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    Awesome New Series

    First Case is the debut novel in Kathi Daley’s A Writer’s Retreat Southern Mystery series and it’s an awesome and delightful read. Ms. Daley’s writing style flows smoothly and she provides great background information about the characters and town. The characters are well rounded and affable and the mystery well plotted. As with all her books, Ms. Daley has provided readers with a clean, fun read, caring and compassionate characters, and an intriguing mystery to try to solve. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading well-crafted cozy mysteries. Until recently, Jillian ‘Jill’ Hanford was a New York newspaper reporter but she recently experienced a professional setback so when her half-brother, Garrett Hanson, suffered a stroke and needed help with his resort on Gull Island, a small island off the South Carolina coast, she agreed to oversee scheduled renovations and decided to turn the resort into a writers’ retreat. Turning the resort into a writers’ retreat looks like a winner; she currently has five authors in residence and a waiting list that is filling up quickly. The authors currently residing at the resort are George Baxter (traditional whodunit mysteries), Clara Kline (fantasy and paranormal mysteries and self-proclaimed psychic), Alex Cole (science fiction), Victoria Vance (steamy romance and Jill’s best friend), and Brit Baxter (unpublished but wants to pursue her dream of writing). In addition to being a sounding board for each other, the group also works together to try to solve real life mysteries. When Katrina Pomeroy’s body is discovered at the foot of an old pier, it’s unknown how she died. Katrina was one of five survivors of the unsolved Friday the 13th Massacre, which occurred on Waverly Island exactly eleven years from the date of her death. Jill would like to write a human-interest story about Katrina’s life and include the identity of the person responsible for her death. Jackson ‘Jack’ Jones is a well-known author who recently moved to the island and fulfilled his lifelong dream of writing for a newspaper by purchasing the Gull Island News. Jack will be writing an article for his newspaper and he and Jill join forces to try to solve the mystery surrounding Katrina’s death, but in order to do that, they need to go back and try to figure out what happened eleven years ago. Deputy Rick Savage isn’t happy about Jill and Jack’s investigation but Jill convinces him they should all share information and he reluctantly agrees as long as everything they discuss is kept off the record. With the help of the retreat authors, Jack, and investigating clues provided by Garrett’s talkative parrot, Blackbeard, Jill uncovers shocking secrets.

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