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From Newsprint to Footprints: A River's Edge Cozy Mystery (River's Edge Cozy Mysteries) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 17, 2015
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If you like cozies without on screen violence, if you like authors with a full command of their craft, you'll love this book. Elisabeth Huhn, onAmazon
About the Author
She also writes plays and novellas, including the one-act play, Common Ground published in 2015. Her novella, Biding Time, was one of five finalists in the National Press Club's first fiction contest, in 1993. Elaine conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. Nonfiction includes Writing in Retirement: Putting New Year's Resolutions to Work, and Words to Write By:Getting Your Thoughts on Paper. A member of Sisters in Crime, Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994.
Elaine graduated from the University of Dayton and the American University.She did some journalism course work at the University of Maryland and has taken fiction courses from The Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD,the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and Georgetown University's Continuing Education Program. Elaine is a regular attendee at the Midwest Writers Workshop and Magna Cum Murder.
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From Newsprint to Footprints at first appears as a leisurely cozy mystery written by a skilled author who has a delightful way with language. A book written for easy going moments, when you are reading for shear pleasure. One passage that describes a minor moment serves as an example. Just a couple of sentences captures the scene. It's not a momentous scene, but it fully brings to mind the moment:
About a mile from Keosauqua, a large maple tree lurched into the water. More of the river bank had fallen in since I'd last driven this way. Pretty soon there wouldn't be much land between the road and the river, so there would be some fancy engineering to reinforce the bank. Still, it would be cheaper than moving the road.
However, about half way through the twists and turns of plot the book turns into something more, I don't know, real, on a deeper human level. It's not terrorizing or creepy, just more touching I guess. A much more satisfying read than one usually finds in a cozy. The plot proceeds to unexpected places before the resolution.
Elaine Orr is a joy to read. From Newsprint to Footprints is no exception. The characters grow in subtle ways that are not demanded by plot, but adds to the richness of the novel. Individuals are not obviously good or obviously bad, and figuring out which is part of the experience. I'm thrilled Ms Orr is gracing us with a new series and I can hardly wait for more installments. If you like cozies without on screen violence, if you like authors with a full command of their craft, you'll love this book.
I have been an Elaine Orr fan ever since I met Jolie Gentil and read about her adventures in Ocean Alley, at the Jersey Shore.
Orr moves onto a totally different setting as Melanie Perkins is fired from her job as a reporter for the small local paper that is published three times a week. Her boss, Hal, is argumentative and nasty to his employees even taking to throwing staplers at them in his anger. It sounds like Melanie will be better off if she can find another job. And she does. Her friend from the paper lets her know that a new resident is looking for a landscaper and this is perfect for Melanie as she loves gardening. She is hired and a pile of mulch is delivered to the property. The next morning as Melanie is trying to get started she discovers the corpse of her former boss under the mulch. Of course suspicion immediately falls on Melanie and she uses her reporter skills to "dig" into the crime to clear her name. Someone else is found dead and the plot becomes more complicated.
I loved the characters in this novel; each has his or her own personality and once again Orr creates characters with which the reader can identify even if you've never found your former employer's body.
Melanie has been working for the small town newspaper for some time but when she is fired for taking too many pictures of nature she turns to her true love, gardening. Unfortunately on her first day on the job, she finds the body of her old boss buried in mulch and becomes the focus of the investigation.
I feel like there will be some carry over into future books but the mystery is tied up in this one. I was not able to figure out who had killed Hal or why but I think some of the suspects may turn up in other cases. I look forward to spending time with Melanie and several of the other characters.