A new series from the author of the Tourist Trap Mysteries!
Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder…
The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.
Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?
Praise for Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap Mysteries
“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.”—Susan McBride, author of Say Yes to the Death
“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.”—Fresh Fiction
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi River where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series, won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction.
Read an Excerpt
A Story to Kill
By LYNN CAHOON
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Lynn Cahoon
All rights reserved.
When Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home again, Cat Latimer wondered if he knew he was full of crap. She stood at the turret window looking out on her backyard in Aspen Hills, Colorado. During her marriage, she'd made this circular room into her office. The wall to ceiling built-in bookshelves were now bare, waiting to be refilled with the rare and not-so-rare books she'd collected during her two years as an English professor over at Covington College. She brushed her fingers over the cool window glass, not quite believing she was back.
"So you're just standing around, staring out the window? You realize we'll have guests arriving in less than two weeks." Shauna walked into the room and put her arm around Cat. "You aren't thinking about Michael, are you?"
Shauna Mary Clodagh had been her best friend since the minute Cat met the tiny, redheaded bartender at the local pub near the apartment she'd rented in Los Angeles. It hadn't been the best job, but Cat had jumped at the first teaching position that took her away from Aspen Hills.
Into the frying pan, her mother would have said. But she didn't regret her years in California. She'd learned how to surf, or at least how not to drown. She hoped that skill would keep her above water now.
"I love this office. I always wanted to write here. Not grade papers, not work on lesson plans, just write the stories in my head."
"Now you can. But, first, I need to talk to you about the breakfast menus. I've baked a few batches of different muffins and breads to try. Oh, and the handyman called back, and he'll be here first thing tomorrow morning." Shauna looked out the window. "You really lucked out on this deal. Good thing Michael was too busy dating all those co-eds to remarry or change his will."
"Brutal. Good thing you're my friend." Cat picked up a notebook and a pen. "Let's go walk through the guest rooms on the second floor and make a list of what needs to be finished so the guy can get right to work."
As she shut the door to the office, she thought about Shauna's words. Why hadn't Michael left the house and his estate to someone in his family? She vaguely remembered him talking about a cousin somewhere in eastern Washington. She sighed. There was no use trying to figure out what Michael had been thinking, the house was hers again.
This time, she would make her own decisions.
* * *
Aspen Hill's largest employer and claim to fame was Covington College. The small liberal arts school was located just a few blocks away from 700 Warm Springs, her new-slash-old home. Cat made her way to the Abigail Smith building, home of the English Department and her former employer.
Behind the front desk was a large trophy case with a lighted sealed section for the Covington English Department Cup. Each year, the professors voted on the student with the most potential to make a mark in his or her career. When Cat had been a professor, she'd taken the voting seriously, nominating several of her exceptional students. One, a budding poet, got shortlisted, but mostly she noticed the final nominations looked like a popularity contest rather than true talent. She squinted to see who had won the cup this year and paused. Sara Laine. She pulled out the list Shauna had given her. Yep, it was the same. She had a cup winner attending her retreat.
A student sat at the reception desk, reading. She looked up as Cat stopped at the desk.
"You need help?" She put her finger on the line to mark her place and waited for Cat's response.
"I've got an appointment with Dean Vargas. Can I just go to his office?" Cat nodded down the hall. Some things never changed, especially the fact that the dean of the department always had the biggest office.
"Whatever." The girl went back to her reading. Work-study jobs on campus tended to be more "make work" positions, so Cat didn't blame the girl for being bored out of her skull.
Cat knocked on the door, and a muffled voice answered, "Come in, it's not locked."
