Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Resort to Murder by Annie McEwen

Posted May 11, 2024 by meezcarrie in Annie McEwen, Book Review, clean, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 12 Comments

Resort to Murder book review

Resort to Murder by Annie McEwenRESORT TO MURDER by Annie McEwen
Northwoods Mysteries #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Gemma Halliday Publishing
RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2024
PAGES: 260

When Emmy Cooper’s life in Chicago is turned upside down, the young interior designer retreats to her family’s lake cottage resort in the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods for a much-needed break. Hoping to clear her mind and gain a fresh perspective, she looks forward to enjoying the slower pace and the crisp, clean pine air at her beloved Cooper’s Cove Resort with her family, dogs, and her best friend, Whitney.

Unfortunately, her homecoming isn’t as calm as she’d hoped when Emmy finds out a ruthless development company is relentlessly pressuring Lake Covington property owners, including Emmy’s family, to sell their land so they can build an extravagant, modern resort that would ruin the quaint esthetic of the area. And things only get worse when Emmy finds the dead body of one of the developers floating in the lake—murdered!

Suddenly the police are involved, and since Emmy’s father was leading the fight to stop the shady development from getting approval, he’s quickly painted as the prime suspect. Now it’s up to Emmy to prove her father’s innocence, save the reputation of Cooper’s Cove, and find out who would resort to murder.


Other Books In This Series

I am always excited when I find a new cozy mystery series that I just ‘click with’, and series starter Resort to Murder already has me hooked on the Northwoods Mysteries! Emmy is an endearing blend of ‘girl next door’, ‘Nancy Drew’, and ‘hot mess’, and I loved hanging out with her and her friends, Whitney and Marcus-with-the-mullet (both of whom are hysterical). Emmy’s relationship with her parents and her little brother – and her parents’ relationship with each other – reminded me so much of my own family dynamics, so I felt right at home with the Coopers and can’t wait to spend more time with them in future books. Swoony police officer Dean (who was her teen crush) is also delightful and I enjoyed their cute chemistry.

The murder mystery is quite personal in Resort to Murder – her dad seems to be the main suspect! Because he was so easy to picture as my own dad, I felt personally invested as well in seeing his innocence proven beyond any doubt. I appreciated the police force in their small Wisconsin Northwoods lake town and the way they approached the investigation. Especially as the lead investigators have known Mr. Cooper for years, they did what they had to do as far as protocol but they also kept open minds. Emmy, Whitney, and Marcus make a formidable team of amateur sleuths, with the added bonus of being lots of fun in the process, and I could easily their not-always-as-covert-as-they-hoped antics playing out on a TV show. The plot itself is nicely paced and kept getting more layered as the story progressed.

Bottom Line: I instantly fell in love with author Annie McEwen’s writing voice from the very first chapter of Resort to Murder, and I stayed charmed all the way through this great series starter! Emmy is super relatable, and I loved her adorable personality as well as the hilarity that ensues when she teams up with her BFF Whitney and their mutual friend Marcus-with-the-mullet. Other highlights for me were the endearing dogs, her relationship with her family, the romance potential with swoony Dean, and the picturesque setting. Speaking of which, the Wisconsin Northwoods were a fave vacation spot for my family when I was growing up in Northern Illinois so tagging along with Emmy to her hometown brought back many fond memories. The mystery is very well plotted, grabbed my interest right away, and kept me guessing. This book is just full of heart, and I can’t wait to read the next book!

(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 / enjoyed it!

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Annie McEwen

Annie McEwen is the author of the Northwoods Mysteries Series, set amongst the tall pines and sparkling lakes of northern Wisconsin, where she spent vacations as a kid. Annie and her husband are empty nesters living in their rural Indiana home, but their married children and two toddler grandsons fortunately live close by.  Being grandparents is definitely the best gig ever! They also have four fur babies, one of whom is a very important character in her books. When Annie isn’t writing, playing with her grandsons, or tackling trash-to-treasure projects, she works as a radiological technologist. As a former farm kid, she still loves to dig in the dirt and garden. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and loves attending mystery conventions. Connect with Annie at her website.

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12 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Resort to Murder by Annie McEwen

  1. Kay Garrett

    RESORT TO MURDER by Annie McEwen sounds amazing. Love the cover! Added to my TBR list and can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review it.

    Thank you for introducing me to a new to me author. No better way to learn about an author and their book than through a referral from someone you trust.

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