Review: Murder Out of Character
MURDER OUT OF CHARACTER - Olivia Matthews
Peach Coast Library Mysteries (Book #2)

Hallmark Publishing
BUY
Wayne Jordan (A)
COZY MYSTERY
REVIEW: I enjoyed every minute of reading (and listening) to MURDER OUT OF CHARACTER, Book #2, in Olivia Matthews' Peach Coast Library Mysteries Series. While I also enjoyed MURDER BY PAGE ONE, which created the background for this series and is a solid mystery, this addition advances and develops several elements of the series.

There is a uniqueness to the mystery plot which I found quite interesting. When Ms. Matthews’ amateur sleuth, Marvey Harris, small town librarian, finds a list of names at a fundraising event, she is immediately convinced that it is a hit list, because one of the persons on the list is dead and a second soon dies. Marvey, at first, is the only one who takes the list seriously, but is able to persuade her close friend, Spencer Holt, who is on the list, that he is in danger. At first, the local police do nothing to assist, but of course, Marvey and her ‘library’ friends, set out to discover the identity of the serial killer. What follows are some twists and turns that will satisfy lovers of the genre, even though I figured out the killer  before the big reveal at the end.

The book’s sense of community is intertwined with the mystery. Like all small towns, the residents know each other, and the knowledge that one of them is a killer creates the inevitable fear and tension. Marvey is still adjusting to the quirks and quaintness of a small-town lifestyle but already feels a sense of belonging. Even the visitors to Peach Coast, like Marvey’s parents, quickly feel at home.

One of the other things I enjoyed about this book is the fact that the author’s love for libraries, books and reading is clear. The focus on books and the library setting is no coincidence but used by the author to advocate for funding for libraries and to emphasise the importance of reading. Ms. Matthews must be lauded for this.

Because this review is based on the audible version of
MURDER OUT OF CHARACTER, I cannot fail to mention the excellent narration by Janina Edwards. The smoothness of her voice, with just the right amount of passion, humor and empathy, makes the listening experience a satisfying one.

MURDER OUT OF CHARACTER is an excellent cozy mystery and Ms. Matthews continues to establish herself as a vibrant voice in the genre

15th September 2022 | romcol@caribsurf.com
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