Thursday, January 8, 2015

REVIEW: Murder in the Arboretum

Cold Creek 2:
Murder in the Arboretum
Christa Nardi

Genre: Mystery, Cozy
Publication date: 9.5.2014
Pages: 156

Recommended by: Great Escapes Book Tours, Read 2 Review
Date read: 1.7.2015

Summary: Another murder in small town Cold Creek has tensions rising.  Clive Johnson, the groundskeeper at Cold Creek College, is a convenient scapegoat for a police chief who seeks an easy solution.  Convinced Chief Pfeiffe has it all wrong, professor and psychologist Sheridan Hendley sets out to help prove Clive's innocence.  But not everyone is pleased by her enthusiastic search for the truth.  Just as her life is looking up personally, it looks like she might be the next victim.

Sheridan is a professor (and psychiatrist) at a small private college in Cold Creek.  Her best friend is a fellow professor (the two of them are two of three psychiatrists that work for the college) and her boyfriend is a state trooper.  The story follows their lives after a body is found in the arboretum in the school.  She doesn't believe that Clive is the murderer and, with the help of her friends, tries to figure out what actually did happen.

I have not read the first book in the series, but this looked like a really cute book.  I have found that most series that fall under the Cozy Mystery genre can be read as stand-alone novels, and this one is no different.  I quickly figured out the relationships between the characters and a little backstory as well.  (The murder in the first book is mentioned in passing several times throughout the book, but I never felt like I was missing anything.)

This is a good mystery and a good story, one that I found both fun and interesting.  Following along with the mystery was enjoyable and I liked quite a few of the characters.  I definitely plan to go back and read the first book (I'm curious about some things now, like wanting to know more about how Sheridan and her boyfriend met, which happened in the first one).  

I enjoyed the author's writing style, and even liked the fact that it was written in first person (from Sheridan's point of view), but this book (or at least the copy I received for the blog tour, which I assume is the finished copy) definitely needs an editor.  There was at least one conversation in particular that was mentioned (not written out) that happened more than one time and a lot of things that could have been left out of the book, things that slowed the story down instead of kept it flowing, things that made me wonder why they were mentioned because they weren't of any importance.  And Sheridan and her coffee obsession and constant email checking really became tedious.  But despite all that, like I said before, I still plan to read more of this author because the mystery itself kept my attention.

About the author:
From childhood, as a fan of Nancy Drew, Dana Girls, Perry Mason, and the Hardy Boys, it was inevitable that Christa Nardi would continue her love of books and particularly mysteries.  With a career in technical/nonfiction writing (under her real name), it is not surprising that her love of mystery transformed into not only reading, but writing mysteries.  Christa combines her love for reading and writing on her blog.


Christa Nardi said...

Thank you for hosting today!

Meghan H said...

You're welcome :)