Cover Image: Murder Out of Character

Murder Out of Character

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Member Reviews

Librarian Marvy is once again playing sleuth in Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews. Marvey Harris is still learning how the Southern small towns work. One of my favorite parts is reading her New York perspective of Peach Coast, Georgia. Murders and one of her friends in danger, what is she to do but enlist others to help solve this case. Love a strong smart woman who is a true friend.

Small town cozy mystery with a heroine that will win your heart. There’s intrigue along with a hint of romance. Great read for a fall afternoon.

An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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a wonderful interesting detailed read! lots of twists an turns, unpredictable story and complex characters make this a real page turner and a must read! this book has it all murder, mystery, intrigue and a bit of romance thrown in!

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This is the second installment of the "Peach coast library mystery" and we follow new resident Marvella Harris in an intricated plot of murders. Her friend Spencer might be the next victim of a serial killer in a hit list.

I've really enjoy this novel considering that I didn't read the first one. I can fully understand the plot without having reading the first book. I really care about Marvella -Marvey for the friends- and her bond to the community of Peach coast.

Olivia Matthews knows her cozy mystery Genre and it is super for fans of the Hallmark mystery movies.

I'm rooting for Spence and Marvey and Jo with Nolan.

The end was great because I didn't see it coming a lot with that suspect.

Great reading for lovers of cozy vibes.

Thanks Netgalley for the arc and Hallmark publisher.

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I really liked this so much better than the first book, and I liked the first book a lot. The characters drew me in but in this book it was just different. Somehow it just all came together and these characters became friends I was visiting. The mystery did seem more compelling in this book too, and at times I had a hard time putting my Kindle down. I couldn't read fast enough toward the end lol. A clever clue led me to guessing the killer.

The book had probably my most favorite type of showdowns (meaning it was fairly safe for all involved), and I sure hope there's another book because it's about high time that Jo lets Nolan know how much she likes him. And Marvey needs to do the same with Spence. There at least were some better hints toward that as the book progressed and especially at the end. I really loved how everyone gathered at the end for a sort of debriefing then a party to see Marvey's folks off which was actually a little bit more than just that! I really hope Hallmark Publishing wants more of this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Hallmark Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Mavey may still be getting use to living in the south, but to say that she loves her new town and the friends that she has made is an understatement. So, when she finds a list naming four prominent town members, including her friend Spencer, who suddenly start to drop dead under mysterious circumstances Mavey can’t stay out of the investigation. Can Mavey and her team of librarians help her solve another case before anyone else drops dead?
Overall, this book is okay. I would not say that it one of my favorite cozy mysteries. I enjoyed the characters, but I really felt like things moved very slowly. Which I know can happen with a cozy mystery, but the secondary issue in this book did not help pick up where the case dragged. I am sure there will be more books in this series, so I am excited to see if Spencer and Mavey are able to take their relationship to the next level.
Thank you so much to Hallmark Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this title.

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Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews.
Marvey, still adjusting to life in Peach Coast, Georgia, is at a library fundraising event when she comes across a list of four names. One is the name of someone who recently died—and who may have been murdered. Another is Spencer Holt, the handsome newspaper owner who’s become one of Marvey’s best friends.
A very good read. I did like the books on each chapter. I loved Spence the cat. Cozy read. 4*.

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I received a free epub copy from NetGalley!

I loved this book. It was excellent. It reminded me of a young Jessica Fletcher and Murder She Wrote but with a Library fundraiser. Marvey was an excellent lead character who I liked right away. Her relationship with Spence was enviable. She had a relatable relationship with the detectives and a determination so strong to keep her friends safe. I look forward to reading more from Olivia Matthews.

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I liked book 1 better, but I did like this book. Cozies are hard for me because I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers and I want to support my fellow Black authors, they’re surface and at times so cute they’re nonsensical. An average citizen solving a crime and besting well-trained members of the police force will never make sense to me. BUT ANYWAY, on to the thoughts about this book.

I have to say, I did not see the killer coming until I was nearly to the end, which is either good (the killer was hidden well, in plain sight) or bad (there was not enough breadcrumbing to give hints or clues). The mystery itself and the catalyst for the murders seemed thin to me— but again I read hard stuff so maybe it works for cozy readers. It can’t be too vicious.

I had hoped for way fewer references to New York in this one but it seemed like there were more in this one. They do not bring me joy.

Little nits here and there tell me this book could have used another round of fluffing out. Not using specifics — like how much was the donations to the library?— was annoying enough to remember the next day.

Also a few of those southern sayings and euphemisms go a long way.

