couldn't tell some suspects apart. Otherwise, this was a good read! I received an advanced reader's copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Chloe Abbington has given up her hopes of making a name for herself as a painter in NYC. She has ditched her boyfriend, too. Going back home to the town of Whisper Cove seems like a good change and that includes helping her younger sister, Izzy, open her painting event business. The whole family and most of the town is artsy with lots of galleries and boutiques. Sounds idyllic until the night before the stores official opening. There is a local critic who is super critical of just about everything and everyone. Chloe and Izzy really need a good review. Instead Chloe finds the critic stone cold dead behind the store. Fiona won't criticize anything ever again. Somebody stabbed her with a paint knife and Chloe found the body so, of course, the police put her at the top of their list of suspects. It isn't long before Chloe has lots of company on that list. The list of people who even remotely liked Fiona is very short.
The mystery itself was written well enough to keep me engaged to the big reveal. The setting of Whisper Cove was a place I would like to visit in real life. The loss of at least one star came from the fact that I found both Chloe and Izzy annoying and their behavior (and secrets) kept pulling me out of story. That may be due to this being the first in the series and the author was trying to set the stage for future books. The other thing that I'd like to see changed in the future - Max needs a better presence in the story. If there is a cute pet on the cover of a cozy that pet has to have a bigger part in the main character's life than Max does. Will I read the next in the series, Kill Them with Canvas? Probably - with the hope that Chloe and Izzy will be less annoying.
My thanks to the publisher Crooked Lane and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I had high hopes for this book with it's darling cover. Unfortunately, the cover is the only cute part of the whole book. I found none of the characters to be likeable and Chloe Abbigton to be a rather boring protagonist. Her sister Izzie is flighty, unreliable and downright rude at some points. The constant misdirection of red herrings in this book did nothing to endear me to it. I honestly felt disgusted reading the book because the characters were so distasteful. Hard pass on this one.
Was this review helpful?
I am always on the look out for new cozy mystery series to try. A Paint-themed cozy mystery seemed like a fun cozy series to try, after all I do a bit of oil-on-canvas in my free time.

I have mixed opinions about A Brush with Murder. I had trouble following the dialogs or liking the characters. At the same time, the mystery behind the murder and the mispers kept me guessing till the end. The identity of the perp was unexpected and so was the twist in the second half of the story.

Overall, this was an okay read.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoy discovering new authors....and the first book in a new series. Sometimes first books can be hit or miss, but the author did a good job with this one. I liked Chloe and her sister, Izzie - although both seem to be keeping their own share of secrets from each other (I'm sure we'll find out more about those secrets). The mystery was well-written with a few intriguing twists and red herrings. Could the detective be a possible love interest??? 
I adore pets in a cozy mystery so I hope Chloe's dog, Max, gets to help a little more with sleuthing and solving mysteries.

Many thanks to the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor or expectation.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoy reading cozy mysteries and love discovering new authors. This one had good characters, an interesting plot and a nice mystery to solve. I liked the author’s style of writing and will look for more books by her!
Was this review helpful?
Fiona might have written a bad review of Chloe and Izzie's shop but neither one of them murdered her.  But who, among the many shop owners in Whisper Cove, did?  Or was it someone unconnected to Fiona's work as a critic?  Chloe's moved home to idyllic Whisper Cove after another critic was nasty about her painting and her love life fell apart.  She's adjusting to life with her family (Izzie can be a pain) and now she's got something to look forward to- investigating with Izzie and her little dog (never forget the pet in a cozy).  There's a gruff but personable detective in Hunter Barrett as well as a possible love interest. Since this is the first in the series, there's some world building and character establishment.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A very nice debut cozy.
Was this review helpful?
Chloe is heading home to the quiet little town of Whisper Cove, New York to help her sister open Paint with a View. However murder, arson and vandalism disrupt the formally peaceful town and Chloe finds herself in the middle of it all. 

