A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley is the first book in the NEW “Writer’s Apprentice” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, July 2016

A Dark and Stormy MurderAn aspiring suspense novelist lands in the middle of a real crime, in the first in a captivating new series by the author of the Undercover Dish Mysteries.

Lena London’s literary dreams are coming true—as long as she can avoid any real-life villains. . .

Camilla Graham’s bestselling suspense novels inspired Lena London to become a writer, so when she lands a job as Camilla’s new assistant, she can’t believe her luck. Not only will she help her idol craft an enchanting new mystery, she’ll get to live rent-free in Camilla’s gorgeous Victorian home in the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana.

But Lena’s fortune soon changes for the worse. First, she lands in the center of small town gossip for befriending the local recluse. Then, she stumbles across one thing that a Camilla Graham novel is never without—a dead body, found on her new boss’s lakefront property.

Now Lena must take a page out of one of Camilla’s books to hunt down clues in a real crime that seems to be connected to the novelist’s mysterious estate—before the killer writes them both out of the story for good. . .

I love a book that immediately grabbed my attention and when I thought it was over, the author pulled a little diversion that took this light drama up a notch and enhanced the telling of this intriguing tale. I enjoyed the premise and multi-plot story that had a comfortable tone with a flow that was easy to follow all the ins and outs of this finely crafted narrative. The author did a great job in providing a list of suspects that included the townspeople and it was fun to watch the list narrow down and just when I thought this story was over, the author surprised me with a small twist that increased my reading pace as I had to know how this discovery was going to be solved. Lena is a great character whose inquisitiveness is perfect for her role as a writer’s apprentice and Camilla is presented as the grand dame and the pairing brings forth a new team and I can’t wait to see where we go next in this pleasantly likable series.

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