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  • A lighthearted cozy mystery

    Murder Ink by Betty Hechtman is the first book in A Writer for Hire Mystery series. This story is told in the first person from Veronica Blackstone’s point-of-view. Veronica had a successful first book, but she is having trouble completing the second book. While waiting for inspiration to hit, Veronica has become a writer for hire as well as a writing coach. She is hired by Evan to write a letter to a co-worker in the hopes of getting him a date. Evan is a nervous man who can use all the help he can get. Veronica also gets hired by Mrs. Parker to create a celebration of life booklet for her recently deceased daughter, Rachel. Veronica is shocked that the vibrant Rachel is dead. She worked with Rachel and her then fiancé’, Luke to polish their wedding vows a year ago. There are some unanswered questions regarding Rachel’s death and Veronica sets out to fill in the blanks. Murder Ink was easy to read with some quirky characters. I liked the storyline involving Evan. It was humorous. I am not a fan of stories told in the first person and that includes Murder Ink. We get too much of what Veronica thinks as well as repetition of information. I thought the pacing was a little slow. It could have been peppier (it does pick up near the end). The mystery was straightforward, though, I did not feel it was the main focus of the book. Veronica did ask people questions but I felt she missed the mark at times. There was some suspicious activity that made the mystery more interesting. I thought that Veronica got lucky with the solution. I found it easy to sus out the guilty party (might as well have been a neon arrow over the persons head). The mystery wrapped up quickly. If I did not know better, I would think this was the author’s first cozy mystery. I did enjoy the descriptions of Chicago and Veronica’s neighborhood. There were some interesting tidbits about buildings relating back to the Chicago Worlds Fair. I also enjoyed the writer’s group and Veronica’s downstairs neighbor. Will I read the next book in A Writer for Hire Mystery series? I believe I will skip it as this series as it is not a good fit for me. Murder Ink is an easygoing cozy mystery with a matchmaking stay-at-home mom, a undefine death, invigorating dance classes, a nervous Nellie, a troublesome television, and a cute cop.

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