Cover Image: Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court

Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court

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Nothing feels better than writing The End on your latest book, especially when it was uncooperative along the way. To reward herself, Jessica Fletcher’s off to visit her nephew Grady, his wife Donna, and their son Frank. Donna was gifted a stay at the beach for a job well done.

It’s not long before tensions rise within the host family. Donna’s boss wants her to keep secrets from his brother-in-law, the CEO. The boss’s sister spills family secrets. It’s ruining what could have been a fun and relaxing vacation.

The morning after Jessica arrives, Donna finds her boss’s body on the tennis court, pummeled by the TeachTennis automatic ball machine. At first glance, it appears to be a tragic accident. Jessica has her suspicions—where was the remote to start the machine? Why was it set on its fastest speed? And most importantly, why was the boss there so early in the morning. He didn’t even like tennis.

The police detective on the case is a friend of Mort’s, the Sheriff in Cabot Cove. Once he has Mort’s endorsement of Jessica, he’s willing to listen to her theories. There are quite a few suspects. Family members are vying for the CEO job, there’s a rumor someone was about to be fired, another person had a grudge, and then there’s the mysterious man who’s not what he seems to be.

This is book fifty-five in the long running series. Jessica, Seth, and Mort are their usual selves—she’s inquisitive, Seth’s protective, and Mort gives Jessica a ringing endorsement while telling her not to get involved. The beach in New York City is a nice change of setting. The suspects are varied, and just when you think you’ve figured out who did it, the investigation takes a turn.

Look for Jessica’s next adventure, Murder She Wrote, Death on the Emerald Isle, as Jessica travels to Ireland. Available for pre-order now, it launches on January 3, 2023.
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This is really a 3.5 review.  The mystery is a typical Murder She Wrote book.  Jessica is off to Rockaway Beach to spend some time with her nephew, Grady, his wife Donna and their son Frank.  The use of the beach side bungalow is a perk of Donna's new promotion.  Donna discovers the body of her boss and Jessica is sure it is murder.  I enjoyed the setting and the characters.  The murder however was very easy to solve, there was not a lot of mystery.  Overall it was a light quick read.
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As a great fan of the show, this is only the first book in the series that I have read. Basically, I picked it up because it also looked like it involved tennis by looking at the cover. I was pleasantly surprised by the mystery and felt very at home with all the well-known characters from the show. We also find out a few things that have happened since the show ended. I must say that the way the person perished is out of the ordinary.

I highly recommend this books for not only fans of Jessica & Cabot Cove, but for other cozy fans as it can be read as a stand-alone in my opinion. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the authors for a digital ARC of his book. All opinions are my own. This review can also be found on my Goodreads page.
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In this book, I think the author finally has found his niche. With each book, he has gotten to know the characters and their behaviors. This book reads like one of the older ones. It takes place in a beach town in New York. The reader gets to know Jessica’s  nephew Grady, his wife and son. Jessica spends some time with them for a vacation and unfortunately, a relative of the host, dies in a mysterious manner.
I enjoyed the story and the characters. I look forward to the next one.
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By Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran
The Fifty-Fifth Murder, She Wrote Mystery

With her latest manuscript sent off to her editor, Jessica Fletcher is free to spend time with her favorite nephew and his family. Flying to Rockaway Beach, New York, Jessica joins the family vacationing in a bungalow courtesy of Donna's employer. While a beach retreat seems an ideal place to relax, tensions are running high with the corporate family. When Donna finds the eldest son dead on their private tennis court it appears he's the victim of a malfunctioning tennis ball machine. Jessica, however, is certain it's murder.

Jessica Fletcher manages to catch a killer while still enjoying a beach holiday in KILLER ON THE COURT. I love how her inquisitive mind allows her to puzzle through the mystery without actively putting herself in danger. She also has plenty of time to enjoy being with her family. The family business Donna works at is another matter entirely. These people are dysfunctional with a capitol D, which makes for great motives and suspects.

