Cover Image: A Colorful Scheme

A Colorful Scheme

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars, I liked it.

Book 4 in this series.

I'm a big fan of Krista Davis, and this series is a fun one. That said, this book was not my favorite. It just had too much going on and too many suspects. And frankly, there have been a lot of cozies with weddings lately and I'm getting bored. But that's a me problem, not the book's.

The other thing that bothered me a bit was Jackie's behavior. Here she is, remarrying Professor Maxwell, but keeping secrets from him and everyone else.

In the end, I enjoyed it and I look forward to more.
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This is a very strong 3, but I can’t quite round up to four.  I consider a three to be a solid read, and it’s generally my starting point for rating any book I read.

Because I read a digital ARC, I did not have the benefit of a cover to color, but that didn’t really impact the story line.  I am a huge fan of Krista Davis’ Diva series, and pre-order each book as it’s released, so I couldn’t help but compare this offering to her other series.  I simply could not feel a connection to the characters or visualize the settings the way I do in the Diva books.  Although a cozy mystery, it just didn’t have the depth and detail - though I do appreciate the recipes at the end.
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Krista Davis pens an illuminating tale in this fourth instalment of her Pen & Ink Mystery series. Set in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Florrie Fox is the manager of Color Me Read bookstore and she is a guest at her boss, Jacqueline Liebhaber's marriage to Professor John Maxwell. It's to be an extravagant affair and Jacqueline is a famous author. Many of the guests are writers of different ilks and capabilities, some wealthy and some not. One of the guests is Arthur Bedlingham, there with his assistant, Evan McDowell, a wannabe writer. The wedding venue is Maxwell Mansion, a huge property with a carriage house, attics and secret underground passages. There is a cocktail party for everyone but Jacquie has disappeared. Then Evan is found dead...

With a fantastic and smart protagonist, this was a great cozy with its adult colouring book theme. The mystery was terrific and I loved trying to work out whodunit whilst sipping my tea and scoffing a cupcake. If you enjoy a well-executed, creative cozy, I'm sure you'll love it too!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a free copy in return for an honest review. There is plenty of fun in the latest book in Krista Davis' series about Florrie and the bookstore she manages. This time a guest at a party surprise wedding ends up dead in the pool and there are plenty of suspects. Of course, Florrie ends up as one of them but she and her cast of friends find out the truth. There is more than one death and plenty of police activity, too!
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I always have mixed feelings reading books about places I've lived but especially Georgetown since I grew up there.  It's difficult to reconcile the place I know with the new one that's presented in the book and I spend so much time trying to figure out exactly where everything is and frequently come up short.  Despite this, I really enjoy this series.  It allows me to reminisce but also see the area with new eyes.  This mystery was well paced with tons of new fun characters thrown in.  I had no idea who the killer was until the very end and enjoyed my journey to the satisfying conclusion.
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A Colorful Scheme is book #4 in the Pen & Ink series by Krista Davis.

Florrie Fox draws coloring books and manages a bookstore. Her good friends are getting married and a guest is murdered. Many of the couple’s author friends have secrets.  Florine wants to get to the truth.

Florrie and her friends and family are wonderful, caring characters.  The wedding was easy to imagine from the description in the book.   The murder wasn’t the only mystery in the book and it was fun trying to figure out which ones were related.  The new hires at the bookstore promise to keep things interesting.   I highly recommend this series.

Thank you to the author, Kensington, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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A possible wedding, a missing bride, a deceased wedding guest, an intriguing mystery with lots of twists and turns and red herrings, a cool bookstore, a coloring club, a plucky amateur sleuth who manages the bookstore and draws coloring pages for adults....this book has it all and so much more! I enjoyed everything about this book. I was captivated from the very first page to the last. 
This is book four in the Pen & Ink Mystery series, but it's easily read and enjoyed without having read the other books (although I think you should just because it's a great series).

Many thanks to Kensington Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor or expectation.
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A Colorful Scheme by Krista Davis is the fourth A Pen & Ink Mystery.  Each book can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  Florrie Fox is back.  I like Florrie as well as the rest of the cast in this entertaining series.  This is a very much a character driven series.  Florrie manages Color Me Read a Georgetown bookstore owned by Professor John Maxwell.  She also designs adult coloring books.  Jacquie and Professor Maxwell are getting married again.  They invited five hundred people for a party and surprised them with the wedding.  It is a lovely event with some interesting authors in attendance.  The next morning, Florrie is awakened early by screams and squeals.  Mr. DuBois, the butler, has found the body of Evan McDonald, Arthur Bedlingham’s assistant.  The police find evidence of foul play.  Professor Maxwell is worried that his bride will be a suspect and asks Florrie to don her sleuthing cap once again.  Florrie will need to watch her back because it seems that someone is following her.  I like Krista Davis’s upbeat writing style.  It makes her stories a delight to read.   We get to meet some interesting characters at the wedding.  There are several known authors in attendance.  I enjoyed meeting Jezebel Fish (what a name).  I hope we have not seen the last of this spunky character.  The mystery was entertaining.  I enjoyed figuring out this whodunit.  There are several good suspects and a red herring or two.  I like how Florrie’s artistic skills are used to provide clues.  While I was able to discern the who early on, but I did not know the why.  I was eager to learn more which had me rapidly turning pages.  There are some great revelations (I love twists) and plenty of action.  As the story concluded, the various storylines all came together. There was a good wrap up where all questions are answered. I enjoyed the ending which has me eager for the next A Pen & Ink Mystery.  A Colorful Scheme has drama, mystery, touching moments, romance, and humor.  A Colorful Scheme is colorful cozy with a sprightly pig, an exasperating sister, an assassinated assistant, a frustrating sergeant, useful sketches, author antics, and a surprising secret.
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A Colorful Scheme is the fourth in Krista Davis' Pen and Ink series, and the mystery is as twisted as I have come to expect! The favorite characters are here, plus a quirky new person. I love this series  because it has everything I want --a good mystery, close knit characters, [for the most part], a great setting and pace. An excellent addition to the series.
#AColorfulScheme #NetGalley #Kensington
Thank you to Net Galley and Kensington for granting my request for a digital ARC to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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Once more Ms Davis writes a suspenseful, clever and charming mystery with unique characters and setting. Thanks to #NetGalkey and AColorfulScheme for advanced digital copy.
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Release Date: August 30, 2022


Florrie Fox is attending the wedding of her wealth boss, John Maxwell to his ex wife. The wedding brings out many authors including an ex FBI agent and award winning Arthur Bedlingham. While this would seem like just another event, the body of Arthur Bedlingham’s assistant and wannabe author Evan is found floating in the pool. Florrie is on the case but when a second victim is found and all the evidence points to Florrie, can she color her way out of the corner? 

I really enjoyed this new series! I LOVED Jezabel (possibly just for the name but she is a super fun and funny character). The introduction of Jacqui as a series regular is also welcome and I hope to see more of both these characters in the future! 

#penandinkmystery #kristadavis #acolorfulscheme #coloringbooks #bookstagram #bookrecommendations #cozymysteryseries #kensingtonbooks
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Flossie becomes the main suspect when she discovers a body in the pool after the wedding of the Professor and Jacquie. She is also being followed by a rogue journalist who believes she is the Professor's lost daughter's child. There's a lot going on in this story, but you are able to follow the storylines because the book is so well written. Love these characters and the bookshop backdrop for the story. Well plotted with new characters being introduced. A great read!
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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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