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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 2 star ratings
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    A bully is silenced

    Wendy Winchester is excited to get the Bridge Club playing at the local Country Club. But when a local bully is murdered during a black out while the bridge club was meeting, her investigative reporter chops are on full display. Eight suspects, all deny killing the man, but someone is guilty and Wendy aims to help find out who. This book was a struggle for me to read. It seemed to drag on and never full captured my attention. That’s OK as everyone has different tastes and this one is just not for me.
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    Blithe cozy mystery!

    Playing the Devil by R.J. Lee is the second tale in A Bridge to Death Mystery series. Wendy Winchester got together with Deedah Hornesby, director of Rosalie Country Club, to organize the Rosalie Country Club Bridge Bunch. To complete their first table is Carly Ogle and Deedah’s son, Hollis. They are enjoying their inaugural bridge game until Carly’s husband Brent causes a ruckus and then the lights go out courtesy of the storm. Thirty minutes later the power is restored, and Brent is dead in the club’s hot tub. Detective Ross Rierson is on the case and, of course, so is Wendy. Wendy, an investigative reporter for the local newspaper, is quick to dive into the case, gathering information and trying to fit the pieces together to solve the case. Playing the Devil can be read on its own if you have not had the time to read Grand Slam Murders. The information a reader needs to know about Wendy and the town is included in Playing the Devil. Wendy is the daughter of Rosalie’s police chief, Bax Winchester and is dating Detective Ross Rierson. She has a knack for getting information out of people and solving crimes. Wendy wants to be a top notch investigative reporter. Brent Ogle was an obnoxious and pompous man who was lucky not to have been killed earlier in life. It was only a matter of time before someone did him in. He went to far this time and the killer took advantage of a power outage to do away with the man. There were eight suspects (give or take) who all had good reasons for wanting Brent Ogle dead. There are pointed clues to help the reader solve the whodunit before Wendy arrives at the solution. I thought the mystery went with the story. Those who play bridge will like that aspect of Playing the Devil and a preemptive bid is explained as well as utilized. I found Playing the Devil to be a slow starter, but I felt the pacing picked up after the crime takes place. There are a variety of quirky characters in the small Southern town of Rosalie, Mississippi. I thought the author captured the feel of the south. Playing the Devil is a blithe cozy mystery with a loathsome lout, a mystifying murder, a surfeit of suspects, a dreamy detective, and a nosy newsperson.
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