KILLER ON THE COURT is a great summer escape with its intricately plotted mystery, curious characters, and its well loved protagonist.
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I love Murder, She Wrote as a TV show and as a book series.  However, I don't feel like this book really captured the spirit of Jessica Fletcher or the series as a whole.  The modernization in the book feels very heavy-handed - I never want to hear about Jessica's iPad ever again - and the mystery itself was a little too easy to solve.
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Another excellent edition to a wonderful series! Full of twists and turns that leaves you wanting more and enjoying each moment until the end when the killer is caught!
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Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

Wow! Was I ever impressed with this newest in the Murder She Wrote series! The mystery was satisfyingly complex with several possible suspects. Even with this series being well into the double digits, there is always something new to learn about the characters or something new they are trying. The beach setting was delightful, and I enjoyed spending time with Jessica’s family and new friends.

Jessica’s nephew Grady, his wife Donna, and their son Frank are spending a month at the Rockaways, courtesy of Donna’s employer as a surprise bonus for her work on a special project. The CEO offered her the use of one of their bungalows near the beach. Grady will be there when he is not at work. Jessica will join them as soon as she finishes work on her next bestselling mystery.

Frank adores his great aunt Jessica and can’t wait to show her around. Among other things, he is looking forward to taking her to the community center’s summer art classes that he attends. One of the first events is dinner with Matilda Courtland, the matriarch of the family Donna works for. Matilda, an engaging octogenarian, was thrilled to meet one of her favorite authors and hopes Jessica will sign some of her books.

The following morning, Jessica and Frank are building a bridge at the beach when they heard Donna scream. They found her at the tennis court where she had just discovered James, the company CEO, and Matilda’s oldest son, dead. At first, it appears that he was killed by a malfunctioning tennis training machine that was still hurling dozens of balls at a potentially deadly velocity and frequency.

Jessica’s well-honed observations were not appreciated by the detective in charge. Suspicious of her, Vinny called Mort Metzger, the sheriff of Jessica’s Cabot Cove, Maine, residence, as Vinny knew Mort when he was an NYPD detective. Mort’s recommendations took Vinny by surprise, and he began to see Jessica as an asset, especially when she was correct in that Jason did not die from a machine malfunction. The machine had been used as a murder weapon.

Jessica is one of my favorite fictional characters and sleuths. It was interesting to see how she observes the world around her and puts clues together. The author paints three-dimensional character portraits of Jessica, Grady, and his family. The Fletcher family has not enjoyed a vacation together for a while, so I was particularly delighted to spend time with Grady, Donna, and Frank. The Courtland family, and those associated with them and their company, are revealed slowly throughout.

Cabot Cove is a much different environment than the Rockaways. Those who live in Cabot Cove are used to Jessica’s talent to help find and put together clues related to murders, especially Sheriff Mort Metzger and old friend and local physician Seth Hazlitt. The detectives on Long Island have not experienced any civilian like Jessica before and may never do so again!

Plot twists contribute to the increasing number of suspects, especially when it is learned that Jason had been pursuing financial anomalies at the company. Jason’s brother and brother-in-law are in hot disputes over which of them will take over the company, which could potentially reveal one of them being guilty of misappropriating funds and killing Jason to cover their tracks. This multifaceted case had a minimum of clues that, if read carefully, might show who killed Jason and why, and just where the money problems are. I was happy to find that I had guessed part of the solution but not all of it. There were surprises awaiting me, yet I was overall very happy with the outcome. Kudos, Terrie Farley Moran, on this excellent mystery! I highly recommend it to fans of Jessica Fletcher, the author, and well-written mysteries!
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This is the 55th book in the Murder She Wrote Series by Jessica Fletcher, or in this case, Terrie Farley Moran. Though I am a fan of the television series on which this series is based, I have never read one of the books before. I picture Jessica, her nephew Grady and his wife Donna based on the actors in the television show. The rest of the characters are developed and believable. The setting of this book is a lovely, inviting location. I recommend this book. I will also read earlier books in this series. I know there are a variety of authors so I’m hoping their books are as well written. I will also be reading more books by Terrie Farley Moran.
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For someone my age, Jessica Fletcher is an old friend. While I have my doubts that she wrote Cozies, the television show chronicling her adventures most definitely became the template for the mystery sub-genre.  This is my third read in the ongoing series, co-penned by Terrie Farley Moran. Once again, I am blown away by the ease with which I slip into reading this story. Cabot Cove, its community at large, and its penchant for gossip is large and center stage. Beloved characters leap off the page to take up residence in my imagination and I feel the craving for a pot of tea and a vat of popcorn, my go-to MSW snack foods.

