Murder Served Cold: Elizabeth Holly

Occasionally it’s good to step back & re-evaluate life. That’s exactly what Ruby has decided to do. Leaving her job, her apartment, & her now ex-fiancé, she heads to Red Palm. Considering the town a peaceful oasis, it’s home to her best friend Jade & her ice cream shop, A Scoop of Sunshine. Unfortunately, Red Palm isn’t as peaceful as she’d like.

After a brief visit to Jade’s shop, she exits just in time to be the eye-witness to a shocking crime. Rodger Becker, real estate mogul & Red Palm’s most hated resident, has been stabbed. While she saw the assault, Rodger’s body hid his assailant. Suspects abound. Everyone in town had a bad experience with Rodger including his own family. Jade owed him a lot of money as did most of the folks who rented their shop space from him.

No one said to hear of the incident & no one is grieving. Now that she has nothing but time on her hands, Ruby enlists Jade to launch their own investigation. Neither has any law enforcement experience, but Ruby loved a good mystery show & figured she could handle it. In the course of her investigating, she’ll need to deal with her ex-fiancé who’s determined to win her back, a geriatric bingo fanatic with a penchant for activism, & a whole lot of finger-pointing. Things become a little too personal to her when those fingers start pointing to the only stranger in the town…her.

Dysfunctional Red Palm doesn’t run like a normal town. While everybody knows everybody, they certainly are a quirky, distrustful bunch. Ruby is a strong-willed heroine who wants what she wants. I’m sure many readers will related to wanting to pack up & find a change of scenery. Her gumption is her best characteristic. Again, though, we have another Cozy Mystery with a less than stellar police presence. This time it isn’t lack of intelligence on the force, but the main officer in charge seems more concerned with dancing than crime fighting.

Elizabeth Holly does craft a mystery that isn’t super easy to solve. Enough background & clues are given to possibly figure it out, but it certainly wasn’t a given. There are additional books in this series (A Ruby Flynn Mystery Book)  which I’ll be adding to my list. I give this series’ debut 4 stars.



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