You’re wondering what I DID like? Oh, ok.
The cat, always the cat.
Spence- sweet guy. I loved that he and Marvey watched out for each other
Marvey’s fam- her brother made me laugh, her parents were sweet people and even got in on the investigative action
The town- I love when the setting is a character in itself. Peach Coast sounds like a delightful place to live. If only people weren’t dying left and right.
The story- I mean… it’s a cute cozy, meant to be light, not too serious, charming and entertaining. Mission accomplished!

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3.5* upped to 4
I was enjoying this book thinking it was even better than the first then Marvey's parents appears and I was wondering the they were even worse than the average Latin parent.
This was a part that made see Marvey as a grown teenager more than an adult woman.
There were also other details that left me wondering like going to visit people before 8 am on Sunday and assuming that they were to a service if not at home.
The mystery was entertaining but it felt a bit forced at times even if it kept me reading and guessing.
I will read the next book.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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I read the first book in this series and remembered liking it but honestly I remember nothing about the book at all. This new installment I had a feeling I wouldn’t like from the start....

Starting with a fundraising event and an excessive amount of details and people who I won’t remember. Aside from that it just started off incredibly boring. I’ve watched a lot of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries which are generally based off cozy mystery series. You know where some busybody woman thinks she knows best and gets involved in things she shouldn’t only to inevitably end up putting herself in danger. She typically has some kind of pet and has friends that will discourage her from getting involved but will also aide in her shenanigans. It’s formulaic and it works obviously since people like cozy mysteries.

This time librarian Marvey involves herself after finding a list of names at the library event. One person on the list has recently died and now another has died and since one of her friends is on the list she goes into full busybody mode. She immediately decides that this list must be a hit list and HAD to protect her friend Spencer who she has a crush on like she’s a 15 year old girl writing his names with hearts in a notebook (to be clear that didn’t happen but that’s what her crush feels like to me).

It’s boring just boring and slow going and Marvey is kind of annoying. And seriously there isn’t a detail that isn’t described excessively in this book. Every room someone enters ever street they walk on everything they are wearing must be written out in detail.

If you didn’t read the first book this is fine stand-alone though. If you want a tedious amount of detail and an annoying amount of random people you likely won’t care about, and a busybody woman who has magical powers of observation and behaves more like a teenager than a grown adult... then this is the book for you.

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The second book in this series is well written and an interesting story. The one thing I didn't like was it jumped right into the story and I needed some context to remember all the characters. The mystery was well paced and there were several red herrings to keep you guessing. In the end, Marvie, her friends and librarians, helped the local detectives make the arrest. A good read!

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Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest, personal review. If you like cozy mysteries, this one is for you! Marvey is not only a librarian but an amateur sleuth, who while cleaning up after a fundraiser, finds a short hit list. The list in question includes two people who have already died and her best friend Spence. Can Marvey, Spence and her other friends find out what is going on and who is behind it, or will Spence be the next victim? The character of Marvey is tenacious and she will need that and more to get to the bottom of this mystery. This book would make a great Hallmark series!

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Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews is the second novel in A Peach Coast Library Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone if you have not read Murder By Page One. I enjoyed the descriptions of Peach Coast, Georgia. It sounds like a charming southern town. We are introduced to quite a few characters in the first chapter. It is difficult to keep them all straight. We are given scant details on them (name, what they look like, and their occupation or the business they own). I wish there were fewer characters. I would like the characters including Marvey to be fleshed out. I like that the library is part of the community. Marvey is finding ways to interact with the townspeople and bring new patrons to the library. The mystery was interesting, but it was uncomplicated. I correctly identified the killer early in the book (before Marvey found the note with the list of names at the kickoff party). I did feel the mystery progressed slowly. Marvey with help from some friends sets out to learn how the people on the list are connected and who is behind the murders. There is some repetition of information. Marvey is told multiple times by various characters to leave the investigating to the professionals (it becomes annoying). There are some events (it would be a spoiler if I was more specific) that I find hard to believe (could only happen in a fictional world). I liked that there was more activity near the end. I do feel there is too much romance for a cozy mystery. Marvey and Spencer are friends, but Marvey is clearly attracted to Spencer. Her whole reason for investigating the murders is to keep Spencer safe. I did tire of hearing (Marvey’s thoughts) how perfect Spencer is (attractive, kind, charming, helpful, etc.). Marvey’s parents are a little overprotective. Marvey is an adult (despite the fact that she sometimes acts like a teenager having her first crush). Her parents subscribe to the Peach Coast Crier so they can keep tabs on Marvey and what is happening in the town. They worry about her about her safety since there have been two murders in a short amount of time (she lived in Brooklyn where I am sure the crime rate is higher). I enjoyed the Southernisms in the story. They are phrases that you only hear in the south. Pecan Pralines were featured in the story and there is Anna May’s recipe for them at the end of the book. I liked the idea of a book swap at a library. It is a clever idea, and it is one that more library’s should implement. Murder Out of Character is a lighthearted tale with library revelry, a note with names, a dead friend, pet adoption, puzzling pennants, scrumptious pralines, picturesque Southernisms, and sleuthing librarian.

