- File Size: 919 KB
- Print Length: 288 pages
- Publisher: Kensington (February 28, 2017)
- Publication Date: February 28, 2017
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01GBAG6VY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Murder on Location (Charlotte Brody Mystery) Kindle Edition
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I thought Murder on Location was nicely written and it had a good flow or pace. It is a little slow in the beginning, but picks up pace after the murder occurs. This is the third installment in the series, but Murder on Location can be read alone. There is some information about Charlotte’s past that is not completely explained in this edition (why she is afraid to be intimate with James Eddington). Unlike other cozy mysteries, Murder on Location contains foul language (mild words) and intimate situations. There is even a discussion between Charlotte and the local madam on how to prevent pregnancy. I give Murder on Location 3 out of 5 stars. I felt that the characters lacked depth. The author did not provide details on the characters added in this story. We just get the basics on them (like they are actors from California). The mystery was not complicated (unfortunately). It was obvious which character would be bumped off. I want a complicated, twisty mystery that will mystify me. I do not wish to be able to identify the killer before I am halfway through the book. There is a little extra something at the end that might surprise some readers. Avid mystery fans will figure it out before the reveal (especially if you have read Agatha Christie’s books). There is, of course, the requisite romance in the novel between Charlotte and James Eddington. Charlotte has to decide if she wants to take their relationship to the next level. I would have preferred if the author had let the romance play out a little longer in a more traditional manner. I would have liked to see James and Charlotte go out on dates and get to know each other (and then maybe get married) slowly throughout the series. I think it would have fit better with the time period. I was never drawn into Murder on Location. It is a nice book to read, but I was not fully engaged in it. It is the type of book I can read while watching a television show.
Charlotte Brody is a newswoman in 1920's Alaskan Territory. It seems a movie crew is there to film, but they've caused the ire of the Alaskan (territory at that time) natives, who feel they're being portrayed in an unflattering light. When she arrives at the train station to greet them, there is a group of Native protesters also, who demand that certain scenes in the film be changed to show them positively, not as the villains of the piece.
When Charlotte is invited to attend the filming, she brings along her ward Becca who is to be an extra in the movie. But Becca's enthusiasm doesn't last long when the next morning the film's director Stanley Welsh is found dead in a crevasse - and Charlotte informs everyone they have to stay put while both the coroner, her brother Michael and law enforcement - in the form of Deputy James Eddington - arrive to examine the scene.
Once it is discovered that Stanley was indeed murdered, then the task of finding the killer becomes paramount. They know it had to be someone in the remote camp, but since Stanley rubbed many people the wrong way - including his daughter, Cicely - finding the person responsible won't be easy. Especially since the producer wants the movie stopped, but Cicely, the new director, wants to proceed along with the rest of the crew. And Charlotte finds out that the movie has had its share of bad luck already, long before a death was added into the equation.
Charlotte, in her role as a reporter, is just the person to help with the investigation, since she can ask questions and the film might be more willing to talk to her, being a journalist and not an officer of the law. She's promised to share anything she learns with James, who is also her beau. But when Charlotte starts digging just a little too deep, and the accidents that have been plaguing the cast of the movie grow, the next one might just be one accident too many...
While I felt the book started out a little slow, things began to pick up once the murder was committed. I felt at that point the book began to get more interesting; and while I thought there were a couple of scenes that felt odd (like people actually encouraging her to have sex) it didn't distract from my enjoyment of the book.
When we come to the end and the killer is revealed, it makes one realize that self-preservation is indeed a strong motive for some; and those that are the most heroic don't always appear to be so in the beginning. An enjoyable read that is recommended to all.
Cathy Pegau is an excellent writer. She immerses us in both the era and the specific location, letting us feel what it might have been like to live in Alaska back when the state was just beginning to thrive. All the little subtleties Pegau gives us along the way make the setting come alive.
I didn’t find the plot quite as captivating as with the first two books in this series. I thought the pacing, particularly during the first third of the book, was slow. And, while the mystery was interesting, I never had much doubt on the whodunit aspect. That being said, I did love the way the author wove in issues of racism and the treatment of the original Native Alaskans as Europeans and Americans took over the state.
While this is the third in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Most references from the earlier books are clarified, so we understand the returning characters’ relationships, and the plot itself is self-contained.
*I received an advance ebook copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*