Some Enchanted MurderSome Enchanted Murder by Linda S. Reilly is the first book in the new “Apple Mariani” mystery series. Publisher: Five Star, March 2013

Paralegal and title searcher Apple Mariani is accustomed to solving mysteries—mysteries such as lingering liens and missing heirs. But when appraiser Lou Marshall is stabbed with an antique dagger at an estate sale‚ she finds herself plunged into the heart of a murder. For starters‚ she learns that the victim had entrusted her with a decades-old valentine minutes before he was killed. Then Apple’s Aunt Tressa—the victim’s new squeeze—is pegged as a prime suspect‚ and their elderly friend Lillian goes suddenly missing. Was Lillian kidnapped, or worse, because she witnessed the murder?

Despite the local police chief’s irritating lack of concern, Apple is sure her friend is in trouble when a cryptic call from Lillian’s cell phone awakens her late at night. Still haunted by childhood memories of her own mother vanishing, Apple is determined to find Lillian before it’s too late. From the shelves of a local antique shop to the culinary horrors of the grungiest diner in New Hampshire, Apple and Tressa collect a series of clues that seems maddeningly unrelated. But time is running out, because a desperate killer—a killer bent on keeping the truth buried in the past—is still walking free.

We are introduced to Apple Mariani and her Aunt Tressa in this delightfully charming debut series. This is a great read in this well-written drama where the mystery kept me glued to the pages as I had to know what was going on. The author did a good job with developing the flow of the story that never wavered from the beginning to an ending that I can’t wait to see how it is explored in the next book. There were plenty of suspects; a couple of surprising twists and it was fun watching Apple and Aunt Tressa narrow the list down while putting the pieces together that lead to the apprehension of a killer, one that was hidden in plain sight. Apple and her Aunt Tressa are wonderful characters surrounded by a great secondary cast. The dialogue was witty and fresh and the atmosphere warm and friendly. I’m so thrilled for this series and I look forward to more exciting times in Hazelton, New Hampshire.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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