Cover Image: A Colorful Scheme

A Colorful Scheme

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Member Reviews

I love these mysteries as they're gripping and compelling. The setting is fascinating and the plot is always complex and keeps me guessing.
I'm not a fan of Florrie because she makes me think of a 60 years old (some old ladies are more trasgressive) in the body of a 20something. It's a weird character and I always hope that she will do something totally unexpected
This is a good mystery that kept me guessing and I enjoyed.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This series is one that deserves its release date to be circled in bright red crayon. It's not to be missed. (Yes, I had it circled) Florrie Fox manages a lovely bookstore called Color Me Read and she lives in the carriage house owned by her boss. She also creates adult coloring books. She's the kind of person I would love to have as a friend and each mystery is a great reading escape. 
This time there is an upcoming wedding which, unfortunately, includes a dead guest. Her sister, Veronica, is acting as the wedding planner and the bride and groom are her boss and his ex-wife, saying 'I do' for the second time. With hundreds of invited guests, the list of suspects isn't short and a vast number of them have skeletons in their closets that they want kept there. Not if Florrie has anything to say about it. She even finds herself on the suspect list, how crazy is that?
This series always delivers a well crafted mystery to keep me guessing to the very end and a lovely cast of recurring characters. Now we have a new character, one who I hope returns in future mysteries - Jezebel is just plain wonderful.
My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This has absolutely become one of my favorite cozy mystery series. The last book, which featured a screaming skull, was so much fun that I plunged into this one without even pausing to look at the cover  copy. If it's about adult coloring-book creator and bookstore manager Florrie and her friends, I want to read it. This one starts with a missing bride and quickly escalates to a mysterious death.  There's a whole lot to enjoy in these pages, including one new character who I hope to read a lot more about in the next book.
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Coloring book creator Florrie Fox is attending the wedding of her wealthy boss and a famous romance author. They are marrying for the second time on the grounds of the Maxwell mansion. But when someone is poisoned during the festivities, Florrie realizes that someone doesn’t want a happily ever after.
This was an interesting cozy mystery. With so many suspects, it was hard to figure out whodunnit. The plot was suspenseful and kept me guessing. Florrie is a very likeable main character. She’s intelligent, and capable, I wish we could see more of her artistic side. I want to read the next installment. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this advanced reader’s copy. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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What an odd book. Using THC as a prelude to murder, Rohypnol on seniors, and a murder on the streets of Georgetown where no one thought to look at security cameras. Once you get past the oddities, the story has a nice flow.

I love the new character of Jezebel and hope that she has a recurring role. She brings humor and lightness to the book that was missing. As for the other characters, I knew it was going to be a challenge when Krista Davis began the book with a list. Unfortunately, a few seem to blend and I found myself trying to sort them out.

As for the overall story, it was enjoyable, I did wonder about one aspect since it was glaringly obvious, but it quickly became background fodder until the author tied up all the bows and revealed how authors can be what audiences crave.

A Colorful Scheme has me liking the Pen & Ink series again, and I will look for Florrie and her friends in the future.
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A Colorful Scheme (Pen & Ink Mysteries 4)
by Krista Davis 

The wedding is here...the bride is missing…

As in every book of this series, there are a lot of characters but most are repeating, making it easy for continuing readers. For new readers, I love how the author makes it easy to jump right in by including a character index. This eases the new reader while not requiring the continuing reader or author to constantly supply a detailed backstory.

Brief Synopsis (no spoilers!)
In this episode, we meet up with Florrie and Veronica at home on John and Jackie’s wedding day.  Only to quickly learn the bride is missing!!!
We have a party, lots of writers, identity theft, death, and family drama Liddy’s baack! 

This book has so much going on it’s easy to think it will be confusing or even chaotic but Ms. Davis deftly juggles all of the plots to bring this story to a strong and surprising conclusion! Only one unexpected minor incident in the book left a loose thread, at least in my mind. 

Overall, this was a fabulous addition to a great series!  

The author also includes both a delicious Strawberry cupcakes & frosting recipe and a Blueberry Coffee Cake with Crumble recipe at the end of the book.  In total there are five recipes and one martini.

