A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley has Odessa Jones working as a realtor at Risko Realty for the
last few months in Grovesville, New Jersey.
She can smell nutmeg in Charlie’s office which Odessa knows means
death. That night Charlie is shot to
death in his office. Harley Wilde, a
fellow realtor & who feeds Odessa’s coffee addiction, is arrested for the
crime. Odessa knows that Harley did not commit
the crime. She sets out to discover
which of her co-workers could have murdered Charlie. All of them seem to have a reason to want
Charlie dead. Odessa bakes up each co-worker’s
favorite treat and sets out to question them.
She hopes her gift will guide her to the guilty party.
A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley is the debut of the Odessa Jones Mysteries. Odessa “Dessa” Jones is a widow who is still
grieving the loss of her beloved husband.
They had a catering business together, but Dessa has not felt like
cooking since her husband’s death. This
is what led Dessa to get her realtor’s license and begin working at Risko
Realty. Dessa was hoping for a cozy work
atmosphere where she would make friends, but that is not the case at Risko Realty. Charlie Risko has a temper, and the
atmosphere is tense. Odessa inherited
the family “gift”, but she is wary of it and has never learned to use it. We learn more about Odessa, her deceased
husband, her “gift”, and her family as the book progresses. A Glimmer of Death is told in the first-person
point-of-view, so we are privy to all of Odessa’s thoughts (which can be
rambling and repetitious). I was not a
fan of Odessa nor many of the other characters in this book. The exception is Odessa’s two aunts. The murder
of Charlie Risko has Odessa questioning her fellow realtors in hopes of revealing
the killer. She uses baked goods as a
way to get into their homes and ask questions.
There are a handful of unlikeable suspects all with motive to kill
Charlie (he was an odious man). Most
readers will have no problem solving this whodunit long before the reveal. I had hoped it would be more of a challenge
since there were so many suspects. The
clues were a bit too obvious. I do want
to let readers know there is, unfortunately, some mild foul language in the book. I like the potential love interest for
Odessa. He is a kind man who is a former
cop who now runs a killer barbecue joint.
He is also helpful to Odessa’s investigation. I wanted to like A Glimmer of Death, but it
is a lukewarm read for me. I could not
get into the book. I found it a dull read (boring, unlikeable characters,
sluggish pacing, and an easy to solve mystery).
The paranormal element was light and confusing. The story needed more excitement and
action. It is classified as a cozy
mystery, but it lacked that cozy feel (charming small town with friendly
residents). The ending was anticlimactic
and rushed. This is the first book in
the series, so I am hoping for improvement in the next Odessa Jones Mystery.
The Avid Reader
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