There's nothing quite as enjoyable as curling up in a cozy chair with a good book on a winter evening. Unless it's curling up with a cozy mystery that takes place during the same season, and whisks you off to trail after high school geometry teacher, Donna Russell, in search of a killer.
And what a trail it is! In GOLD FRANKINCENSE, AND MURDER, author, Barbara Early, takes us to wintery Buffalo, New York, where a solitary teacher's predictable, well-ordered life is suddenly interrupted by the mysterious disappearance of a friendly co-volunteer at the local food bank. Well, maybe more than a co-volunteer, because the friendship was progressing nicely to shared pears and pleasant conversations during lunch hours. But where did he go? Has he been leading a double life and up to no good? Not one to shirk from finding an answer, Donna is determined to figure things out. Even if it leads her into the sort of situations she normally doesn't get involved in.
Being a mystery enthusiast, myself, that's about all it took for me to be hooked on this story. I like a plucky heroine who isn't afraid to put herself on the line for her friends. But add to that mix another mysterious (and handsome) character who may, or may not be part of the problem, and I had to read straight on through. At which point, I will have to admit Ms. Early had me guessing "whodunit" right up until the end. Which is all I'm going to say about that, right now, or I'll be giving things away.
Which is also why I would heartily recommend GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, AND MURDER to mystery fans who like to be taken for a spine-tingling ride and end up feeling perfectly satisfied about it, afterward. Maybe even hoping it isn't the last we will see of this determined, pleasantly analytical, amateur sleuth from Buffalo. That's what I'm thinking, anyway. Any plans for a sequel, Ms. Early?
I'm a fan, already!