Cover Image: A Brush with Murder

A Brush with Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The first in Bailee Abbott's Paint by Murder Mystery series has a lot to offer to the cozy lover.  I was especially interested in the locale as my husband's family is from that area.  Who knew there were ski resorts in Western New York?  Chloe returns from a stint in New York to her hometown to help her sister start a new business where patrons paint along with the instructors.  A critic of several businesses is killed and Chloe is framed for the murder.    Her former boyfriend shows up, her quirky trust fund baby parents get involved and the local detective manages the investigations.  It was a fun and interesting story, with a mildly surprising ending.  I look forward to more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC. Really enjoyed this author's writing and stories. All her characters feel real and not one dimensional. Loved the mystery.
Was this review helpful?
Death Of A Critic…
A Paint By Murder Mystery and the first of a new series of cosy mysteries set in the lakeside town of Whisper Cove. Chloe Abbington is beginning to settle into a new role fresh from New York City and looking forward to new challenges and a new way of life. She hasn’t, however, banked on an unpleasant critic giving her new business a bad name and her a hard time. When said critic turns up dead, Chloe becomes suspect number one. Enjoyable, fun read with a likeable protagonist and a colourful cast of supporting characters. A promising start to a new series.
Was this review helpful?
First in a new series.

Chloe Abbington returns from New York to her home town Whisper Cove to help her sister Izzie with her new business Paint With A View. When a local reporter is found dead in the alley behind the business after the first painting event, it does not bode well for the future of the business. As the reporter had written negative reviews on other businesses in area, there is a list of suspects to be questioned.
Good introduction to the series - interested in seeing how the characters develop in the next book.
Was this review helpful?
Thoroughly enjoyed this complex cozy, the first in a new series from Abbott. Chloe Abbington is returning to her small hometown of Whisper Cove, an idyllic lakeside town in Chautauqua, NY. Chloe had been living in the city until the fast pace, a breakup, and a stressful job combined to drive her out. Now she's helping her sister, Izzie, open a painting store along Artisan Alley. But after their first event of the year, Chloe finds the dead body of Fiona Gimble, a nosy reporter, and she's been stabbed with a painting knife. Chloe must find the killer before they strike again.

The setting made this cozy stand out to me - I really felt like I was there in Whisper Cove. Besides the murder part, it seemed like a fun place to vacation. Also, there are some layers to the plot that you don't find in a typical cozy - I don't want to spoil it for everyone, but I liked the surprises, and I can tell you that I had no idea how Abbott was going to tie everything up in the end. The interplay between the two sisters was really interesting - Izzie is kind of a prickly character, and I'm looking forward to see how she develops in future books. Usually the shop owners in these mysteries are kind of cookie-cutter, but this family is so different because they're independently wealthy and are all trying to get ahead in the art world. It almost seems like Izzie wants something she can't have in Whisper Cove, and Chloe is trying to get back to security after also not getting what she wants in the city. I look forward to seeing where their character arcs go.
Was this review helpful?
Today I'm reviewing a new cozy series by Bailee Abbot, called A Brush With Murder. I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley to review. All the opinions are mine. I had a tough time rating this book. Ultimately, I decided on a 3.5 rounded up to a 4 for posting purposes. I struggled to like the characters in the book. It wasn't until I was 80 percent through the book that I came to like at least some of the characters. The mystery is good, a nice twist, but clues are laid out from the beginning so, it's earned. I know as a reader I don't like a twist that doesn't have a trail of clues. 

Chloe is our amateur sleuth, and she is trying to save her sister's business and herself after  Fiona, a local reporter who liked to pan local businesses, winds up dead.  Chloe, I grew to like, though I found her ex-boyfriend situation confusing, am I supposed to like Ross or dislike Ross? My instinct was to like him.  Izzie is Chloe's sister, and the proprietor of the new paint shop in town, Paint with A View.  I thought a business that does painting classes is a good business choice for a cozy mystery job.  However, during this book, Izzie the shop owner spends very little time at the shop.  She disappears frequently, is being secretive, and actively refuses to talk to the police officer who is trying to solve the murder. Overall, I had real trouble liking Izzie she came off as very flippant and entitled throughout the book.

Chloe and her family are literally trust fund babies. Her parents live off the funds from the family estate.  This is not something I have experience with, but in the book, there were multiple businesses run by twenty-something women who had financial backing from their families for their businesses. So the main character's situation wasn't completely uncommon for this town. One of these owners was very panicked about her business and worried about being a complete failure after her second chance--which was, to me, a little funny because she was 24 years old. No one is a complete failure at 24, plenty of time to try many more things in life.  

