A Palette for Murder

A Palette for Murder

by Sybil Johnson

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A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane and summer's sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city's homeless population.

Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn't expect to find her neighbor's body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

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A PALETTE FOR MURDER by Sybil Johnson | A Henery Press Mystery. If you love one, you'll probably love them all.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156904891
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 01/31/2017
Series: An Aurora Anderson Mystery , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 268
File size: 452 KB

About the Author

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

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A PALETTE FOR MURDER 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This trip to Vista Beach has the residents in the middle of a heatwave. There are two mysteries in this story, one trying to identify a seriously ill homeless man, the second solving a murder. Rory has befriended a homeless man, Kit and is heading down to the waterfront to give him a bag of cans to recycle. When she and Liz can't find him at any of his usual haunts, they are worried. When they hear barking on the beach, they realize it is Kit's dog Buddy. They run to him and ask him where Kit is. He runs off and they follow, finding him under the dock with a large bump on his head suffering severe dehydration from the heat. An ambulance is called and while waiting, Kit says the name Zoe to Rory before dropping into unconsciousness. Rory is determined to find out if he has any family and who is the mysterious Zoe. There are also several burglaries occurring in the area, and Rory stumbles upon one gone bad. Her neighbour, Willow is dead on the floor of her kitchen with a knife in her stomach. The police do not think it was a burglary and Rory's friend Dawn is accused of the murder and she has asked Rory to find out what she can. Dawn is adamant that she was not involved, although she was at Willow's house the night of the murder. Naturally, it turns out that Willow had a number of secrets, and those kept the pages turning until we reached the end. There were a lot of twists and revelations along the way and the ending, was quite surprising. I enjoy Rory and her friend Liz, but besides them, most of the characters are in and out of the story so not as well developed. Once again, Sybil Johnson included an issue plaguing many cities, homelessness. This added an air of reality to the story and makes you think about how you treat others, what supports are in place for homeless people and what you might be able to do to help. I really enjoyed how both these storylines were brought together at the end. A good, quick read for any cozy mystery lover.
iiiireader More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in this series I have read. The first one was a bit confusing to me but now that I have a background in the story, this new book flowed well for me. Because of this, I suggest reading the books in order. It will help keep the characters straight and also give you a chance to see the development of the plot line and characters as the story moves rapidly from book to book. It can hot in Southern California where almost no one has air conditioning. I know as I lived there most of my life. The local of the book is a beach side community near LA – I'm kind of reminded of Hermonsa or Redondo Beach. The people in this town are fairly close (which wasn't my experience in LA!) but nice to know there are areas were there is still a small town vibe in such an urban spot. Rory, our sleuth extraordinaire, is keeping tabs on a homeless man she has befriended and is shocked to find him injured under the pier he generally sits on. Trying to find out who did this to him and to find the mysterious “Zoe” he asks about start her off on her journey to solve the crime. She is aided by her friend Liz and the good looking Detective Martin Green. I enjoyed the flow of the story but wish the revelation of the whodunnit was more as part of an investigation rather than something happened upon. This is some that I prefer because I like to solve the crime along with the sleuth. I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: A Palette for Murder - Aurira Anderson Mystery Book 3 Author: Sybil Johnson Publisher: 1-31-2017 Pages: 268 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Women Sleuths; Crafts & Hobbies ISBN: 9781635111415 ASIN: B01M74ZIL3 Reviewed For NetGalley and Henery Press Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars Strong well developed characters that Sybil Johnson has paired with a thought out plot that uses humor and intrigue to get the reader to fall in love with the scenes and characters in the Aurora Anderson Mysteries. If tis is the first on you have read, din't worry you can read it with little trouble. most of the prior events have enough explanation to keep the reader from being confused. My rating of Palette for Murder is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Book 3 in this series takes us to California is heat of summer and some thieves are taking advantage of residents leaving their windows open to catch an ocean breeze. Sadly one robbery leaves behind a body. Rory finds her neighbor dead of an apparent attack. Police quickly focus in Rory’s