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A Dark and Stormy Murder
Writer's Apprentice Mystery (Book 1)
Julia Buckley

July 5, 2016/ ISBN 978-0425282601

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Lena London has always wanted to be a writer like Camilla Graham, Lena’s favorite mystery suspense author. When she gets a job as assistant to help Camilla write her next novel, it’s a dream come true. After Lena and her cat Lastrade move to Camilla’s lakeside Victorian home in Blue Lake, Indiana, Lena discovers that Camilla is everything Lena thought she’d be: a bit reserved, yet friendly and open to suggestions. And Lena’s cat fortunately gets along well with Camilla’s two large German Shepherds, who serve as Camilla’s protectors.

Lena meets and befriends the reclusive Sam West, who is accused of murdering his missing wife. Later that same day, Lena and Camila find a man’s body on the lakeshore, bringing police detective Douglas Heller in to investigate. Doug suspects Sam, already suspect in another murder. But Lena knows that if Sam didn’t kill Martin Jonas, there could be two murderers in town, and two mysteries to solve.

This book hooked me from the first page. Gothic mysteries have always been my favorite, with troubled heroes who gain the heroines’ sympathies and love, and entice readers’ compassion. Sam West fits those qualities to a tee, and I enjoyed Lena’s persistent attempts to discover the truth about his missing wife. Then there’s a possible love interest from the reserved Doug, who is attracted to Lena but is far too busy doing his job to follow through.

What I most loved about this captivating story are the two main characters. Lena is a sympathetic and talented aspiring writer with imagination, the perfect complement to Camilla’s artistic endeavors. The two complement each other well, both in writing and in solving real crimes. And judging from the cliffhanger ending, their sleuthing partnership has just begun. A Dark and Stormy Murder is an enticing, atmospheric and suspenseful read – and one not to be missed.

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Dark and Stormy Murder #1
Death in Dark Blue #2
A Dark and Twisting Path #3

Reviewer's Note: Julia Buckley is the author of the Undercover Dish Mystery series, including The Big Chili, and the Writer’s Apprentice Mysteries, including A Dark and Stormy Murder. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Romance Writers of America, along with the Chicago Writer’s Association.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award-winning author of Fiery Surrender, Shadow of a Doubt, and Lani's Challenge.
Reviewed 2016