Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Killer Tied by Lesley A. Diehl - #review

Eve Appel Egret is adjusting to married life with Sammy and their three adopted sons in Sabal Bay, Florida. While still running her consignment stores, she is going pro with her sleuthing by becoming an apprentice to a private detective.

Until her marriage, Eve’s only “family” was her grandmother Grandy, who raised her after her parents died in a boating accident. Now, in addition to her husband and sons, she has a father-in-law who clearly dislikes her. Sammy’s father, a full-blooded Miccosukee Indian long presumed dead, has emerged from the swamps where he’s been living like a hermit, and he isn’t happy about Eve’s marriage to his half-Miccosukee, half-white son.

As for Eve’s family, are her parents really dead? A woman named Eleanor claims to be Eve’s half-sister, born after her mother faked a boating accident to escape her abusive husband, Eve’s father. Then Eleanor’s father turns up dead in the swamps, stabbed by a Bowie knife belonging to Sammy’s father, Lionel. Strange as Lionel Egret is, Eve knows he had no motive to kill this stranger. In order to clear him, Eve must investigate Eleanor’s claims, and she might not like what digging around in her family’s past uncovers.



I first ran across Eve Appel in Old Bones Never Die, the 5th full-length mystery in the series (there are several shorter novellas as well).  She captured my imagination there, and continues to hold it tightly in the new book, Killer Tied.  She is brave, resourceful and stands by her friends and family.

Sammy, her (now) husband has had a rough couple of years, though.  His brother Walter was recently murdered, leaving three orphaned sons.  His father Lionel 'appears' out of the swamp, having been thought dead for years.  No father of the year awards coming for Lionel.  Who could let their family think they were dead for decades?  It's not like he was in witness protection or something like that.

You may have gathered that I'm not a particularly huge fan of Lionel.  I wasn't at first blush; the best I can say now is that I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, he objects to Sammy and Eve's marriage.  Lionel is full-blodded Miccosukee; Sammy is his son by a non-American Indian (white) woman.  And now he objects to Sammy's marriage?  Especially since he and Eve took in his three grandsons after their father (the other son, Walter) was murdered?  Now, I'm all for pride in one's heritage - but really!  At best, he seems .... ungrateful?

Luckily for Lionel, Eve is a much more forgiving person than I am.  Despite turmoil in  her life (supposed half-sister showing up, claiming that Eve's mother faked her death when Eve was eight - oh the parallels in her and Sammy's stories) - she steps up and investigates when Lionel is suspected of murdering Eleanor's father.  But it's rare the someone would just up and murder a stranger (unless they're criminally insane), so Eve doesn't believe the authorities.  And you and I both know what that means.  She dives into an investigation of her own, even knowing it might dig up things she'd rather leave buried in the past.

Eve has earned her place with Ms. Diehl's other female MC's (Laura Murphy of  Murder is Academic - review and interview with the author here - and Failure is Fatal fame; Hera Knightsbridge of the Microbrewing Mysteries; etc).  She and her 'sisters' are also welcome on my shelf (or e-reader, as the case may be) any time.  If you are looking for interesting cozy reads with social issue seasoning, you can't find tastier reads than Diehl's heroines.



Lesley is a country gal through and through, from her childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois to college in a cornfield in Iowa, Lesley creates sassy, snoopy protagonists who embrace chasing killers in country settings. Lesley writes several series: the Big Lake Murder mysteries and the Eve Appel mysteries both set in rural Florida; the Laura Murphy mysteries located on a lake in upstate New York; and short stories, some featuring a few of Lesley’s unique relatives from back on the farm (Aunt Nozzie and the Grandmothers). She is inspired by an odd set of literary muses: a ghost named Fred and a coyote as yet unnamed. Killer Tied is the sixth mystery in the Eve Appel Mysteries. To read more about Lesley’s unusual and humorous cozy mysteries, go to www.lesleyadiehl.com.


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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like there are definitely family and romance problems involved in this one. I am a bit doubtful though because I get the impression that I wouldn't be a fan of Lionel either...

    My recent post: http://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/03/private-reserve-book-review/