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Getaway with Murder by Diane Kelly is the debut of The Mountain Lodge Mysteries. Misty Murphy has just signed her divorce papers ending her twenty-year marriage on her fiftieth birthday. She is starting over in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Misty has purchased a rustic lodge where she spent many vacations. Her new venture gets off to a bad start when minor drainage damage turns into a major problem. Misty is fortunate to get Rocky Crowder, the local handyman, to complete the repairs just in time for a yoga retreat. The owner of the yoga studio turns out to be demanding and rude. The yoga instructor is murdered putting Misty’s new venture at risk. Misty must use her skills to locate the killer before her new lodge is sunk permanently. Getaway with Murder is an engaging new cozy mystery. It is well-written with steady pacing and realistic characters. Misty is a smart, resourceful, and friendly. I like that she is fifty and experiencing menopause systems. I could certainly relate to her hot flashes. There are some great secondary characters that include Rocky the handyman, Patty who owns the local diner, and Brynn the assistant and housekeeper. I thought Diane Kelly captured the area with her beautiful descriptions. The winding roads up the mountain, the trees, the cool air, the Southern food, the mountains, and the Appalachian trail. The whodunit was fun with several suspects. I enjoyed piecing together the clues. I liked Misty’s approach to sleuthing. There is humor scattered throughout the story and I loved the chapters from Yeti’s (Misty’s cat) point-of-view. I thought the author really captured a cat’s personality (this is a feline with catitude). Getaway with Murder was a fun story that made me smile. I am eager for the next book in The Mountain Lodge Mysteries. Getaway with Murder is a welcome whodunit with a hunky handyman, a Wiccan assistant, an intense yoga instructor, a missing singing bowl, a lodge in peril, and a setup trail trekker.
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murder, murder-investigation, pets, divorcee, of-a-certain-age, cozy-mystery, small-business, small-town, hospitality-industry**** The characters are particularly well drawn and the sleuthing is pretty good. The publisher's blurb is a pretty good hook, so I won't go over that territory and spoilers are just rude. The red herrings were diabolical, but I didn't get the point of listening to random cat thoughts. But I really liked it and hope for the next one to arrive. I requested and received a free ebook copy from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you!