All Things MurderAll Things Murder by Jeanne Quigley is the first book in the new “Veronica Walsh” mystery series. Publisher: Five Star, May 2014

Emmy-winning actress Veronica Walsh is accustomed to role-playing. Over her thirty-two-year career on the soap opera Days and Nights, her character has been a businesswoman, wife (multiple times), mother, prison inmate and fugitive. None of that prepared her for the role of a real-life sleuth.

When Veronica cannot land a new part after the soap’s cancellation, she returns to her Adirondack hometown for what she hopes is a temporary visit. No sooner does she arrive than Veronica finds herself in a swirl of turmoil, with her neighbor at the center. In the span of a few hours, powerful businesswoman Anna Langdon extends an invitation to Veronica to discuss a business proposal, ends a short romance with Veronica’s high school beau, threatens to evict one of her retail tenants and thwarts a deal to build a mall on local farmland. Veronica receives an unexpected welcome-home present when she finds Anna’s body the next morning, the cast-iron skillet used to kill her lying at her feet. Soon Veronica is chasing leads with the help of friend Mark Burke and her former co-star Alex Shelby.

Twists straight from a soap script, including two leading men vying for her attention, entangle Veronica as she gathers clues. Will Veronica solve the case, or will the killer be as elusive as an acting job? And will she play the heroine or the damsel in distress?

I like this book with its short chapters that had a nice flow in that you didn’t lose your place as the story moved along. The author did a good job in setting the pace and the tone in this light-hearted drama that hooked me immediately as I wanted to know what’s going to happen next. Veronica is not your typical amateur sleuth, which sets her apart from the others. There was a mixed bag of suspects and I enjoyed narrowing down the list with the clues that the author presented with some interesting twists. I got a sense of living in a small town in this comfortably written whodunit and it was fun. Boasting a likable cast of characters and good dialogue, this was a good read and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Veronica and her friends.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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