DEATH A SKETCH by Cheryl Hollon
SERIES: Paint & Shine Mysteries #3
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2022
In eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent runs a unique tour company called Paint & Shine, but sometimes the peaceful mountains play host to murder . . .
Miranda’s business—combining Appalachian adventure tours with art and a bit of moonshine—is the perfect place for an outdoor sporting goods company to hold an employee retreat. It’ll be a challenge, but the money they’re paying will definitely help with building her new distillery.
Miranda has lots of teamwork-fostering activities planned, from sketching classes to Southern cooking, but the executive running things prefers a more competitive spirit. In fact, after the workers are split into teams, they’re told that only the winners will keep their jobs, and tensions begin to spike. Even after a participant is found dead, the contest continues—while Miranda starts drawing her own conclusions about the ambitious attendees. Now she just has to find the proof . . .
Other Books In This Series
We’ve all been there. Felt like we had to take on work or clients that we didn’t really like because we thought it would pay off for our career or business in the long run. This is where our Miranda finds herself as Death a Sketch begins. I thought hosting an employee retreat for team building and leadership skills was a unique expansion for her Paint & Shine tours, and it made for an interesting crew of supporting players too. A hodgepodge mix of personalities and backgrounds keep the suspect pool full, including a couple of characters who were abrasive enough for me to be tempted to murder them if forced into extended close proximity lol.
As always, Miranda is likable and easy to cheer for as she continues her tireless quest to meet the terms of her uncle’s will so she can remain in the family farmhouse. We didn’t focus too much on the distillery progress this time around, as the tour group & case were more labor intensive than usual, but I suspect it will be in the spotlight in the next book as that deadline is approaching! Her circle of friends and family remains highly entertaining and easy to love, too, and I loved the romance progress between Miranda and swoony neighbor & park ranger Austin.
Bottom Line: Death a Sketch is a fun and entertaining return to the Paint & Shine mysteries! Miranda remains a delightful and relatable protagonist and the bevy of recurring secondary characters are just as endearing. She has her work cut out for her this go-around, even before a murder makes things even more treacherous, and readers can definitely feel the tension emanating off the pages. Don’t worry, though, there’s also a little time for some swoony romance with hunky ranger Austin and time to sit a spell on the porch swing with precocious pup Sandy! While I felt like the big reveal was a little abrupt and without much warning for readers, I still found the mystery to be clever and engaging. Another great installment in this series – can’t wait for what’s next!
PS – let’s all stop and say a prayer for God’s protection over eastern Kentucky, where this series is set. Unprecedented flooding has already claimed more than 28 lives, including several children, and more rain is on the way. My heart aches for the state where I lived for 30 years. Jesus, be Mercy.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for oil painting and creating glass art. Cheryl and her husband live in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.
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