Murder at Royale Court
by G.P. Gardner
Expected publication: June 4th 2019 by Lyrical Underground
Harbor Village is a vivacious retirement paradise known for its beachy locale and active senior scene. But ever since murder moved in, the idyllic coastal community is becoming a little less lively . . .
With the first annual antique car show cruising into the tranquil bayside oasis of Fairhope, Alabama, there are bumpy roads ahead for Harbor Village director Cleo Mack. As an automobile-themed lecture series gets off to a rough start, she finds herself balancing one too many responsibilities—and dodging advances from a shady event sponsor. It’s enough to make Cleo feel twice her age. But the festivities reach a real dead end when she discovers a body at the Royale Court shopping center . . .
When an innocent man lands in the hot seat for murder, Harbor Village residents look to Cleo to crack the case. Aided by an eclectic group of energetic seniors, Cleo races to identify the true culprit from a growing list of harmless Sunday drivers—before a killer revs up for another hit and run!
When I chose to review this book, I didn’t realize it was set in a senior community. So, when I started reading, it took me aback for a few chapters. You don’t see a lot of older sleuths in the cozy mystery genre these days even though Miss Marple was surely one of the forerunners. Once I got past that fact, I discovered it was a pretty good read. But you will need to get your score cards out because there are A LOT of people running around in this book. I had a hard time keeping track of them all.
Basic premise: Cleo and her friends go into one of the businesses at Royale Court. The door is open even though the business looks closed. Their friend, the shop owner should have been there and they decide to wait inside. They find a dead body inside the bathroom in the business in an awkward position. He was wearing biking gear as if he had recently been on a bicycle ride. And off the story goes from there.
I was having a hard time connecting to this book. Not sure if it was the over-abundance of characters or the setting still throwing me off. I don’t have much experience with senior communities so it was unclear how to visualize such a place. I am sure the seniors among us will find this book quite compelling but for me it fell flat. It was just okay. Middle of the road. I didn’t connect with any of the characters or even care if the mystery was solved… Sorry to say.
But this could be your cup of tea, so check it out if you are so compelled.
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.