It is unusual to come across a humorous cozy murder mystery with a dash of romance which ALSO includes a faith element, but Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney does just that. This book does not delve deeply into the faith idea, though the main character is rather faith driven. She is concerned about the possibility of others finding peace through prayer, praying for others and things she is going to do. There is discussion of going to church at multiple times through out the book.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a definite murder mystery, definitely some romance and a bit of humour too. There is even some tension as the entire thing is wrapped up. Dying to Read is the first book in The Cate KinKaid Files. Cate is working for her PI uncle as she is in between jobs, without a social life and experiencing what is one of the worst hair cuts possible. Everything blows up in her face when she takes on the job of determining if a specific woman lives at a specific address. From then on in it is all murder, confusion, and unique characters.
I found this book to be a fun and eventful read. A full novel at 321 pages it actually was a book you could sink your teeth in and a nice change after all of the novellas I have been coming across lately. I found that I did not solve the mystery too quickly, and even better some of the CHARACTERS were mysteries too!
Cate made me giggle and the book club ladies (seriously you have to read this to truly get a look at all the characters) added some spice and silly to the mix. The hunky man was a bit of a mystery wrapped in kindness and good timing and the ending was just as enjoyable as the middle and the beginning. I seriously hope the following books in the series are just as enjoyable and hope to find out myself! (In writing up this review I realize I HAVE read something else by this author and reviewed it, AND enjoyed it… check that out HERE)
Sometimes you come across a mystery and then other aspects of the story strike you along the way… this book was amazing that way. The main character is Ivy, who laughingly calls herself a little old lady or an LOL. She is sprightly and thoughtful and… without feeling like you are being spoonfed it – an amazing Christian. Through out the story she has wonderful conversations with friends who are debating their own faith. Hers is strong and wonderful like a beacon but she takes each conversation and really thinks about the other person, their point of view, why they feel that way, how they are and are not able to just believe… she does not judge, she does not walk away when one friend is not yet ready or shove her faith down there throat… she listens, she talks and she shares. It is LOVELY!
But even beyond that lovely aspect there is the mystery – the murder of someone she is acquainted coupled with the defacing of some cemeteries and the natural death of another dear friend. You meet Dix, the young detective who does not just ignore our LOL’s ideas… the neighbour Magnolia and her husband who is larger than life and a host of other character.
There is a touch of romance, well potential romance and the creation of some new friendships and along it all we see Ivy take full advantage of her “invisible” status. She realizes, really early on that as a LOL she has this invisible feel to herself… people overlook her and what she originally thought was rudeness seems to be an aspect of growing older and blending in! Lorena McCourtney does and AMAZING job with this book, the first of the Ivy Malone Mystery Series. I knew at the half way point that I was hooked and that I WOULD be looking for more of these gems!
The ending is a bit of a surprise and definitely not all cut and dry I love Ivy and her firm belief in God yet her open heart and mind… So this is a series I would recommend, to the Christian with a love of a good mystery and honestly to the mystery lover who like a good cozy with a heroine with backbone! So check it out!!