Chloe's dog Max is on the cover, but he isn't the emotional support or sounding board that many a cozy companion provides to their sleuth--he's more of a traditional pet. 

If you enjoy a potential love triangle, this book is definitely for you!  Seasonally, the book takes place during the heat of summer in a lakeside community. 

Most likely, I will pick up the second book in the series to see how Bailee Abbot develops the characters and what new mystery she creates. 

This book will be out on October 12, 2021. Add it to your TBR pile now!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed reading this book. Overall it holds a good plot which moves along. There's a lot of 'secrets' which was ok. They were to keep the reader guessing. I did figure out who the murderer was but did question myself. I liked that there were two interesting men in Chloe's world with just hints at romance. This kept the story focused on the murder mystery. Good job with that. The characters stayed interesting throughout the story as did the idea of the business the two sisters were trying to get off the ground.
I received an ARC of the book from the publisher and NetGalley and this is my own opinion. It is a good read and I wonder if there will be more in the series with Chloe and her sister Izzie. I would read more from Bailee Abbott.
Was this review helpful?
A good start to this series with its beautiful seaside setting, well crafted story line, and art world background. Looking forward to seeing these characters develop.
Was this review helpful?
Bailee Abbott opens her new series, A Paint By Number Murder Mystery with A Brush with Murder. This was a fun cozy mystery to read. I liked the characters, especially Chloe and Izzie. I liked the small town vibe and the residents. The main site for the storyline, Paint with a View led to many interesting scenes. Adding to the murder solving was Detective Hunter Barrett. I liked how he tried act professionally yet answered Chloe's questions as best he could. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review.
Was this review helpful?
New Author, Bailee Abbott, lays a good foundation for an interesting cozy series in “A Brush with Murder”. I enjoyed the 26 year old protagonist, Chloe Abbington, who moved back home to charming Whisper Cove, New York, to help her sister, Izzie, open her new Paint with a View art shop. Izzie tested my patience with her immatureness, and pushy, bossy manner, but Chloe took it in stride like a champ. I enjoyed the beautiful scenic details of this lake area where Chloe walked her cute little white dog, Max. Early on in the story, the murder victim creates negative waves everywhere and there’s a waiting list of suspects who really disliked this person. My favorite part of the story was the painting event classes held at the shop. Fun stuff!

I felt like a weakness in this story lay in the multiple supporting characters’ problems and actions overwhelming the murder mystery. There was a whole lot going on and it was somewhat distracting. My suspect checklist did not reveal the correct killer—I hope my fellow reader’s will note some clues I may have missed! Great ending! I look forward to seeing character growth and a stronger mystery in future stories. 

I honestly reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books. All opinions are my own. Thank you.
Was this review helpful?
A Brush with Murder starts when  artist Chloe Abbington moves from New York City back to her quiet lakeside home town. She quickly learns that things are far from what she expects in the small town. She has come to town to help her sister open a painting event store in the Artisan Alley near the lake. The owners of the shops in the area are upset with Fiona Gimble, a journalist that has been writing very hateful articles about all the shops. On the night of the first event at the Painting store, Chloe discovers Fiona's body behind shop with a painting knife in her neck. 
This formerly peaceful Artisan Alley becomes a crime scene and . Chloe and her sister are prime suspects. As Chloe decides to try to find the real killer she finds a lot of people  had hard feeling against Fiona. But she hates to think that any of  the friends she has know are killers. As she examines the lives of the others she finds that many of them have secrets that make them look guilty. Detective Barrett has his hands full with trying to solve the murder and the other crimes that start occurring. In addition to being busy with trying to solve the crime, Chloe is also dealing with her ex-boyfriend from New York City that has come back to reclaim her and a Detective that is showing interest in her. This was a lighthearted mystery that I enjoyed reading, .
Was this review helpful?
A lovely start to a new cozy series! I would love more background info on our protagonist, but otherwise, this was a great start. Good introduction of other characters, nice setup for eventual romance, and a fun mystery that she actually solves. Looking forward to the next one!
Was this review helpful?
this is a traditional cozy that is a quick read.  There are a number of characters, many of whom could be developed more.  There doesn't seem to be much investigating going on ; just chance.  The ending is a bit surprising for several reasons but to  go into them would give away spoilers..  It is a good start but I hope that some loose threads will be tightened up for the next story.
Was this review helpful?
Chloe Abbington returns to Whisper Cove from New York. Her plan is to help her sister open her business. As her sister seems to have secrets. She then finds a local Fiona Gimble who happens to trash businesses in the local newspaper. It’s a fun series. 