In this installment, Jessica, having just sent off her latest book is looking forward to spending summer vacation at an NYC beach with her favorite nephew Grady and his family. His wife had just received a promotion and had been invited to join in her boss’s family beach getaway. After meeting the likely suspects and being given a plethora of clues, her boss is found dead and Jessica dives in to figure out who murdered the man with tennis balls. She pulls the reader along in her usual persistent fashion.

It is always a pleasure to follow JB Fletcher through and investigation. She sees everything, asks the oddest questions then sets up the big reveal all while holding true to her purpose, which in this story was spending time with her young nephew.  I will admit to figuring out the bad guy early on, but it is only Jessica’s patience that I was able to find the why.  What is it about her Great Aunt vibe that has the killers confessing with only a disappointed look from her?

Much like the long-running series, there is an overall story arc, but the books can be read as stand-alone and in any order. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I received an advance review copy for free through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and Netgalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
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**3.5-stars rounded up**

Another successful, murdery romp with Jessica Fletcher!

Killer on the Court is the 55th-installment of the long-running and much loved Murder, She Wrote series. To say I am huge fan of this series would not be an exaggeration. This is actually the 39th-book that I have read in this series and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

Jessica Fletcher and Murder, She Wrote both are super nostalgic for me; bringing back great memories from my childhood. It makes me happy every time I pick up one up. Terrie Farley Moran, the latest author to contribute to this series, has absolutely nailed the tone and feel of what comprises a MSW story.

In this latest mystery, Jessica travels from Cabot Cove to Rockaway Beach in New York for a holiday with her nephew, Grady, his wife, Donna and their son, Frank. The Fletchers secured their beachside bungalow through Donna's work, as her boss's family owns multiple properties in the area.

On the very first full day of Jessica's stay, as is known to happen, Donna discovers the dead body of her boss on the property's tennis court. The local police initially believe it was some sort of accident, a malfunctioning ball machine to blame, but Jessica's not buying it. She can't help it. Her mind doesn't like inconsistencies, so of course she gets involved. Jessica will get to the bottom of it.

I enjoyed this. I always love when Jessica travels and the beachside setting of this was rather relaxing, even with the murder. I also always enjoy Grady and Donna. Frank on the other hand drives me a bit batty and I found his dialogue in this one a little far-fetched, but I digress.

Learning about the company that Donna works for and the family at the helm of that company was interesting. There were quite a few red herrings and I think Farley Moran did a great job building up the suspense.

I am really loving Farley Moran at the helm of this series and hoping she continues on for further installments. If you haven't read any of the books in this series before, and love a Cozy Mystery, you can start anywhere, they do not need to be read in order. If you see a synopsis that jumps out at you, give it a go. If you enjoy it, you have 54 more to try after that. Who knows, maybe you'll catch up with me!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Keep 'em coming please!!!
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I love the Murder, She Wrote TV show, which has become a comfort watch for me. I was so looking forward to reading a book based on it (I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, but I plan on going back and checking them out!), and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint! This was a delightful way to revisit the characters, while also having an excellent mystery! Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to fans of MSW, and to anyone who enjoys a good mystery!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher and author.
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Author Jessica Fletcher is thrilled when she sends the final draft of her manuscript to her publisher.  With the deadline behind her, Jessica can now relax.  She’s delighted when her nephew Grady invites her to spend time at a beach bungalow in New York.  Jessica is excited to spend quality time with Grady’s family, including his adorable ten year old son.

