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The Fine Art of Murder
Katherine Sullivan– Book I
Emily Barnes

Crooked Lane Books
9 February 2017/ ASIN: B01A5VHDI0
Mystery / Contemporary / Cozy

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


When retired police chief Katherine Sullivan goes to stay with her attorney daughter, Lizzie, in her old home town, she runs into murder. A young woman working for Randolph Pierce, son of the town’s richest family, is found dead, and everything points to Randy having done the deed. Katherine turns sleuth with her late husband’s partner and his team to discover whodunit.

This is the first in a new series about Katherine, her family and life after retirement from the police force. She hasn’t really retired and carries on with the investigation as though she were still the chief, angering her rather childish replacement. Katherine is a widow and her daughter, Lizzie, a new divorcee with two teenage children, one a classic stroppy teen girl, and the other a boy with Asperger’s. The plot is simple and not difficult to guess; there are very few suspects. This whole aspect of the novel needs beefing up. Ms Barnes’ strongest point is the parts about Katherine’s family and friends, who are all an engaging bunch, but they do need more of a plot in order to realize their full potential. This is not a short novel, and there is plenty of room for more suspects and more plot strands, so I will watch with interest for where the author takes Katherine next.


Reviewed 2017