friend Dawn so Rory does a little investigating on her own but she may be painting herself into a corner. What a perfect read while it is winter in Wisconsin. The heat seeped right out of the book and made me feel the warmth and enjoy the breeze. I could almost smell the ocean and hear the waves as Rory chased down clues both in the murder and trying to find out who hurt a homeless man. A man who Rory has sort of taken under her wing. The author really shined with this mystery. Willow, the woman who died, had secrets and quite a past. We keep learning more and more as the story continues and there are some surprising twists that paint quite a picture of who Willow really was. Ms. Johnson set a nice quick pace to this mystery. One that made the book very hard to put down, I did read it all in one sitting. One part even made me shed a tear or two. I really enjoy the characters she has created. Close friends Rory and Liz, not quite Thelma and Louise, but they have a special bond. Rory’s romantic life is still in flux but I do enjoy the way the author is not rushing it, leaving it to evolve naturally and in a very believable way. Of course, there are always those bumps in the road that twist things up a bit. I think I know where she is headed and it is fun to watch it all play out. Each story in this series is better than the last. I hate to think I have to wait a year for my next visit. Thank you Sybil for another perfect escape.
Jarina More than 1 year ago
A Palette for Murder is the third installment in Sybil Johnson's Aurora Anderson mystery series. Aurora (Rory) is a computer software designer by vocation and a budding artist by avocation in the seaside Southern California town of Vista Beach. Vista Beach is experiencing an unusual heat wave which is taking its toll on the residents, in particular the homeless. The town has set up cooling centers for those without air conditioning, including the homeless. First the homeless man Rory had befriended when he saved her life is attacked and found under the pier, then Rory's neighbor is murdered. What is common to these two events is that Rory found them both. When Detective Martin Green investigates both crimes, once again Rory finds herself in his company and in his shadow as the crimes are solved. At first there are no suspects for the murder until Rory's friend Dawn is arrested. Dawn pleads with Rory to help find the culprit, little do they know the danger that will follow. With her best friend Liz in tow, Rory investigates her neighbor's murder and ultimately the death of her homeless friend only to discover the link between the two. And when she comes upon the common denominator, it is now Rory who is in peril. Well written with twists and turns that will take you to the very end questioning whodunnit. Although part of a series, this book certainly stands alone. With enough information to place the cast of characters yet no so much as to be redundant to the series faithful, this book is a very good read and I do recommend it.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Murder of a Neighbor We are currently having our first real Southern California winter in several years. (Rain!!! Yeah!!!!) Ironically enough, I have selected two books in a row set during summer heat waves. (I had no idea, I swear!) It was certainly fun to enjoy warmer weather vicariously through A Palette for Murder. Because Vista Beach, California, is right on the beach, not everywhere has air conditioning. After all, it’s only a few days a year that things get hot enough to truly need it. However, a heat wave in the small, Los Angeles County community is making residence leave their windows open in the hope that they can cool off a little. A group of thieves in neighboring towns are taking advance of that. And it looks like those burglars have finally hit Vista Beach. One morning Aurora “Rory” Anderson finds her neighbor Willow dead on her kitchen floor. It looks like a robbery gone very wrong, but the police aren’t so certain. In fact, they start looking at Dawn as a suspect. Dawn has been a good friend to Rory and her family, so when Dawn asks for Rory’s help finding the killer, Rory agrees. As she begins to investigate, she learns that Willow had many hidden secrets. But which one of them lead to her murder? The characters in this book are good; we care enough about them to care about the outcome. I’m definitely rooting for Rory to get her love life figured out, and I really enjoy her best friend. I do feel they could be stronger, but that’s not a reason to skip this series. The mystery in this book is very strong. There are so many secrets and twists along the way that my jaw actually dropped a couple of times. I did figure out the killer a bit before Rory did, but I didn’t mind at all since the ride was so delightful. I had a very hard time putting the book down and finished it up in just a couple of days instead of my usual three. Those familiar with the series will know that Rory is a toll painting enthusiast. It continues to color Rory’s world with Willow having taken some classes in addition to being Rory’s neighbor and Dawn being an instructor. I really enjoy this theme since painting isn’t something that pops up in many of the books I read. Watching how the twists of the plot come together for a logical solution makes reading A Palette for Murder a lot of fun. Fans of the series will be delighted to return to Vista Beach. If you are new to Rory’s world, settle in for a good book today. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.