Pen & Ink Mysteries
    1. Color Me Murder
    2. The Coloring Crook
    3. Murder Outside the Lines
    4. A Colorful Scheme

Krista Davis is also the author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries.

Thank you to Krista Davis, the publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC.
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A great addition to a terrific series. A clever cozy mystery. A delightful variety of characters. I look forward to reading the next one. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley.
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Romance is everywhere around Florrie’s bookstore; everyone is excited about the upcoming party at Maxwell’s mansion, from the writers to the patrons. With her boss, John Maxwell, getting married to his former wife, romance writer Jacquie, Florrie couldn’t be happier or busier. Unfortunately, she finds a dead man floating in the pool when the wedding ends. That’s when the romance stops. No one can figure out why Arthur Bedlingham’s assistant was in the pool or why he was killed, but when another body shows up and Florrie becomes the prime suspect, she is determined to find out, even if it means getting in the way of a killer. 

A Colorful Scheme is the fourth book in the  Pen & Ink series and might be the most interesting one. I enjoyed the introduction of Jacquie, the romance writer and ex-wife of Florrie's boss; I hope she will play a significant role in future books, and we will find out what happened to their missing daughter. Bedlingham's assistant, Evan, was an empathetic victim, but it is the second victim I was more enthralled with. Other characters were fun to revisit, and the bookstore has always been a wonderful setting. I felt that some of the sub-characters, such as the writer/FBI agent, could have been a bit more entertaining, but overall, the cast is a great group of different personalities that makes the story shine. I hope Jezebel Fish will become a regular; she is fantastic. I enjoy a good coloring book myself, so this series reminds me to buy a new one every so often or just color the cover of these books. 

The evidence leads the reader around by the nose. There are a great many possibilities, and I am pretty sure Florrie follows every one of them. The guests at the wedding, consisting of several romance authors, other fiction writers, and the social elite, keep readers happy and guessing.  I was sorry to see the assistant die but wasn’t invested in his story. The second victim was annoying but someone readers could relate to in the end. The finale is full of excitement and tension. I am happy to admit that this is the first time in a long while that I did not guess who the killer was or the motive early in the story. 

Readers will be thrilled to spend a few hours with Florrie and the cast. Hopefully, the new additional characters will help fill the pages of other books with romance, curiosity, and a few laughs along the way. A Colorful Scheme will keep readers guessing from start to finish. This book has charm and sophistication, with just a hint of quirkiness and a cast that will leave readers craving more.  I look forward to the next installment, one hopefully where no writer’s assistants will be harmed. They work way too hard to become victims of deranged killers!
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Florrie and friends return in the 4th Pen & Ink mystery. Florrie manages a bookstore in Georgetown for Professor Maxwell, creates adult coloring books and lives in a cottage on the grounds of Professor Maxwell’s mansion.
The story begins with Professor Maxwell’s re-marriage to Jacquie, a famous romance author.
There are several unexplained events and a death discovered the morning after the wedding.
The murderer and the motives were well hidden with this story.
I love the new employees Florrie is finally able to find for the bookstore.
This series just keeps getting better. My only cons were there were a few details that it would have been nice to know were resolved. The reader can assume that these little issues were resolved as other bigger things worked out but it was never stated. I don’t want to spoil any of the mystery so I’ll leave it there.
I received an electronic ARC through Netgalley for review but I am looking forward to the arrival of my purchased paperback. 
I recommend getting to know Florrie and her crew in order of the series for the most fun and best connection with the characters.
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We saw Professor Maxwell and his author and second wife Jacquie fall back in love with each other in the first few books of the series. Now, they are finally going to be married again. And Florrie's sister is planning the wedding and Florrie is helping. When the book opens, she is helping find Jacquie who has suddenly disappeared. Luckily, she does turn up in time for the wedding; the wedding that has any number of odd characters popping up.
Some of the guests include other authors. One in particular stands out, Arthur Bedlingham, as he is a former flame of Jacquie's. He wasn't actually invited but somehow managed to show up anyway. Also in attendance is a critic who has had harsh words for almost every author there. 
The characters are lively and interesting. The mystery is really loosely put together and there is a lot in this story that relies on coincidence but I think regular readers will enjoy this story and new-to-the-series readers will be able to follow along. 

