The Advice Column Murders, by Leslie Nagel

We’ve all had that one neighbor. Or, if you’re lucky enough to never have had that one THE ADVICE COLUMN MURDERSneighbor, you’ve probably heard stories. The one who views your routine lawn maintenance as a challenge to step up his game. Or the one who pulls out the snow blower for an inch of snow at six o’clock on a Sunday morning. For Charley Carpenter, that one neighbor means a surly, self-righteous military surgeon and his skittish wife. The situation quickly goes from bad to worse when Charley finds the body of her neighbor’s daughter only a few days after she bumped into Charley and awkwardly implied she might need help.

After stumbling upon the body, Charley swings into action. But her usual investigative skills are hampered by the absence of her boyfriend, Detective Marc Trenault. Determined to figure out who killed her neighbor’s daughter, Charley doubles down–and soon finds herself looking into a double homicide.

There are many worthy and readable series in the cozy mystery genre. For me, this one stands out. There’s a slight edge to the storytelling that amplified the action without kicking the book into a more grisly category. I also appreciate the wit and intelligence written in the characters–especially Charley and Marc. The sharp writing and smart plots make this series shine–and keep me turning pages!

The Advice Column Murders (Oakwood Mystery #3)
Leslie Nagel

What’s the couple next door really hiding? Vintage fashionista and amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter finds out in this engrossing cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.

In a small town like Oakwood, Ohio, everyone knows everyone else’s business—except for Charley Carpenter’s standoffish new neighbors, who tend to keep to themselves. But behind closed doors, Paxton Sharpe’s habit of screaming bloody murder at all hours of the day keeps Charley awake all night. Coupled with the stress of the increasingly delayed expansion of her shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, the insomnia is driving Charley crazy. Her only distraction? The local paper’s irreverent new advice column, “Ask Jackie.”

Jackie’s biting commentary usually leaves Charley and her employees rolling on the floor, but her latest column is no laughing matter. An oddly phrased query hinting at a child in peril immediately puts Charley on high alert. After arriving home to a bloodcurdling scream next door, she follows the noise into the basement and makes a grisly discovery: the body of Judith Sharpe’s adult daughter.

With Detective Marcus Trenault off in Chicago, Charley decides to take matters into her own hands. Convinced that the murder is connected to the desperate plea for help in “Ask Jackie,” she embarks on a twisted investigation that has her keeping up with the Sharpes—before a killer strikes again.

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