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Ratings and Book Reviews (9 11 star ratings
9 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
11
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    Intriguing

    The codebook murders is a very intriguing story surrounding a cold case that's 49 years old. Interesting characters that will keep you guessing almost until the end.. A real page turner, that you'll enjoy.
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    Another Great Cozy!

    In Oakwood, Ohio, Regan Fletcher’s murder has been a case that has scarred the citizens for decades. Regan’s boyfriend, Carter, was sent to prison for it, until another man confessed and then later recanted his confession. After Carter was released, people never stopped believing he had something to do with it. As a tornado struck the town, Charley Carpenter, owner of Old Hat Vintage Fashions, wound up in the tunnels under the high school. She found an old backpack containing a coded journal with information about Regan’s murder. Can she find the key to unraveling this cold case before another tornado of death sweeps the town? I really loved this novel. It had all of the aspects of a great cozy mystery: intriguing characters, a plot full of twists and turns, a small town setting, and a likeable female amateur detective who doesn’t take the easy way out when confronted with a crime that affects the ones she loves. I was surprised about the identity of the culprit and the motive. I really can’t wait for Ms. Nagel’s next book. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
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    Not so cozy

    I love a good cozy murder mystery, unfortunately I was disappointed by the quality of this one and struggled to finish it. The story opens with a storm – clearly used as a mean to kick off the mystery. Even though it comes back throughout the story, the storm really doesn't serve any other purpose, which, in my opinion, felt like a missed opportunity to add spookiness to the action. The mystery was interesting at first, I was really excited to decipher the code alongside the main character. However, it dragged on and the more I read, the more indifferent I felt to figuring out the mystery. The ending was okay, I guess, but not really satisfactory. I really did not like Regan’s character arc (the murder victim) nor the janitor’s - I thought their storyline was quite problematic to say the least. Charley (main character) was kind of irritating to me; her thoughts were a bit all over the place and often nonsensical. Moreover, I found it highly irresponsible of her to give dangerous tasks to teenagers (that she could do with them) and then to barely worry when they don’t answer their phones… that’s weird… oh well… like, what?! No, GO investigate why they don’t answer for Pete’s sake! They have an important piece of the puzzle and have been very careless with that, shouting it to the world. Oh and there’s a MURDERER on the loose!!! Unbelievable. Also, there were just too many unnecessary characters. I understand having a mystery solving club sounds exciting and all, but it was poorly executed here. A lot of the characters were not written with much depth to them, very one-dimensional... I didn’t see the point for all their side stories – it was more boring than entertaining to me. I think the biggest thing that hindered my enjoyment of this book was that I didn’t connect with the writing style at all. It felt very blunt; everything was explained as if we could not figure it out on our own… although, we did have unfinished thoughts a couple of times, but were more annoying than intriguing. THINGS I LIKED: • Although this is the 4th book in the Oakwood Mystery series, you don't need to have read the previous ones before thanks to the background info given, which was great. • I really liked the promise of a rainy, stormy mystery that embodies the perfect cozy mystery atmosphere to me. • There was a good amount of red herrings.
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    A Very Fun Mystery solving a Cold Case

    I read the first book in this series and now the fourth. A lot has happened in between and even though I had no problem following this story, I will go back and read #2 and #3 to see what has happened in Oakwood and how Charley's and Marc's relationship has grown and changed. The characters are well-developed. There is Charley's family and loved ones who are a huge part of her life. She would do whatever she needs to in order to protect them, then there are her co-workers and fellow book club members who add some humour and quirkiness. I love the small town feel where everyone helps each other out and knows what is happening in town. This was a fun mystery that was actually trying to solve a cold case. The murdered girl's boyfriend was imprisoned for killing her, but it seems he might just be innocent. It is no surprise when Charley, her boyfriend and ex-detective Marc, and the Oakwood Mystery Book Club gang start looking into things and interviewing people. What they find are longtime hostilities between families and love triangles along with theft, murder, blackmail and kidnapping. This one will have you flipping the pages to find out who was behind the murder of Regan and who is trying to shut them down. I always like a mystery that I can not solve and this one measured up nicely. My only issue was that Charley seems to be given free rein from the police to investigate and solve this case, with very little concern or interference from the police. With that being my only problem, I give this cozy mystery 4.5 stars. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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    Thoroughly enjoyed

    This was my first time reading a book by Leslie Nigel and I plan on catching up on the other 3 books. I found it to be a well written and paced mystery and I was engrossed from the very beginning. As the owner of Old Hat Vintage Fashions, Charley Carpenter supplies retro apparel to the residents of Oakwood, Ohio, but she’s been known to set business aside to play detective when a mystery rears its head. And there’s no bigger mystery in Oakwood than the murder of Regan Fletcher—a case that’s haunted the town for decades. Regan’s boyfriend, Carter, did time for the crime—until another man’s confession freed him. But did the “real killer” really do it? Or did Carter walk away with blood on his hands? When Charley stumbles on an old journal written in code, it only complicates the case by revealing a blackmail scheme that targeted dozens of Oakwood’s citizens, giving them all a motive for murder. Now, with a spate of new suspects to pursue, plus a fresh murder and the abduction of her sleuthing partner, Charley must dig deeper still into the past—even as she risks being buried by her shadowy prey. Joining forces with Detective Marcus Trenault and the newly formed Oakwood Mystery Book Club, Charley turns to a classic whodunit for clues on catching a killer—before more lives are lost, and the truth dies with them. There were intriguing characters, a small town setting, lots of plot twists, red herrings and plenty of suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Alibi. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.
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