Rory Anderson is a computer programmer and artist who works from home and lives in Vista Beach, California. Before heading out for the day with her friend Liz Dawson, she's gathered a trash bag of recycling for a homeless friend, Kit, so she and Liz head to the pier to find him. They don't immediately find him but do find his dog Buddy who leads them to an injured Kit under a pier. Discovering someone hit him over the head, he is sent to the hospital while Liz finds a temporary home for Buddy and Rory decides to try and find out who injured him. Luckily, her mother agrees to keep Kit's bicycle and belongings at her store, but when Rory arrives she finds another store owner arguing with her mother Arika. Willow Bingen is overbearing, opinionated, and makes some pointed remarks about the homeless before she finally leaves. Rory tells Arika the only information she has as to who injured Kit is the word "Zoe" and a picture she found in his backpack. Later that evening, Rory is at the home of Dawn, another friend who also works part time at Arika's store when she's not teaching painting. Rory and Dawn are testing a new software program for Dawn's online classes. While they're testing, someone arrives at Dawn's home and Rory can hear them arguing. It isn't long before she discovers the intruder is Willow; but after she leaves an upset Dawn refuses to speak of it. Also after leaving Dawn's home she finds out that Kit left the hospital but isn't able to locate him. The next day she finds Willow's cat Sekhmet's collar on her lawn - it turns out the cat has a regular habit of escaping the device - and goes to return it. When she arrives at Willow's home, the door is ajar and even though she senses something is off, she enters the home. What she finds is the body of Willow with a knife in her chest. So Rory has her hands full: trying to find Kit, wondering who killed Willow, and gearing up for a blind date that Liz has set up. If anything is going well for her, it's the date - she's met a doctor named Tripp Keating, and he wants to see her again. Of course, there is also the fact that Dawn is the main suspect in the murder of Willow and has asked for Rory's help in clearing her and finding the real killer. Once Rory starts investigating she finds out that Willow was keeping secrets - and some of them may be tied to more than one friend of hers. With Kit back under observation but not doing well, a possible new relationship on the horizon, a police detective watching out for her, and still trying to figure out who hit Kit and murdered Willow, Rory might just not only be trying to find a murderer - she just might be the next victim... I found this book to be quite a pleasurable read. Ms. Johnson's characters have depth and warmth; the book is peopled throughout with characters that are three-dimensional and believable. You can sense the bond between Rory and her friends, and the fact that you know they truly care for each other just by their interaction together. There are moments of sadness (where I may or may not have shed a tear) that show us that when you have great loss you also have great pain, and it manifests itself in different ways. With plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested, and more than enough secrets to go around, we are taken on a journey that connects one event to another in an impressive fashion. When the murderer is finally discovered (as we know they must be) and the motives known, the ending gives us a feeling of satisfaction and a book well read. I look forward to the next in the series. Highly recommended.
A PALETTE FOR MURDER
Arrives by Tue, Jun 9
Ships to San Leandro, 1919 Davis St
About This Item
"Johnson offers readers humor, heart, and unexpected plot twists, painting a portrait of a California beach town peopled with endearing characters. With a smart, sympathetic protagonist, lots of colorful details, and even tips on creating trompe l'oeil paintings, A Palette for Murder is a work of art." - Ellen Byron, USA Today Bestselling Author of Plantation Shudders
A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane...
Summer's sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city's homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.
Still, Rory doesn't expect to find her neighbor's body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.
"Johnson has crafted a clever mystery with a colorful protagonist. Set along the vibrant Southern California coast, this story resonates with a rich understanding of the artistic as well as the homeless communities. A smooth read!" - Daryl Wood Gerber, National Bestselling Author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries
"Aurora Anderson and her friends are back with a brand new mystery to solve. A Palette for Murder is a well-crafted tale of betrayal, revenge, and the power of family ties, set in a Southern California beach town." - Maggie King, Author of the Hazel Rose Book Group Series
"Johnson paints characters with a folksy charm that makes them feel like family...Color me a fan!" - Diane Vallere, National Bestselling Author of The Decorator Who Knew Too Much
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, craft and hobby mysteries.
Books in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series:
FATAL BRUSHSTROKE (#1)
PAINT THE TOWN DEAD (#2)
A PALETTE FOR MURDER (#3)
Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...
Author Bio: Sybil Johnson's love affair with reading began in kindergarten with "The Three Little Pigs." Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.Aurora Anderson Mystery: A Palette for Murder (Other)
Aurora Anderson Mystery
|Number of Pages|
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
This trip to Vista Bea...
This trip to Vista Beach has the residents in the middle of a heatwave. There are two mysteries in this story, one trying to identify a seriously ill homeless man, the second solving a murder. Rory has befriended a homeless man, Kit and is heading down to the waterfront to give him a bag of cans to recycle. When she and Liz can't find him at any of his usual haunts, they are worried. When they hear barking on the beach, they realize it is Kit's dog Buddy. They run to him and ask him where Kit is. He runs off and they follow, finding him under the dock with a large bump on his head suffering severe dehydration from the heat. An ambulance is called and while waiting, Kit says the name Zoe to Rory before dropping into unconsciousness. Rory is determined to find out if he has any family and who is the mysterious Zoe. There are also several burglaries occurring in the area, and Rory stumbles upon one gone bad. Her neighbour, Willow is dead on the floor of her kitchen with a knife in her stomach. The police do not think it was a burglary and Rory's friend Dawn is accused of the murder and she has asked Rory to find out what she can. Dawn is adamant that she was not involved, although she was at Willow's house the night of the murder. Naturally, it turns out that Willow had a number of secrets, and those kept the pages turning until we reached the end. There were a lot of twists and revelations along the way and the ending, was quite surprising. I enjoy Rory and her friend Liz, but besides them, most of the characters are in and out of the story so not as well developed. Once again, Sybil Johnson included an issue plaguing many cities, homelessness. This added an air of reality to the story and makes you think about how you treat others, what supports are in place for homeless people and what you might be able to do to help. I really enjoyed how both these storylines were brought together at the end. A good, quick read for any cozy mystery lover.
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