Friday, July 1, 2022

A Brush with Murder by Gail Langer Karwoski

  A Brush with Murder

Book Summary

Jane Roland and her painter friends are enrolled in a watercolor retreat at the picturesque Gardens and Horses Resort. They're looking forward to a week of sun-drenched landscapes, sleek racehorses, art instruction, and — best of all — laughter and conversation.

Out for their first stroll, the women discover a dead thoroughbred in the pretty reflecting pool. Next evening, they find the handsome young stable man in the horse watering trough. Surely, there's a link between them?

When a painter from their workshop goes missing, Jane realizes that her class notes are valuable clues to catch the culprit in this light-hearted cozy mystery.
My Thoughts
A Brush with Murder by Gail Langer Karwoski has three women from Georgia heading to a painting retreat at the luxurious Gardens and Horses Resort.  After checking in, the ladies decide to explore the grounds.  They look in the reflecting pool to see a dead thoroughbred.  Their plein air watercolor retreat begins the next day.  One of the men from the stables agrees to give them a tour at the end of the day.  The ladies arrive at the stables to find the man dead in a horse trough.  Jane Roland believes the two cases are connected.  She takes the class roster and begins keeping detailed notes about each person.  When one of their fellow classmates turns up missing and is later found in the lake, Jane feels her observations could help catch the culprit.  
A Brush with Murder is the debut of A Watercolor Mysteries.  The author provides a Class List at the beginning of the book (a list of all the characters).  There are a number of characters so it can be difficult to keep them all straight.  The author is a detailed descriptive writer.  She likes to tell you what each person looks like (hair coloring, demeaner, clothing) as well as descriptions of the gardens, artwork, food, etc.  This type of detail does slow down the pacing of the story.  The book moves at a leisurely pace as the characters enjoy the watercolor class, tour the grounds, eat their meals, and socialize.  The mystery is not at the forefront of the story.  I wish it had been more prominent (with Jane searching for clues).  The death of the horse was disturbing, and it happened in the first chapter.  The details gave Jane and her friends nightmares as well as me.  There are several suspects, but one individual stands out.  I struggled to finish A Brush with Murder.  The pacing is so slow plus (I am sorry) it was boring.  There was no action or lively activity.  I did find some details to be off (when you find yourself saying that they never mentioned this or when did this happen you know something is off or left out).  A Brush with Murder is more cozy than mystery.  I liked that the main characters were older (in their 60s).  It is nice that they are close friends, so they know each other’s quirks and habits.  One of my favorite characters was Maggie, a fifteen-year-old with a domineering grandmother.  Maggie is a talented artist who loves horses.  A Brush with Murder is a lighthearted tale with plein air painting, gorgeous gardens, a retreat romance, suspicious passings, health happenings, essential notes, and a curious watercolorist.
A Brush with Murder is available from Amazon*.  If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read it for free.  You can find Gail Langer Karwoski's other novels here. Thank you for dropping by today and reading my review.  Tonya Kappes has Rangers, RVs, and Revenge out today.  It is the 26th A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery.  Amazon Prime Day is two days this year.  On July 12 and 13, there will be great deals available on Amazon.  That will be a good time to join Amazon Prime (I love the free shipping).  I am taking the next few days off to relax (aka reover) and enjoy the Fourth of July holiday. I have overdone it and I am having a flare up of my fibromyalgia (which means I am in a dark, cool room that is quiet where I can be in pain in peace).  It is my fault for doing too much (I know better than to overdo it).   I will return on July 5 with The Hidden One by Linda Castillo.  It is the 14th A Kate Burkholder Novel of Suspense.  I hope that you have a fun and safe Fourth of July.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


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