A good start to a new series. The story introduces a lot of characters and relationships that will be interesting to see develop as the series progresses.  Thanks to Crooked  Lane and NetGalley for an ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Abandoning her plans to make it as a painter in New York City, at least for now, Chloe returns home to help with the grand opening of her sister's painting-event business. When the body of a local journalist known for her scathing reviews and commentary is found behind Izzie's shop the night before the opening, the sisters become prime suspects in the murder, and Chloe is determined to set the record straight. 

This is the first book in a new series by a new-to-me author, and I was eager to read it. When I realized it's set on Lake Chautauqua, not far from where I grew up, I was even more excited about the premise of the book. Although the writing itself was good, the book, unfortunately, was not. The sisters should not even have thought about opening a business until they were ready to take it seriously. Izzie, the supposed owner of the shop, was irresponsible and far too secretive about too many things. Are the police really going to let someone who refuses to answer their questions roam free while they're conducting a murder investigation? She seemed like a petulant, spoiled child who pouted when things didn't go her way – and big sister Chloe always stepped in to smooth the path. Chloe was also keeping secrets and yet got annoyed when Izzie did the same. I was disappointed that Max, Chloe's dog, was simply a pet and not a significant part of the story as was implied by the book blurb: "With the help of her affectionate canine buddy, Max…" The identity of the killer, and especially the motive, took me by surprise, which was a bit of a saving grace, but this series is not for me, and I will not be looking for the next book.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed A BRUSH WITH MURDER, the first in the A Paint By Murder Mystery series from Bailee Abbott.  Chloe Abbington returns home from New York City to her tiny, small town, Whisper Cove.
Abbott really paints a picture of the little town, and it was a very soothing place for me to visit (despite the murder).
Chloe comes from a family of quirky family of artists, and Whisper Cove itself hosts a tourist friendly assortment of crafters and boutique businesses. I really liked how central Chloe (and her sister, Izzie’s) art business, Paint with a View, was to the story. The store is the setting of our crime, and we get to see the sisters hosting Paint Your Pet by Numbers classes, planning unique-sounding future projects and doing the unglamorous groundwork of promoting the store. Seeing Paint with a View running was probably my favourite thing about the novel, and I’d absolutely love to visit the shop myself!
The mystery itself was well-crafted and the investigation well-designed to let readers get a good tour around the town, introducing a wide range of potential suspects and characters for future instalments. I felt there were lots of red-herrings to keep me guessing, and some loose ends left for picking up in future books.
A warm and charming cozy.
Was this review helpful?
This was a nice escape.  Chloe Abbington has come back to Whisper Cove to help her sister Izzie with her new Art shop.  On their opening night, a newspaper reporter/critic from the local paper shows up.  She is crabby and kinda mean.  The girls are worried about her review of the shop.  Later that evening,  she is found dead at the back door of the shop.  Killed by a painting knife.  Since Chloe is the one who found her, she becomes the main suspect.  While trying to help her sister and wade through her secrets, Chloe is trying to figure out who murdered Fiona so she can clear her name.  Throw in the ex-boyfriend from New York who tries to win her back and she is very busy.

This was fun.  The town sounds small and comforting.  Lots of friends and family.   A new puppy and and new love interest make it absorbing.  I like the sisters and the town.  The mystery kept me reading.  The murderer was a surprise.  This was an enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful?
A new to me cozy that I can't wait to read more of and see what happens next in this series a well as what happens to the characters
Was this review helpful?
This is a fun debut of the new cozy series "Paint By Murder" . Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinion is my own. 

 Chloe Abbington was a  fine art painter in New York City. She has changed her career to a painting store owner in a small town Whisper Cover where she lives with her dog  Max.  When a local  journalist writes a terrible review of her shop  Chloe is afraid it will affect her business. Things go from bad to worse when that same journalist is found stabbed to death behind Chloe's shop making her prime suspect number one. 