Three and a half stars
This book comes out August 30, 2022
Follows Murder Outside the Lines
ARC kindly provided by Kensington Books and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
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These characters are like visiting old friends now, and I was happy to see that Jacquie and Maxwell were getting married. There were literally so many suspects to pick from for the murder, but one stood out to me sort of early on. But it's so much fun going down the red herring paths that I let myself go down those and entertained other ideas for whodunit. My original idea was right.

There was a fun side story featuring a couple of the authors that were visiting for this book, and I had part of that mystery right. And whoever would've thought that pesky Nelson the guy who's forever been in love with Florrie would end up being a private investigator? That was featured in someone else's side story. The continuing thread of John Maxwell's missing daughter continued although I have absolutely no idea what might've happened to her if she's not dead by now. Somehow I think it might get solved someday, but it's interesting whenever it's brought up.

I love where Florrie and Eric are in their relationship. They're so cute together! And Florrie's sister Veronica's taking more hours than I remembered at the bookshop and seemed to be happy with it. I really enjoyed two new characters we met, especially Jezebel! I hope that spunky grandma sticks around in future storylines! She's such a hoot and provided a little comic relief at times. Can't wait to find out what Florrie and her crew get into next time! This releases next Tuesday, August 30, 2022. See the little pig on the cover? You'll find out about her too!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
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Jacquie and John Maxwell are getting married- again!  Florrie, who narrates, and her sister Veronica have been busier with the wedding planning than with the bookstore Professor Maxwell owns.  When Jacquie disappears the morning before the wedding, it's the start of a series of odd and murderous events that see Florrie untangling old problems and new mysteries.  Arthur Bellingham, a writer of "literary fiction" and Jacquie's first love turns up at the reception and causes problems.  Then there's the journalist stalking Florrie, who some think is the Maxwell's missing daughter (or their grand daughter).  And pot laced brownies.  So much drama!  I always like this series but once again I'm compelled to note that Davis doesn't take advantage of the DC setting- except for some asides this could be anywhere (and actually given how large the house is, probably should be),  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  I hooted about the comments from the book reviewer.  A good cozy read.
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Krista Davis has got to be one of my absolute favorite authors. I have read all three of her series' and I love them all [I only dislike that I am caught up on all of them and have to W A I T for each new one now! LOL] This series started off slow for me [but with a very intriguing setting and even more intriguing main character - Florrie is really fantastic], but now, with book 4, I am ALL-IN, and was truly excited to see a new one in this series. I am here to tell you that it absolutely did not let me down. 

There is a wedding. There is a murder. There is a stalker and crazy accusations. There is the totally annoying and icky sister [of John Maxwell, and if you have read the previous books, you SO know what I mean. She. IS. ICK. ] showing up with a PIG! There is a lot of shadowy characters. And there is a huge lesson in what being jealous and petty and not really a nice person will get you in life [y'all please. IF you have something going on and need to make things right or need to confront someone, even to simply move on, please do it. This book shows just what can happen if you don't].  Overall, it is a really great read and just left me wanting more of Florrie and company. 

IF you are looking for a new series and love bookstores and adult coloring books and a great main character with the BEST side characters [Jezebel. Seriously. IYKYK], this series is absolutely for you. I cannot recommend it high enough. ♥

Thank you to NetGalley, Krista Davis, and Kensington Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This series has such intricate covers that you can color which is fitting since the main character, Florrie Fox, is a coloring book artist as well as a book store manager.  Florrie is such a delightful main character and amateur sleuth.  I also love the secondary characters in this series. In the latest book Professor Maxwell and Jackie are planning a large party at the estate, where they are getting remarried.  Many new characters are introduced in this book and I hope to see them in future books in the series, especially Jezebel Fish.  Krista Davis is such a talented author and always crafts an multifaceted mystery.  I hope that there will be many more books in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I love Krista Davis' cozy mysteries, for the mystery but also for the characters and place/feeling. These are characters I want to come back to time and again. This series is no exception. Florrie Fox is back to investigate a murder at her boss's wedding. With no end of guests with secrets she has her work cut out for her!
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This is the fourth in the Pen & Ink series.  It is set in Washington, DC.
I enjoy this series.  Florrie Fox is investigating the death of Evan McDowell, Arthur’s assistant and a friend of Gabriella’s. During the investigation a wanna-be-journalist via the paparazzi route, Cara Denton is murdered and Florrie is Detective Bridges’ main suspect.

