06 July, 2020

#BookReview :: Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man (Amanda Bell Brown Mystery #1) by Claudia Mair Burney #CozyMystery

About the Book:
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All Amanda Bell Brown wanted for her 40th birthday was to watch CSI on television, but what she got was a couple of corpses, a hunk of a detective, and a drop-dead gorgeous red dress. What's a girl to do when a cult madman is on the loose? Save the day, of course, and maybe snag a good man.


Amanda Bell is turning 40 and she just wants a quite day. She is still coming to terms with how her life turned out and where she stands right now. With a past that she hasn't completely reconciled with, turning 40 is a milestone that she is not looking forward to. But life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it… And so, her birthday is the day that she ends up investigating a double murder and meeting Lt. Jazz Brown. Carly, Amanda's sister, a medical examiner gets called onto the scene as they were celebrating Amanda's birthday. Lt. Jazz Brown seems impressed by Amanda's qualification and invites her input in the investigation. The case is connected to a cult that Bell had investigated before and they are a dangerous bunch. Investigating a cult while dealing with the chemistry she feels with Jazz is just what Amanda Bell wasn't expecting as she turned 40.

This book felt more of a romance than a mystery. Yes there is homicide involved and Amanda and Jazz are professionals dealing with the case. Yet the focal point ended up being the blossoming romance and chemistry between the two. Bell and Brown are two fabulous individuals who complement each other. The physical chemistry is always a plus. It was heartwarming to see how they find their way to each other. The mystery aspect of the book turned out to be secondary. As such it wasn't much of a mystery really. Very uncomplicated though dangerous, the murder investigation was quite easy to figure out. The supporting cast of characters could have done with a little more attention too - especially Amanda's sister.

The author has a narrative style that I took to quite easily and it is complemented my a simple language. It was an entertaining read by all account. However, I can not but help feel cheated. It feels like I picked up the book expecting a cozy mystery and ended up reading a romance with a sprinkle of suspense.  This is more for romantic suspense enthusiasts than it is for admirers of cozy mystery.