As Chloe investigates she finds the deceased was nefarious and had many enemies. Chloe must find out who is setting her up for the murder and why she was killed. 
I enjoyed the sleuth that kept me guessing to conclusion. I like the  charcters and the painting was interesting to learn about. I look forward to the next in series.
Was this review helpful?
Chloe Abbington was born into a family of Artists. After college and her masters degree in the Arts she spent the next two years in New York city hoping her paintings would make her name known well enough to allow her work to be featured in some of the city's posh art gallery's. That didn't happen and all her determination and dreams seemed to be all for nothing. Even her relationship with her New York city lawyer, Ross Thompson, had failed. Chloe packed her things and she and her dog Max headed back home to Whisper Cove and her family.
Izzie Abbington, Chloe's sister wasted no time in asking her for help with opening her new Paint With a View shop in the Artisan Galley shopping district of Whisper Cove and Chautauqua Lake. In fact the first full day that Chloe was back home there would be a painting event in Izzie's new shop. A journalist, Fiona Gimble would be there to observe and write an article for The Whisper Cove Gazette, a weekly newspaper. Fiona was not the best liked person in town. In fact tension was high that night because of her insulting newspaper articles about the different craft shops in Artisan Galley. Fiona was in a foul mood that night and she left the event early.
Chloe was left with the chore of cleaning up after the painting event. Last thing to do was taking the trash out to the dumpster behind the shop. It was very dark back there and to Chloe's dismay the light bulb had burnt out. Using her cell phone for light after she had almost fell over something laying on the ground, Chloe shone the light on the ground. There lay Fiona Gimble with an artist knife sticking out of her neck and very dead.
Detective Hunter Barrett is investigating the murder and everyone at the event and all shop owners are on his list of suspects. Chloe and Izzie being on the top of the list. They decide to give the detective help in finding out who killed Fiona and why. The detective would rather they let him do his job but the sisters feel the need to clear their name. It's obvious that the killer is someone they know. Someone that Fiona had upset with her nasty newspaper columns.
This was my first mystery by Bailee Abbott that I've read. I enjoyed it and will make it a point to read each book in the series as it is released. I loved the cute cover. The mystery had everything that I like to see in a book. Humor throughout the book and edge of seat reading near the end. There were many other things that characters in the book were going through besides the murder. This was somewhat confusing but I found it added to the story. There was a few clues that came up not having anything to do with the murder but made the read more interesting. I loved the characters and especially the Abbington family. The sisters had a close relationship and I loved their friendly banter with one another.
I recommend this book to readers of Cozy Mystery and fans of the Author. This is book one of A Paint by Murder Mystery. The book is scheduled to be released on October the 12th of this year.
I received an Arc of A Brush With Murder from the Author and Publisher through Netgalley. A favorable review was not requested. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
#A Brush With Murder#Netgalley
Was this review helpful?
This was a warm, mysterious hug. A perfect cozy mystery that had me guessing just the right amount. Fantastic characters that were real and relatable. Cannot wait to read more!
Was this review helpful?
A Brush with Murder is the first book in author Bailee Abbott’s new series, A Paint By Murder Mystery.  The book is set in Whisper Cove, NY, a fictional town, along Chautauqua Lake. Chloe Abbington has moved back to her hometown to help her sister, Izzy, with her new shop, Paint With A View. But a murder has the sisters trying out an entirely different art form, investigating.

With a name like Whisper Cove, I expected a charming, idyllic town, and I was not disappointed. But like any town, there are a lot of secrets, and some quite unsavory things happening. Vivid descriptions paint a picture of a placed I’d love to visit. Quite a few characters are introduced in this book, some you will love, some you will love to hate, and some you won’t be so sure about. As the series progresses, I would like to see more background information on the characters. It does seem like there the author was trying to set up a love triangle with the main character. I don’t care for love triangles, so my personal preference would be for that angle to be dropped. Cleverly plotted, with lots of twists and turns. I was very surprised at who the killer turned out to be, and why. That person wasn’t even on my suspect list.

There was a comment made by Chloe’s mother, in chapter 3, about the detective, that was never addressed again. Maybe that will be fleshed out in another book? I’d really like to know what she was talking about.

I truly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading future books in the series.

Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing a digital advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I love a good cozy mystery as they are fun and great escapism. I love trying to play sleuth even though I rarely predict the outcome. Cute cover and I was seeing this pop up over a lot of book groups on social media specialising on this particular genre so thank you so much for allowing me to read and review this.
Was this review helpful?