She peeked around the door, making sure the man was alone. Michael wasn't the only professor with a history of enjoying time with the female students. "Dean Vargas? Do you have a minute?" "Well, if it isn't the prodigal daughter come home. So good to see you, Catherine." Dean Vargas stood and stepped around his desk. He looked the same as he had when she'd put in her resignation letter two years ago. Hair gently graying, he stood tall and trim. She'd never been able to pinpoint his exact age and several times when she was teaching The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dean Vargas's image had come to mind. "So how are sales of that Tales of a Teenage Vampire book going?" Cat thought about correcting him on the title, but knew he wouldn't remember anyway. "Very well, thank you for asking. The book is getting great reviews from the major players." She pulled out a list of next week's retreat guests from her tote and handed it to him. "I'm glad we could settle on the contract terms for the retreat customers. My first group is arriving next week. These are the five people who will need library passes."
Dean Vargas took the list and without looking at it, set it in a tray on his desk. "I'm happy we could be of assistance. I understand Professor Turner is doing a short presentation on the Hemingway papers as part of the retreat."
"He is. Hemingway is just such a large part of the American writer mystique; I'm sure all of my guests will enjoy his session." Cat looked around the office. On a side table, a pile of the university's latest literary journal sat on display. "I've loved the last few editions of The Cove. I miss working with the journal staff."
"The new professor we hired to replace you is enjoying the task just as much as you did." He paused at the desk before returning to sit in his chair, choosing an appropriate look of concern or gravity for his facial expression. "We were shocked to hear about Michael's passing. He was a vital part of this college. The Economics Department is finding it very hard to replace him with a candidate of his stature."
Cat didn't know the etiquette regarding accepting condolences about a divorced, deceased spouse, but she decided it didn't do anyone any good to be rude or point out the obvious. "Michael will be missed by many people." She wondered if Dean Vargas had guessed her husband's extracurricular activities had been the reason behind the split, but decided to take the high road anyway. She adjusted her tote. "Anyway, lots to do. Thank you again."
Dean Vargas nodded and focused on his monitor. "You are most welcome. However, in the future, there's no need for you to bring this over in person. Just drop the list in the mail. Good day, Catherine."
Dismissed from His Excellency's presence, she hurried out of the building, hoping not to meet anyone else from her past. Dean Vargas had been a jerk to work for back then, and he was still a jerk today. Hell, he probably was born a jerk. With that thought lifting her spirits, she strolled through the commons to the street. Walking back to the house, she soaked in the warm autumn sunlight. Indian summer, her mother would have called the warm October day. School had been in session for a few weeks, so students were hanging around the grounds as she walked by, enjoying the summer's last hurrah of warmth.
A police car pulled up next to her; two short blasts of the siren made her jump and brought her back to reality. The passenger window eased down and an officer leaned across toward her. "You know there's no loitering in town. I may have to arrest you."
"I'd like to see you explain that at the family reunion next summer." She squatted down by the car, her arms resting on the open window. "How are you, Uncle Pete? I was planning on stopping by the house as soon as I got settled."
"Old and crotchety, just like always. How're the house renovations going? You going to be up and ready for that group coming in next week?" He took off his baseball cap and rubbed his head with his free hand. "If you need me, I can come over and help this weekend. I'm knee-deep in paperwork from the college opening, but I could spare a few hours."
Cat shook her head. "You don't worry about it. Shauna has found a handyman who works at a reasonable rate." She checked her watch. "In fact, he should be there right now."
Her uncle frowned. "The only handyman around these parts is —" The radio in his car blared and he paused, turning his attention to the dash.
"Chief? They need you over at campus security. Some kid brought his stash of pot." The dispatcher sounded like she was in another town, on the other side of the mountain and in a well.
"Sounds like you're busy. I'll let you go." Cat tapped the car. "You stop in for coffee and a treat some morning. I'd love for you to meet Shauna."
Her uncle peered at her for a second before the radio blared again. "Chief?"
He pulled out the microphone. "I heard you." Putting it back on the holder, he smiled. "I'll drop by soon. We might have something to talk about."
Chief Pete Edmond gunned the engine in his black Dodge Charger and pulled away from the curb.
Cat watched him as the car made its way up the road to the administration building. "The guy gets weirder every year." She loved her uncle, but sometimes — like now — he could be cryptic about the silliest things. She returned to her stroll and was walking up the stone path to her front porch when someone barreled through the front door and down the porch steps, a sheet of plywood in large rough hands.