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Thanks to NetGalley, Olivia Matthews, and Hallmark Publishing for this copy provided to me without charge in exchange for an honest review.

In the first chapter I learned something I never knew before- that students experience a “summer slide” in academic skills during the summer-47%- when they were less likely to be reading. That made me sit up and take notice, honestly. But then as I read, I felt like I was reading a book by an irritating know-it-all. By Chapter 4, the non-necessary, extra details about EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE was driving me crazy! It deflected from the story and it made her seem like she had a super-inflated ego. It’s a turn-off. An example is this, “… the nine-hundred-and-eight-point-four-miles…” But I trudged on. Maybe it’s part of the charm of the story and will get better?

Literally, she discusses the vending machine being intriguing, and companies that produced treats where they were headquartered…. This is in the middle of a scene about being at the police station. Really?

So I was really irritated at this book and I felt like it was way too complex of a character till like. But as the time went on, she became really interesting. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say likable but I really did enjoy the book after this. And I’m not surprised I would like to read another one! It’s just that you need to get past her irritating know-it-all tendencies (we all know someone like her). Later on, I realized that I actually found out details about things in life that I really never needed to know, but, it was interesting!!

Regardless- the book goes up a few notches from my initial disinterest. I’m anxious to start another story by this author. So all in all- a really good book! Enjoy!

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This is book 2 in the Peach Coast Library Mystery series. I think Marvey and her friends and family have grown and developed in this book. Marvey finds a hit list at a library fundraiser but the police think she's crazy until 2 are dead. She fights hard to find the killer, all of whom are connected to the library. This book can be read as a stand alone but you get some context from book 1. The southern island is still a little foreign to NY born Marvey but the community is taking her in stride. I love the characters and setting.

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An excellent story set in the Peach Coast Library in Georgia. Marvey is a librarian but also an amateur sleuth so when not one but two well known citizens are murdered, and her best friend's life is threatened, she gathers her team of librarians to investigate the case.

This is an intriguing mystery with many possibilities. The characters are interesting and it is a fun look at the Southern lifestyle from a New Yorker's point of view. I will be watching out for more books from this author.

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This is a wonderful cozy mystery that is full of twists and turns. It will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. It was a joy to read and I look forward to the next book in this series. If you enjoy a good clean cozy mystery, grab this book.
I received a complimentary copy from Hallmark Publishing via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Marvey is settling in to life in Peach Coast and looking forward to her parents’ upcoming visit. The library summer program kicks off and during clean up Marvey finds a piece of paper that has four names on it. When two of the four listed persons die, Marvey gets serious about protecting the remaining people on the list. One of the two is Spencer.
Marvey is a great character and I like her, but she was a bit over the top in her protection of Spencer. Her mental conversations weren’t honest with herself. She mislead her parents until she was forced to own up to the path she was taking. However, her deep care for those around her shines through and is made known at the end once the culprit is apprehended.
The story is sweet and flows well. I enjoyed reading Murder Out of Character.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for access to early copies of the ebook..

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I definitely get the cozy Hallmark movie vibes from this book. It's liked it was made for the small screen. I was able to envision this story playing out and I am also partial to the setting being in Georgia. It was a quick read I would say works well for the Fall season.

I gave it 3.5 stars

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MURDER OUT OF CHARACTER is a small-town cozy featuring a librarian who's recently moved to Peach Coast, Georgia from Brooklyn.

It's really easy to be a fan of main character Marvey -- she's passionate about encouraging people to use the library, makes book-themed jewelry as a hobby, and buys peach cobbler for a different coworker each day (to please both them and its baker). She also was quick to make a few close friends in town; in this book, she becomes involved in a murder investigation when she's worried one of them may be the next target.

The second in a newish cozy series by Olivia Matthews (the pen name for Patricia Sargeant), MURDER OUT OF CHARACTER can be read as a sequel or standalone (backstory from the first book, MURDER BY PAGE ONE, is filled in well).

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