It doesn’t take long before Jessica finds herself right in the middle of a possible murder.  Grady’s wife, Donna, discovers her boss dead in a freak accident on the tennis court.  Although Jessica doesn’t want to get involved, she sees how upsetting this is for her family.  She quickly investigates on her own and finds the victim had quite a number of enemies.  Jessica plans to investigate each one as Donna becomes a suspect too.  No way will Jessica let her family become suspects in this gruesome crime.

This is #55 in the Jessica Fletcher mystery series.  I haven’t read any of them before, but I was familiar with the TV show.  I wasn’t a regular watcher but I knew about it.  So, I had no trouble jumping right into reading this series.  I really don’t think it’s necessary to read them all since the mystery is contained in this book, there are no continuing threads and no relationships that I was confused about.  I think it works well as a standalone as well as part of a series. 

Jessica spends her time in this book balancing her family life and the mystery.  It felt as if I was on vacation at the beach, too.  I really liked Jessica and her family.  They are very well written and felt realistic.  Although I have to admit, there were a few times I wanted Jessica to get back to the mystery and less scenes with her young nephew and his activities.  Sometimes I thought he was just too good to be true.  Perhaps a bit too well behaved 😀

The storyline kept me guessing.  I kept changing my mind about who did it.  There were several different suspects to choose from.  The story wrapped up quite nicely.  I’ve read other books, from other series, by Terri Farley Moran, and I’ve always enjoyed her writing style.  This one did not disappoint.  

I’ll be checking out more books in this series.  If the rest of the books are anything like this one, they are filled with charm and are light hearted.  The perfect way to spend an afternoon.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Jessica goes on vacation in the 55th installment of Murder She Wrote. One of the things I love about the Murder She Wrote Series is that the characters in Jessica's world come back into her stories. As I read the book, I clearly saw Grady from the 1990s television series and now I've taken a shine to little Frank. In this adventure, Jessica goes to the beach with Grady and family because his wife, Donna got a sweet job perk of a beach house for a month.  The murder takes place on a tennis court and Jessica is left to figure out the various entanglements of the Donna's coworkers and family of the deceased. Mort Metzger helped out from the shadows and of course she has a new co-investigator on the local police force. If you love Murder She Wrote as much as I do, then you should check out Killer on the Court!
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I love Jessica Fletcher and the whole Murder, She Wrote franchise.  It's been awhile since I've seen Jessica's nephew Grady and his family so I was excited to head to the beach with the Fletcher family.  Unfortunately, this one wasn't my favorite.

The mystery was interesting with a complicated family that the Fletchers are drawn into and surrounded by.  No one is quite what they seem and everyone has secrets and hidden agendas.  I really enjoyed that the lead detective was an old friend of Cabot Cove Sheriff Mort Metzger so we got some stories about younger Mort and some fun interactions.  

My main issue was the level of the detail that was in the book.   Each character was described in detail - hair color, style, clothing, etc- as well as each location.  There were also a number of tangents on things unrelated to the mystery.  This slowed the pace and made for a clunky read at times.  I went between two and three stars on this but I enjoyed the appearances by Seth and Mort as well as the times when the investigation gained traction enough to round up to three.
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Mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher is celebrating summer with her family on New York’s Rockaway Beach. Her nephew Grady, his wife Donna and their young son Frank have been gifted a month long stay in an oceanfront bungalow courtesy of the owner of Donna’s company, Jason Courtland. But when Jason turns up dead, Jessica can’t help but get involved in Murder She Wrote: Killer on the Court.

I always enjoy returning to Jessica’s life. Her relatives now feel like mine thanks to this long-running book series as well as the television series that preceded it. Frank’s youthful enthusiasm for life really livens up the plot.