#ABrushwithMurder #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars 

Slight spoilers ahead (maybe?)

First of all, this novel had me in the first few chapters, the pacing and everything was great. I fairly enjoyed it till we reached towards the middle where I felt it was kind of a filler with a much slower pacing. I did like the author's take on the main character to be suspicious of everyone around her but it was like the protagonist was just suspicious of every little thing. To be honest, it was kinda tiring to read that whole interaction with every single person she suspected. I felt like I wanted to strangle the protagonist if I could sometimes. However, I don't really understand why the author would briefly bring up a character and make them have such a big impact and another to briefly appear but to has ties to somewhat of a bigger picture. The reveal scene was good but it just felt rushed at the end. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reread this and see if I could pick up subtle hints that the author may have left that could've pointed as to who was the killer, Decent read for a person who's starting out readying murder mysteries/ thriller and suspense.
Was this review helpful?
This book was sent to me for review by Netgalley on Kindle. Cute dog...likeable dynamics...all there in a cozy mystery that is a quick read...
Was this review helpful?
Chloe Abbington gave New York City her best shot and is heading home to help her sister start her new painting shop.  As an artist, she isn’t quite sure if she’ll remain in Whisper Cove or try to make her mark on the art world again, but for now she’s committed to helping her sister have a successful launch and building her business.

After the first evening event, Chloe is cleaning up the shop alone and finds the new reporter for the local paper dead outside the shop’s backdoor.  Lots of people had a beef with the woman, but Chloe and Izzie may be the main suspects since it’s their business and the reporter was known for making problems for the local businesses.  Can Chloe and Izzie clear their names, or will their shop be the next one to close? The only red they girls want to see is paint being used by their paying customers.

A great start to a cute new series.  Quirky, but wealthy parents, two close sisters, a cute dog, and a water side location makes for a great setting for whodunits in New York State.  I look forward to future entries in the series.
Was this review helpful?
For me, this book started off strong and started to lose steam by the middle.

I enjoyed the quirky small town setting and cast of townies, but I wasn't always thrilled with the main character and her sister. I think that perhaps I could have used more exposition/background information about Chloe. I understood that she moved back for some reason...but I can't recall that reason ever fully being explained. And her relationship with her ex was equally confusing, as well as Izzie's issues with Hunter. 

The mystery was decent but they didn't do very much sleuthing. There was a lot of specifics about cleaning up shop and picking up food for their mom to make dinner, and those moments felt superfluous since they had nothing to do with the murder they were trying to figure out.

And, finally, I expected the dog, Max, to play a larger role in this debut. He's on the cover, he's in the description: "With the help of her affectionate canine buddy, Max, Chloe sets out to prove that she's been framed for Fiona's murder." -- but he only shows up when she comes home and in passing. I was expecting more of a buddy sleuthing novel about a girl and her dog, but I didn't get that in the end.
Was this review helpful?
3.50 stars rounded up to 4.

A Brush with Murder is the first book in Bailee Abbott's Paint by Murder Mystery series. This book takes place in a small town but seems more like a resort, a rich person's retreat. The shops featured are all art and collectors shops, readers aren't shown much else of the town. This was a true series starter, we are introduced to a lot of characters in a short time, unfortunately, I didn't feel readers were given many reasons to like people.

I felt that in the author's attempt to make everyone a possible suspect in the murder they failed to give enough reasons that anyone should care. Izzie practically abandons her shop on opening night, I know Chloe came to help but just pushing her into that position without any warning made it really hard for me to care what happened with the shop. Chloe's parents were almost as unlikable as Izzie but in part, their attitude does help me understand how Izzie is so undependable. Readers are pulled in several different ways and even with that, it wasn't too much a stretch for readers to figure out who the guilty party was. I would have liked to see a better explanation for the behaviours of a few of the characters and assume they will get more fleshing out as they appear in future books in this series.

I did enjoy the possible love triangle angle that cropped up. I found Ross and Hunter to be the most interesting characters in the story. I'm not sure how this angle will be continued but Ross seemed much different than the workaholic Chloe represented him as, I'm still unsure whether I find his refusal to accept defeat enduring or a possible warning. Whereas for Hunter I'd really like to see that old yearbook photo, I'd also like to know what exactly was the nature of his relationship with Izzie, seems they have some past history.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this story. I am providing a voluntary honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A new cozy series with insights into the art world.  Fast paced read that kept my attention.  Good story plot. There was a character that I feel could have had more depth but overall a good start. Will be interested to read the next. Thanks #netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?