A Gift for Murder
Review: Karen McCullough introduces amateur sleuth Heather McNeil, an assistant to the director of the Washington DC Commerce and Market Show Center, whose responsibilities suddenly include dealing with a murder, in A Gift for Murder.
Preparations for the biggest show of the year, the Gift and Home Trade Show, are underway, and it's all a bit more chaotic than usual: misplace shipments, exhibitors unhappy with their placement, noise and interference from neighboring booths … and a body in the dumpster. Tim Bethel, co-owner of Grantwood and Bethel, had been attacked with a crow bar — and there is no shortage of suspects, from his partner Stan to his wife Chloe, who becomes the most prominent "person of interest" in the subsequent police investigation. When a fellow exhibitor asks Heather to get involved, she hesitates … but only for a moment. Channeling her inner Nancy Drew — yes, she read all the books as a youth — she sets her sights on not only proving Chloe innocent, but exposing the real killer as well.
A Gift for Murder is a delightful mystery, with some laughs, a touch of romance, and an abundance of red herrings. Heather is an engaging lead, and her supporting cast offers both contrast and balance to her role. The murder venue presents plenty of opportunities for hiding clues in plain sight, and the author does a fine job of providing her new sleuth with the resources to get the job done. The behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on a convention center-sized trade show adds interest to the story without detracting from the murder investigation itself. This is a solid start to a promising new series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Gift for Murder.
Acknowledgment: Karen McCullough provided a copy of A Gift for Murder for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Gift for Murder: Washington DC
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A Gift for Murder by Karen McCullough — A Heather McNeil Mystery
Publisher: Five Star
Publication Date: January 2011
List Price: $25.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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