Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Murder at Moot Point

Book Cover: Murder at Moot Point by Marlys Millhiser Murder at Moot Point by Marlys Millhiser
Published 5 May 2015 by Open Road Media
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

Hollywood agent Charlie Greene gets tangled up in a world of holistic intervention, out-of-body experiences, and murder in this thrilling paranormal mystery

Hollywood literary agent and single mother Charlie Greene heads out of town to fog-bound Moot Point, Oregon, to meet a client, reclusive New Age author Jack Monroe. But Charlie barely has time to sample a veggie meal and bond with Jack’s bronze Buddha statue before she runs into trouble: Local gossip Georgette Glick and her Schwinn bicycle have just been found under the wheels of Charlie’s Toyota—which makes Charlie the prime suspect in Georgette’s murder.

Luckily, Moot Point sheriff Bennett discovers that Glick was shot, not run over, so Charlie is in the clear. But there are still too many unanswered questions. Who delivered the fatal bullet to Glick’s head? And why was the seventy-eight-year-old riding her bike on a night with zero visibility in the first place? Alongside Sheriff Bennett, whose interest in Charlie seems decidedly more than professional, she resolves to find the murderer among the town’s eccentrics, who include the suspiciously nongrieving widower, a holistic veterinarian, the victim’s terrified neighbor, and a Byronic artist whose painting of a century-old local shipwreck matches the one in Charlie’s recent nightmares. With the killer still at large, Charlie may be tempting an out-of-body experience of her own in this quirky and suspenseful novel.

My Thoughts

Charlie Greene, a Hollywood agent, travels to Moot Point, Oregon, to track down a client who hasn't been replying to her mail. Shortly after arriving, she is surprised to find a dead woman beneath her car. With all the clues pointing her way, Charlie knows that she's the only one convinced that she's innocent. And who else to gather as much information as possible to smoke out the real killer.

“Quirky” definitely fits, though I'm not sure that “suspenseful” does. And that's OK by me. Murder at Moot Point is a cozy mystery and I never expect them to be suspenseful. I do expect appealing characters, interesting plots, and a story that moves along at a reasonable clip. Marlys Millhiser delivered all of these in this first of the Charlie Green mysteries.

A small criticism was that the story seemed to bounce around a bit—as did Charlie—gathering up lots of tidbits of gossip in an attempt to pull together enough clues to identify the killer and the motive. At times this got a little bit distracting as did the romantic encounter with the sheriff. But these are minor complaints about a book that was enjoyable enough that I'll be borrowing the next in the series from my local library.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of Murder at Moot Point from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which the BookObsessed online community will receive a few cents if you make purchases.

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