A quiet lakeside town in western New York state is the new home of Manhattan artist Chloe Abbington and the backdrop for murder in this series debut by Bailee Abbott.
For Chloe Abbington, the transition from fine art painter in New York City to painting-event business owner in charming Whisper Cove is more than a little jarring. But when poison-pen journalist Fiona Gimble writes a viciously negative review of the newly opened Paint with a View, Chloe learns that critics are the same everywhere. And when she finds Fiona’s body behind her shop with a painting knife in her neck, Chloe realizes that this picture-perfect town offers anything but peace and quiet.
Suddenly, bustling Artisan Alley is a crime scene, and Chloe is the prime suspect. Her sister and business partner, Izzie, isn’t much help–she’s busy running the shop, and besides, she has secrets of her own. As shrewd Detective Barrett tries to paint her into a corner, Chloe soon finds that Fiona had plenty of enemies. The Whisper Cove Gazette columnist wielded her pen like a sword, slicing and dicing just about every shop owner in the lakeside town.
Chloe sets out to prove that she’s been framed for Fiona’s murder. But she’d better learn the fine art of detection quickly, before the real killer paints the town red again. Otherwise, she may end up trading in her paint smock for an orange jumpsuit…or a green burial plot.
About Bailee Abbott
Bailee Abbott is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Visits to Bemus Point, a town along the Chautauqua Lake in southwest New York inspired the setting for the PAINT BY MURDER mystery series. She also writes the SIERRA PINES B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long.
A Brush with Murder by Bailee Abbott is the debut of A Paint by Murder Mysteries. Chloe Abbington returns home to Whisper Cove,
New York to help her sister, Izzie with the opening of her shop, Paint with a
View. After the first event with local
shop owners, Chloe finds Fiona Gimble, a local journalist, dead in the alley
behind the shop. The scene haunts Chloe
so she works to find who is responsible the critical journalists death. A Brush with Murder takes us to the charming
town of Whisper Cove that has an Artisan Alley where Izzie has located her new
venture. Painting classes with friends
and family are becoming popular especially when wine and food are offered. I liked Chloe but was not a fan of her
younger sister, Izzie. Izzie tends to be
bossy and has a laissez-faire way about running her business. You can tell she wants it to be a success,
but then Izzie fails to show up for planning meetings and leaves the first
event in hands of Chloe and her shop assistant, Willow North. Fiona Gimble is not well-liked in the town
thanks to her nasty reviews of the local shops.
It is not a surprise when she turns up dead. Chloe finds herself preoccupied with the
crime. She decides to do a little
snooping. There are multiple suspects in her death including Chloe’s
sister. There are clues to help readers
solve the crime if you pay close attention.
The resolution was complete which I appreciated. Chloe’s New York
boyfriend arrives in town determined to win her back. I did not feel this storyline was
necessary. It will only cause a love
triangle with Chloe, Detective Barrett, and Ross (and I for one am not a fan of
love triangles). I also found it odd
that when Izzie decided they needed to pass out flyers to promote the business,
she felt it necessary for them to wear costumes (Minnie and Mickey Mouse) as
well as sandwich boards. I liked Chloe’s
cute dog, Max. He was a sweetie. It will be interesting to see what happens next
at a Paint with a View. A Brush with Murder transports readers to Whisper Cove where there is a wrathful departed reporter,
pleasurable paint projects, shop owner suspects, a cuddly canine, a determined
detective, a bothersome ex-beau, and a curious Chloe.
I scowled, waving the light across
the alley pavement until it rested directly in front of me. My eyes widened,
and the phone slipped from my hand as the floodlight flickered. A scream built
in my throat, and I couldn’t stop the sound. A body lay at my feet with arms
and legs spread out in a disturbing, awkward pose.
I back shuffled but couldn’t pull my gaze
from the horrible sight. A knife protruded from the neck while blood tinged the
mop of white hair with red. The curved handle of the weapon looked familiar. So
did the body. I cringed and clamped one hand over my mouth to keep from
Fiona was dead, and
she’d been stabbed with what looked to me like a painting knife.