People who are fond of murder mysteries, especially the “cozy” stories that offer mysteries excluding graphic sex and violence—or, at least, without dwelling on these matters—will enjoy Murder on a Monday, the first of the Rachel Mathews mysteries.
Rachel and her long-time friend, Donna O’Hare, own a magazine for small business in Victoria, BC, and they are used to dealing with such publishing horrors as articles that don’t arrive by deadline, and promised advertisements that are suddenly pulled at the last minute with nothing to replace them. However, they face quite a different horror when they return to work after lunch and stumble across the body of Jody Smythe sprawled in the stairwell of their officebuilding.
What the…? I froze, stupefied, or maybe I took a step back. I don’t remember, but whatever I did, Donna, right behind, walked straight into me.
I didn’t answer but forced myself to move through the door and mount the few steps to reach the woman. She was so perfectly still, face down and wearing a fashionable, dark green suit with the skirt hitched high above her knees. Her crumpled body was lying with her head towards the door at the top of the staircase, and when I crouched beside her and lifted her hair, the smell of blood almost made me gag.
The two friends recognize the woman as the manager of the seniors’ residence next door, and are suddenly thrust into the middle of a murder investigation for which they are ill prepared. Well, unless you count Rachel’s skills of unearthing and checking information for magazine articles, and Donna’s flair for coaxing advertising dollars out of business people.
To make matters worse, impulsive Donna is enamored with the son of the seniors’ residence owner and can’t believe good-looking David had anything to do with the murder. Because he is an obvious suspect, Rachel’s stress is compounded not only by her worries about her friend’s safety but also by the revolting odor of Donna’s magic, weight-reducing soup heating up in the office every day at lunch.
The police check everywhere but can’t find the murder weapon or anyone with a motive for killing the young woman, and two more deaths surface while Rachel searches for explanations with increasing desperation. Will the case be solved before Donna’s attraction to David proves fatal?
When Mandy, Rachel’s sister, urges her to read a book by a therapist for victims of personal assault, Rachel is surprised. She considers herself to be a reasonably cautious person and doesn’t believe she will be in danger by simply making a few inquiries about the murder. However, she recognizes the yoga breathing techniques recommended by the author, accepts the view that remaining calm in the face of danger is the first line of defense, and renews her nightly practice of yoga breathing.
“Yes, I will be in great shape to deal with any future crisis as long as my deep breathing doesn’t cause me to fall asleep in the middle of it,” she tells herself. However, when the crisis strikes, there is no danger of her falling asleep.
A story of deception, a mother’s twisted love, theft, adultery, and murder unfolds as Rachel casts her net wider and plunges deeper and deeper into the mystery, talking to anyone who might be able to help her understand who killed Jody and why. She befriends people who live and work in the seniors’ residence, consults an ex-hippy and an actuary, and listens to a psychic who gives her a useful tip.
Is the police officer in charge of the case interested in what Rachel knows and suspects or is he just interested in her? That could be fun but, unfortunately, the killer is targeting Rachel, too, with an interest that won’t result in a date for dinner but a date for murder!
Click on these links to order Murder on a Monday from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or order online from Barnes and Noble, and pick it up at your nearest Barnes and Noble store. You can also order it from the publisher, High Tide Publications Incorporated. Order it from me if you live in Canada by sending me a message on Facebook. The prices vary, so pick your poison. No, wait, I didn’t mean that! I meant, order using any method you prefer.
As well, prepare to meet Rachel and Donna again in Murder on a Tuesday coming soon!
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