I liked that she contacted Eric whenever there was a series issue. Florrie does not intentionally disregard her safety while looking into the death of Evan.

Also, this story had multiple mysteries within it.  I enjoyed each one while they enhanced the overall story.  Without giving anything away, Maxwell’s sister is a royal pain and deserves to live with the consequences of her actions.  We are introduced to two part time employees of the bookstore which I feel will work out for all involved.  Florrie’s sister has tried her hand at wedding planning and discovers that may not be her forte. And last but not least, we learn a few facts about the writing and publishing industry.

All the mysteries and their outcomes were well-plotted and showed us that the characters had believable lives.  I am looking forward to the next book.

I was given an advanced readers’ copy and am not required to leave a positive review.  I chose to do so.
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bookseller, abduction, paparazzi, family-drama, family-dynamics, friendship, amateur-sleuth, law-enforcement, wedding-madness, cozy-mystery, Washington DC, investigation, murder, murder-investigation, famous-author, series****

A wedding/remarried masquerading as a "simple party" ends up by digging up the old abduction of their daughter some years ago and a dead man in the swimming pool. Florrie is in the middle of it all and winds up investigating even as she is one of the many suspects. Good character involvement, story development, plot twists, and red herrings. Another good read. Fascinating characters and creative sleuthing make this a great story right to the end! The publisher's blurb is a pretty good hook, so no recap on that, and spoilers are just wrong.
I requested and received a free e-book copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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Coloring-book creator and Washington, DC, bookstore manager Florrie Fox is attending the wedding of her wealthy boss and a famous romance author, who are taking their vows—for the second time—on the grounds of the gorgeous Maxwell mansion.  But it soon becomes clear that the soothing vibe of coloring books is very different from the stress and backstabbing in some corners of the literary world.
Arthur Bedlingham, for example, barely makes a living despite the many awards he’s won—and his chances for better sales haven’t been helped by the vicious review he just got from another guest at the party. Then there’s an ex–FBI agent whose popular thrillers are a magnet for female fans; a less-successful romance writer; and an ambitious waitress who’s intent on a career in journalism.
When Arthur’s assistant, an aspiring writer, is murdered during the festivities, Florrie realizes this is no color-by-numbers case, and she’ll have to sort out the complicated secrets among this creative crowd of suspects . . .

This is the 4th book in the Pen & Ink Mysteries series. I am thoroughly enjoying this series. Florrie and this cast of characters are so fun to read about and I would just love to visit Color Me Read, if it were a real bookstore.

I typically have an idea as to who the killer is as I’m reading but I really didn’t know who it was this time. I did have a guess about a little spoiler at the end of the story that was correct but that was not related to the murders. 

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Publishing corporation for this ARC.
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I have really enjoyed this series.  A Colorful Scheme is a great addition.  Florrie Fox, coloring book artist, manages a bookstore, Color Me Read, in Georgetown, DC for Professor John Maxwell and lives in the carriage house behind his mansion.  Professor Maxwell and his lovely former wife and author Jacquie are throwing a party for five hundred friends and what most don't know is that they will get married again during the party.  Many of their author friends and others in the writing industry are invited.  What a fun time until the next morning when the body of a young man and struggling author is found in the pool.  Florrie is good at solving murders and sets out to find answers.  And there are many possible suspects to check out, including some of the author friends.  Maybe even Florrie when another person is killed.  But her boyfriend and police officer Eric is a good character witness.  There is a lot of action going on in the story with many twists and turns going in different directions.  Interesting recurring characters sprinkle the series, and the bookstore setting is fun.  Cozy mystery lovers are sure to enjoy this page turner and the whole series.  
I received a complimentary copy from Kensington Books and NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts are mine only.
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I love every series from author and this book is no exception. Well written, interesting storyline and characters that are easy to fall for. Highly recommend!!
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