Speaking of plot, this book has an interesting murder weapon, a tennis ball machine. The victim, Jason, has many skeletons in his closet and envious enemies within his family. So, there are plenty of suspects for Jessica and the reader to investigate.

The contrast of the cozy Fletcher family vibes with the cold Courtland family relations is intriguing to watch. It is also nice to not see the traditional bumbling police portrayal. It isn’t their incompetence; it is Jessica’s insightful interview skills and attention to detail that causes her to solve the case first!

Overall, I enjoyed reading Murder She Wrote: Killer on the Court and you will too. 4 stars!

Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.
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Jessica Fletcher, famous author and amateur sleuth is back doing what she does best; solving crime and endearing herself to readers in the latest Murder, She Wrote whodunit. This adventure takes Jessica away from her beloved Cabot Cove. Her cherished nephew, Grady, his wife Donna and son Frank have invited Jessica to spend a few weeks with them on Rockaway Beach in New York. Donna’s boss, Jason Courtland, owns the beach house they will stay in, as well as many others. She was awarded the beach stay for her family for a job well done at his company.

Jessica arrives happy to see all of them and ready to relax. But a murder disrupts her visit. Jason Courtland is brutally murdered by an out-of-control tennis ball machine that is hurling balls at him long after he succumbs to the barrage of lethal blows. Sadly, his siblings are more concerned with who will take over the company instead of mourning loss of their brother. At first his death appeared be a horrible accident, but soon is ruled a homicide. 

The local police have several suspects, including Jessica as she found the body along with her niece. Luckily, one of the policemen on the case previously worked with Jessica’s dear friend Mort Metzger. Together in Cabot Cove, Mort and Jessica have worked on more cases than she would like to remember. Once the local police established her petulance for solving murders, they begin consulting with her while working their leads. Neither the police nor Jessica will quit until the killer comes to justice.

The characters are interesting and fully developed. I especially enjoyed the interaction with Jessica and her ten-year-old great nephew Frank. Aside from Jessica, he is my favorite character. I love a youngster that is polite, loves to read, enjoys playing games both inside and outside and is taking art classes while he is at the beach.

I highly recommend this book to cozy mystery fans. Even if you have never seen an episode of Murder, She Wrote you will enjoy this book. I have read many of the books in this series. Each one is different, interesting and has plot twists before the killer is revealed. If you have watched Murder, She Wrote, Angela Lansbury’s voice will be present in your mind during all of the conversations Jessica has with the other characters. It is like listening to an old familiar friend. I absolutely love this book, the characters and the series.  

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2022 Laura Hartman
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This is the fifty-fifth instalment in the Murder She Wrote series featuring the ubiquitous Mrs Fletcher and, well, what can I say. For starters, being an avid cozy mystery reader, I am astonished that this is my first foray, though, like millions of others, I have watched many of the tv shows.

In Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court, Jessica is holidaying with her nephew, Grady, niece, his wife, Donna, and their young son, Frank. They are at New York’s Rockaway Beach in a cottage owned by Grady’s wife’s employers, the Courtland family. The very next morning after Jessica Fletcher's arrival, the two Mrs Fletchers, Jessica and Donna, are on the beach along with Frank and Grady. Jessica and Frank are busy constructing elaborate sandcastles. Frank suddenly hears his mum shrieking the noise coming from the beach bungalow area. A tennis ball machine is pumping out vivid yellow balls at a vast rate of knots and a dead man is lying on the ground; it's Jason Courtland.

In an investigation led by Detective Vincent (Vinnie) Tieri and Detective Aisha Kelly, Jessica naturally gets involved. Who could possibly not love the observant, resourceful and smart J. B. Fletcher? Frank, too is worth a mention and was definitely my second favourite character in the novel as he acts like a 10-year-old should, to somebody of my generation; Gen X or older. As far as the mystery is concerned, I took a wild guess at around the ½ way mark, not really getting anywhere useful with my own sleuthing as there were many suspects with a variety of plausible motives. So the eventual reveal was a surprise. A super beachside setting, some lovely family moments and the colourful characters contribute richly and I am certainly motivated to read a few more Murder She Wrote Novels. I'm spoilt for choice between book one, Gin and Daggers, something more recent, such as book fifty-four, Debonair in Death or any instalment in between.

Thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, the author and Berkley for a complimentary copy of Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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Jessica Fletcher takes a vacation break in Rockaway Beach, New York with her nephew Grady, his wife Donna, and his young son Frank (named for her late husband). When one of Donna's colleagues is found dead on a tennis court, pummeled by tennis balls from a mechanical server, Jessica steps in to investigate.

I wanted to read Murder She Wrote: Killer on the Court because I love the old Murder She Wrote TV series. I have not read any of the other books this series, but now I really want to. I also like tennis, so that added to my interest in this mystery.

This book is so well written. Jessica's voice is especially well done, and so true to her beloved character. The writing is engaging -- with warm scenes of Jessica and her great-nephew Frank, tidbits about New York, and of course mystery solving!

The descriptions are wonderful too, like:

"I awoke to the sound of chirping and saw a goldfinch perched on the outside ledge of my bedroom window, his yellow body brightening the gloomy overcast sky that served as his background. I slipped out of bed as carefully as I could, trying not to frighten him away. But it was no use. Birds are sensitive to motion, and he flew off. As soon as I opened the window wider, I could hear his friends and cousins singing in the trees. I began to take deep breaths of the warm, moist air coming in off the ocean. I was sure it would bring rain along with it well before the day’s end. During the summer months, I have an almost childlike expectation that every day will be sunny and cheerful. But if today wasn’t going to cooperate, it didn’t matter to me. I didn’t need sunshine to feel exuberant." (eBook location 91)

The mystery aspect of this novel was fun - just the right amount of suspects, and the storytelling kept me guessing right up to the solution!

I thoroughly enjoyed Murder She Wrote: Killer on the Court, and recommend it for cozy mystery fans -- and especially for anyone who loves Murder She Wrote.
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4.5 Stars - Top Pick 

Famous mystery writer Jessica Fletcher has just finished writing her latest book. She rewards herself with what she hopes will be a relaxing trip to New York’s Rockaway Beach with her nephew, Grady, and his family. They are staying in a cottage owned by Grady’s wife’s bosses so it’s awkward when they get caught in the middle of some of that wealthy family’s drama. Things get even worse when one of the family members is murdered and Grady’s wife, Donna, discovers the body. Luckily Jessica is there to work with local law enforcement to help bring a killer to justice.

I have enjoyed the Murder She Wrote novels for several years and was a fan of the television series. However, I think anyone who is new to either could still enjoy this cozy mystery. Jessica is such an appealing main character. She is a successful writer, but remains humble and down-to-earth. She is smart, observant, and kind, but isn’t afraid to express her opinion. The mystery was interesting and fans of Agatha Christie will appreciate members of a powerful family in conflict leading to several suspects in the murder. The book has a nice, even pace with a great balance between the time Jessica takes to investigate and the time she is able to spend unwinding at the beach. The family scenes with Jessica, Grady, Donna, and her great-nephew Frank are so engaging and descriptive.I wish I could have walked along the boardwalk, fished, and attended art camp with Jessica and 10-year-old Frank! Grady has really matured since his early appearances in the series andI liked getting to know him and his family better in this story.

A few clues were given, but even more red herrings were included in the story. I was surprised when the identity of the murderer was revealed, but was satisfied with the way the book ended. This is the third book in the series written by Terrie Farley Moran and I enjoy her style of writing. Although Jessica didn’t spend much time in Cabot Cove in this book, I still like Moran’s portrayal of the main characters of Jessica, Dr. Seth Hazlitt, and Sheriff Mort Metzger. I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end and highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good cozy mystery, especially fans of this series.

~ Christine
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