Monday, November 19, 2018

Review: Murder at Harbor Village by GP Gardner (Blog Tour)

Murder at Harbor Village
by GP Gardner

About the Book



Murder at Harbor Village
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Lyrical Underground (November 13, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109007
ISBN-13: 978-1516109005
Digital ASIN: B079WM9X29



Young retiree Cleo Mack is trading in academia for a second act in Harbor Village, a community for active seniors in coastal Alabama. But someone in this picture-perfect coastal town is burning the candle at both ends . . . 
It’s love at first sight when Cleo arrives in Fairhope, Alabama, after taking early retirement from her longtime position as professor of social work. Touted as “the nicest town in the world,” Fairhope is home to an eclectic community of retirees. Harbor Village boasts classes in painting, pottery, and photography, not to mention being a buyer’s market for husbands. It seems an ideal place to make new friends and rediscover life. Until a dead body is found in the pool. 
When the victim turns out to be the unpopular director of senior living, Cleo is named acting director. Now she must rely on her well-honed people skills to uncover a killer in a place where short-term memory isn’t what it used to be, and age is just a number. And if Cleo keeps snooping around, her number may soon be up . . .
My Review

Cleo Mack hadn’t expected to retire just yet, but when she is pushed into early retirement, she accepts. Cleo visits the town of Fairhope in Alabama and immediately chooses that town to call her new home.

The people of Fairhope are super nice, especially those living in the Harbor Village retirement community. Her retirement seems to be short-lived when she is offered a position in Harbor Village and she jumps at the chance. Things, however, take a nasty turn when she discovers a dead body in the pool. It turns out to be her new boss and the director of the community. Cleo is made acting director until the murderer can be found.

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. The first part of the book felt like an introduction into the series and characters. It took some time for me to get into, but about halfway through, the murder mystery picked up.

Things came a bit too easy for Cleo as she makes friends immediately and gets a good job without even looking for one. It’s a case of “ if it looks too good to be true, it usually is”. In this case, she has to deal with murder and a retirement community with huge problems. Not exactly how I would want to spend my retirement. LOL

Overall, I liked the characters. Cleo is a strong character and she meets a few quirky residents of Harbor Village that can be fun. I didn’t particularly like Cleo’s adult daughter. She seemed to want to take over Cleo’s life. Cleo isn’t even fifty yet and is perfectly capable of making her own decisions.

The mystery is a puzzle with Cleo trying to figure out how it all fit together. I tried to help her, but I was all over the place with theories :) Besides the murder, there is obviously quite a bit of mystery surrounding the retirement community and its staff. Cleo needs to sort through all of it and get everything into place. She has her work cut out for her to right this ship.

This series has the potential to be a good one. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series.



For reading challenges:
Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge 2018

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.



About the Author


Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at gpgardner.com.


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