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Ratings and Reviews (4 10 star ratings
4 reviews

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4.3 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Murder Nextdoor

    Charley Carpenter is know around town as business owner, daughter, girlfriend, neighbor, and civilian sleuth who has helped the local police solve a few murders and mysteries. In her community, everyone is extended family that watches out for each other...until a new family moves in next door to Charley and her Father. While the new family doesn’t return the sentiment, when tragedy strikes the family, Charley is determined to seek justice for the family and care for this in need. Local police detective, and Charley’s boyfriend, Marcus comes home from a trip to find he arch nemesis has taken over the investigation and he isn’t allowed to even offer his thoughts on the case. This puts Charley in a bad spot, but she won’t let her neighbors down and she begins to unravel the mystery of murder. Along the way, Charley and her friends make some discoveries that the lead detective on the case couldn’t even begin to uncover since he’s so determined to charge the wrong man rather than look deeper. This is the third in a series and is a new author to me. I enjoyed the well developed plot and characters and the murderer was a great mystery until the very end. This is a great read that you will become thoroughly absorbed in. I can’t wait to read the first two books in the series! Thank you to Net Galley for providing me the opportunity to read and review this book In advance of publication.
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    Serious Cozy Mystery

    My first introduction to this series, I found the novel on the more serious side of a cozy mystery. As the third in the series, the protagonist is Charley Carpenter who is the owner of a vintage shop she calls Old Hat Vintage Fashions. This could function as a standalone, though characters are brought forward, including the situation with her shop which is now undergoing a major renovation. The new tenants next door to the suburban home she shares with her wheelchair-bound father keep to themselves, except that the husband tends to yell at night waking neighbors. Fighting delays with her shop refurbishing as well as a lack of sleep, she has turned to a new column in the local paper called "Ask Jackie." The last column sounded serious, setting she and her cohorts on edge followed shortly by a scream next door and the discovery of the body of Judith's adult daughter. Charley had just met her in a brief introduction the day before. The dialogue is down-to-earth and interaction between her dad, his caregiver, and her friends ring naturally. Twists and turns, red herrings abound and muddle the main plot as it creates a couple subplots. The protagonist is well developed in previous installments, so not as thoroughly here, while peripheral characters fair a little better. I liked that Charley came off as intelligent and intuitive. I must admit that I didn't figure out the culprit, though at some point not wholly invested in the whodunit. The conclusion was satisfying, however, and also resolved a couple issues outside the murder mystery. Now, the question of the epilogue--what was that all about? Perhaps setting up the scene for #4? If, then, too long and largely unnecessary. I was given this ARC download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for fans of intelligent cozy mysteries.
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    A fast-paced Cozy Mystery!!!

    What an adorable cozy mystery! A perfect weekend read :) I enjoyed this book immensely! One of my favorite aspects of this genre (the cozy mystery genre), is that you get the mix of the mystery/detective work, with this running commentary of the quirky lives of the town's residents. I actually discovered in the end of the epilogue that the author, Leslie Nagel, is from a real town of Oakwood, OH. Though there are likely less murders in the real Oakwood, I fell completely in love with this town, and Nagel's true experiences are why this town felt so authentic. This book made me want to live in that sweet town, with it's wacky residents and sweet hometown newpaper! Leslie Nagel's The Advice Column Murders is actually the third in her Oakwood Mystery series. I haven't read the first two, but any reader can absolutely go into this book as a standalone. At first I felt a bit thrust into a world that had already existed. But, by the end of the second chapter, I had gotten immersed in Charley's small world in Oakwood and got the hang of the relationships and dynamics that had been established in the previous books. One additional thing to note that I loved, is that this book very carefully does not spoil the whodunit of any of the first two books. It mentions she has worked on cases before, but the who/why/how/where is completely left to the reader to go back and explore. This allowed me to read the third, and then go back and read the first two (which I plan to do, because I fell in love with this series!). Charley Carpenter is in the middle of an expansion and renovation to her boutique, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, but the renovation project is seemingly cursed with setbacks! Charley enters her shop to check on the progress, only to find five gallons of paint splashed across the floor. Trudging back to her father's house, she meets up with two of her staff members and dear friends for a fresh baked cookie and some work. Vanessa and Heddy cannot help pulling her into the latest entry in the local Oakwood paper featured in the "Ask Jackie" column--an agony aunt column serving up sassy advice to the residents of Oakwood and a particular favorite column of Charley and her friends. But this particular letter is different--the language is odd and distinct, and it mentions the endangerment of a small child. Charley, Vanessa, and Heddy discuss the letter and then move on to lunch al fresco, promptly forgetting it. Later that afternoon, Charley becomes distracted by some loud noises coming from nextdoor. Though they live in close proximity, Charley and her dad Bobby are not close to their new neighbors. They aren't the friendliest sort of neighbors. But when the noises turn to sounds of distress, Charley and her father's caregiver Lawrence jump into action, racing across the driveways to lend a hand. In the basement, they find their neighbor Judith wailing over the body of her adult daughter Sarah. As Charley does her best to deal with the murder, she becomes enmeshed with the case. There is a connection that she believes exists between the odd letter in the paper, Sarah's plea for assistance from Charley, and the murder. In a crazy power struggle, Charley's detective boyfriend Marc is cautioned not to assist, but Charley knows that the Sheriff's office is going down the wrong path to solving this murder. If only Charley can use her sharp wit, and connections around town, she may be able to help solve this thing before someone else is hurt! This was an absolutely fantastic, fun read. I love cozy mysteries, and this one surpassed many I've read! One thing that I love about this genre is the sprinkling of town gossip that underlies everything that happens in the story. In a town as small as Oakwood, everyone knows everyone, and gossip travels fast. Charley has a lot of spunk, but she also has vulnerabilities. I loved her as a character. I thought Leslie Nagel did a great job of allowing each book to technically be read on its own, or out of order from the series. I never felt like there was no point in returning to the previous books because I read this one first. I particularly like this series for my post-grad students. Many of them have never found their love of reading, and I think books such as this one are a great way to remind them that reading can be fun and light-hearted, even when covering a dark topic such as murder. I want to thank NetGalley, Alibi, and Random House Publishing Group for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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    The Review Column murders

    I really could not put the book down. I changed my mind a to the guilty party more than once. really looking forward to your next book,

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