I had always admired the Gothic mysteries written by Camilla Graham, and now, I realized with a start, it was as though I was in one.
Published: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 273 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery #1
“I swear, when I hired you this was still a boring old house in which nothing much had ever happened. Your arrival was apparently like the shaking of a hornet’s nest.”
Lena London’s literary dreams are coming true—as long as she can avoid any real-life villains…
Camilla Graham’s bestselling suspense novels inspired Lena London to become a writer, so when she lands a job as Camilla’s new assistant, she can’t believe her luck. Not only will she help her idol craft an enchanting new mystery, she’ll get to live rent-free in Camilla’s gorgeous Victorian home in the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana.
But Lena’s fortune soon changes for the worse. First, she lands in the center of small town gossip for befriending the local recluse. Then, she stumbles across one thing that a Camilla Graham novel is never without—a dead body, found on her new boss’s lakefront property.
Now Lena must take a page out of one of Camilla’s books to hunt down clues in a real crime that seems to be connected to the novelist’s mysterious estate—before the killer writes them both out of the story for good…
Oh goodness guys, it seems I’ve found a new favorite cozy series! I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this and I have to thank the Cozy Mystery Book Club for basically forcing me to read this; it had been on my TBR for a while, I just didn’t get around to nabbing a copy until it was picked for June’s read!
This was one of the best cozies I’ve ever read, and I’m gonna break it down fully for you, promise, but I just needed to reiterate how much I loved this.
Okay, let’s start!
First, Lena is an incredibly realistic main character. She was quirky and funny and smart and witty and you could really tell how much she loved her job, and it brought so much joy to the novel. I loved how she worked with Camilla and the way their characters played off one another; it was so sweet and interesting to have a younger writer teaming up with a well established one. Camilla almost gave me royalty vibes, she was so elegant and nice and powerful, I really enjoyed her as a character. I can’t wait to see how their relationship evolves in further books!
Second, the plot here a little darker than most cozies. I picture cozies as a more PG-13 mystery, where there may be a murder and yet everything is sweet and light and fun. A Dark and Stormy Murder has two central plot lines running; the death of Mr. Martin Jonas, and then the disappearance of Victoria West. The first is the more present mystery that dominates the novel, but the underlying mystery of Victoria West is something I believe is going to be bigger in upcoming novels. Both were thoroughly engaging, interesting, and a touch darker than previous cozies I’ve read.
Three, this fit all the cozy mystery marks I was hoping it would. The other cozy I read in June, Left Fur Dead, didn’t fit the main cozy mold I was hoping for. This one, however, was a refreshing dip back into the world that I’ve grown to love. There was plenty of tension, lots of suspects, a few love interests, lots of laughs, a plot twist, and more!
I can’t even describe how much I loved this book! I knew from the first chapter that I would enjoy it; the author had such a way with words that I instantly felt connected to the characters and the story. I can’t wait to pick up the next novel in this series!