A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…
Computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own backyard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.
Suspicion falls on Rory when the body buried in her flowerbed turns out to be someone she knows—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet. Just two weekends before, Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend painting seminars, an unpleasant experience she vowed never to repeat. As evidence piles up against Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name. Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?
I was a bit surprised to have the crime already committed at the book's open, but that was a good thing. That is unusual. In a genre (such as cozy mysteries), there are certain conventions to which a book will adhere. It follows then that having something to distinguish one's work from amongst the crowd makes people sit up and take notice. I certainly did. My little reading radar was twitching madly!
Rory and Liz's friendship is great. You know they are close because with half a dozen words over the phone from Rory, Liz knows that something is wrong. Of course, communication is as much about what is not said and non-verbal clues, but a good friend would pick up on that.
Each chapter seems to bring a new
Fatal Brushstrokes is an intriguing start to the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series and a satisfying read in its own right. Freelance computer programmer is a pretty gutsy career choice for a cozy heroine. I know it is written in 3rd person, but I had a very 1st person connection to Rory's experiences. I felt I was seeing what she saw, feeling what she felt, etc. I am excited to see where this series will take us!
(photograph by Nicole Ortega)
After high school graduation, Sybil moved south to attend the University of Southern California, majoring in Computer Science. After twenty years of designing and writing code and managing programmers and software development projects, she turned to a life of crime writing.
Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E, Spinetingler Magazine, King’s River Life Magazine, Crimson Dagger, and Silver Moon Magazine. A past president of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles, Sybil also co-chaired the 2011 California Crime Writers Conference. In her spare time, she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages (Ancient Egyptian and Coptic are her current areas of interest), and spending time with friends and family.
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(Disclosure: I received an e- copy of this book from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)