Monday, April 28, 2014

Dying for Murder: A Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery by Suzanne F. Kingsmill

Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Dundurn
Series: A Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery (Book 3)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Zoologist Cordi O'Callaghan is at it again, tracking a murderer on her own turf - a biology research station on a barrier island off the eastern coast of the United States. Having traveled to the station to record some birdsong for her latest zoological studies, Cordi finds herself in the midst of a nightmare when the director of the station is found dead. Meanwhile, a hurricane is raging on the coast, stranding all the researchers on the island.

Cordi sets out to investigate the troubling circumstances of the death, and while doing so gets a crash course on the life habits of bats, sea turtles, and rattlesnakes - not to mention how to survive a murderer's wrath. But she never sees the surprising solution to the mystery until she nearly dies solving it.

Granted permission to read an advance copy through NetGalley, I was introduced to the Cordi O'Callaghan series. The author does an excellent job of creating a series out of the books and yet keeps the stories as stand-alone books as well. The events of the prior books are alluded to throughout the book but they're not necessary to read in order to enjoy this particular book.

From the beginning it is apparent that the main character is a forced to be reckoned with as she chases down a would-be car thief in order to obtain her research material. The reader is then reintroduced to Cordi and her core group of friends as well as their occupations within the scientific community. What should have been an easy, enjoy answer to her dilemma comes around to bite her in the bum - big time.

Quite suddenly the small cast of characters expands to include a whole host of other scientists and researchers as a research facility off the eastern coast of the United States. Cordi hopes to find replacement data and lands smack dab in the middle of a turf war between the islanders and the scientists. Making matters worse, there's a level of animosity between the scientists themselves that puts Cordi and her small cast of supporters on edge.

Though there are a lot of characters and motives to keep straight, the author does a brilliant job of weaving together past and current transgressions as the fingers are pointed at possible suspects. When the reader feels that he or she has a handle on the case, another clue is dropped into their lap. Everything learned to that point is questioned. Nearly everyone on the island is a suspect - with good reasons.

I truly enjoyed the various lines of investigation and felt the author did a wonderful job of including the reader into the research fold. The science parts were explained in layman's terms though felt less overwhelming or preachy. It was more of a teaching type of feeling that I felt as I read what the many scientists did and their explanations for certain actions. Speaking of action, once the pace began to pick up, there was no stopping until the very last page of the book. Ups and downs, twists and turns - all were present in this story.

Overall, the book was a fairly quick and thoroughly enjoyable read. The characters definitely had their quirks which paid off toward the end of the book. If you are looking for mystery-filled thrill read with a surprise ending, this book needs to be on your TBR list.

Dying for Murder: A Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery by Suzanne F. Kingsmill is available for purchase in paperback form. By clicking the link below, you can purchase your copy from Amazon.
Dying for Murder: A Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery by Suzanne F. Kingsmill

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