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  • 4 person found this review helpful

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    Fabulous Cozy Mystery

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review. A cozy mystery with colorful characters and plenty of suspense, Dying Brand by Wendy Tyson, the third instalment in her Allison Campbell Mystery series, is as tautly written as a thriller and full of deception, betrayal and emotional angst. More focused on main character Allison than the two previous installments, we get a real look at who Allison was and who she is now. We also get to continue watching the secondary characters stories develop and see how their interactions with Allison change them all. If you like well written mysteries and well developed characters, this is definitely the book for you. Attending an award ceremony for a friend she’s mentored in the past, Allison is dismayed when she receives a call from the wife of Scott Fairweather, a man who was a former boyfriend. A former boyfriend that Jason, her ex-husband and current boyfriend, doesn’t know about. A relationship she never wants him to know about. Discovering Scott is now dead, Allison soon finds herself pulled into investigating another mystery when shocking, and intimate pictures of her and Scott arrive at her office and are also sent to Jason and her assistant Vaughn. Determined to save her relationship with Jason, and figure out how Scott died and why someone is sending her pictures, Allison has to delve into her own past to solve a mystery that may ruin the life she’s managed to rebuild. Ms. Tyson does a wonderful job continuing to develop Allison’s character and I found myself reconnecting with her very easily. A successful “image” consultant, Allison is a hard working woman who is generous to friends and family, but like any other person she’s made some mistakes. Getting involved with another man while she and Jason were on a “trial separation” is unfortunately the kind of mistake that usually comes back to haunt you. As Allison digs into Scott’s death, while trying to keep her relationship with Jason from imploding, she soon realizes that the case is really less about her and Scott’s previous relationship and more about the man Scott had become after their affair was over. Ms. Tyson also does a good job developing the secondary characters and I am really enjoying how Jason and Vaughn’s characters are coming along. I’ve always liked Jason and I’ve been rooting that he and Allison would be able to continue developing their relationship. I have also always liked Vaughn and consider him hilarious – he’s not only a caring individual and great co-worker for Allison, he’s smart and keeps Allison’s business running smoothly while she’s involved in solving the mystery. The mystery itself is well written and takes plenty of twists and turns. As always, Ms. Tyson’s writing is tight and very entertaining and I found myself unable to put the book down. Will Allison discover how and why Scott really died? Will her relationship with Jason be able to survive past lies and secrets? You’ll have to read Dying Brand to find out. I really enjoyed this installment and can’t wait to see what happens with Allison and the rest of the gang in the next installment.
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