Jumping off the sidewalk to avoid being smashed by the wood or its carrier, she waited for the guy to slap the sheet on the sawhorses set up in the middle of her front lawn. This must be the repairperson Shauna hired. Something about the guy, and his short brown hair, seemed familiar. In tighter-than-normal jeans and a faded T-shirt, at least from the back he was easy on the eyes.
"You need to watch where you're going with that," she muttered and turned toward the front door. Her day had been filled with bulldozing men, but this was the first one who actually could have run her over.
"Kitty Cat? Is that you?"
Crap. Cat stood frozen to the ground, not wanting to turn around. There was only one person who called her by that nickname. No one had dared since she beat up most of the fifth-grade class and put them straight that she was not a feline. Seth Howard had just laughed when she'd wrestled him to the ground. When he'd flipped her over, trapping her instead, he'd whispered in her ear, "You'll always be 'Kitty Cat' to me." Then he'd let her up and shrugged for the class to see.
Slowly she turned around, banishing the memory from her mind and bringing herself back to the here and now. "Seth? You're the handyman?"
He laughed that easy laugh she remembered from too many weekend trips with the gang, camping, fishing, and drinking around the campfire. He had been her first and last boyfriend before she met Michael. The two men couldn't have been more different. Seth was Colorado born and raised. He could fish, hunt, and build a small shack in the woods to live off the land. Michael preferred his fish gently poached and served with a little Riesling. Or had.
"I didn't realize you were back in town." He reached out and touched her brown hair, cut short into a pixie. "You look good; I like the new do."
She should have melted on the spot, but there was just enough ice left in her veins to cause her to nod like one of those Hawaiian dolls Uncle Pete had on his old truck's dashboard. She licked her lips, suddenly feeling her mouth dry up like the Salt Lake Desert. She should start carrying bottled water when she walked. Yeah, that was the problem, her drinking habits. She gave in, trying not to be rude. "Thanks. You look good yourself."
"You buy this?" He nodded to the weathered blue Victorian behind her.
Cat squirmed a little. Seth hadn't approved of her dating Michael. And when they got married in the little church on campus, he'd snuck in the back, standing in front of the closed doors, his hands crossed in front of him as the vows were read. Then he disappeared. A total Benjamin Braddock moment, only Seth hadn't said a word. This was the first time she'd seen him since her wedding day. "Actually, Michael left it to me." She paused. "He died earlier this year."
Seth nodded and walked closer, putting a hand on her arm. "I'm sorry to hear that. But weren't you divorced?"
So he had kept up on the gossip about her. For some reason, this made her gut tighten, just a bit. "Three years now. Believe me, I never thought he'd keep me in the will. I hadn't even talked to him since the day the papers were signed."
He searched her face, looking for something — what, she didn't know. He lowered his voice when he responded. "I am sorry."
She wondered exactly what he was sorry about, but didn't want to ask. They'd gone their separate ways and now she was back and single. That didn't mean that he was available. For all she knew, he had a wife and six kids stashed somewhere in the woods. She dropped her gaze to his hand still on her arm. His left hand with no ring. He noticed her look and dropped his arm back to his side.
"So, the house. Shauna tells me you're opening some kind of hotel?" He took a step back, increasing the distance between them.
Cat wanted to step forward, close the space back up. Hell, if she was honest with herself, she wanted to step into his arms, kiss him and drag him up to her bedroom. But no ring didn't mean no attachments. She'd learned that early in her LA dating years. Besides, how cliché was it to fall back in bed with your high school love? She banished the thoughts of what they could be doing and turned toward the house so she wouldn't have to look into those dark brown eyes.
"Actually, I'm opening a writer's retreat. People come for a week. We feed them breakfast and a few dinners and set up time for them in the college library and a couple seminars. But mostly, they are on their own to write." She regarded him; he didn't seem bored with the conversation topic yet. "I'm an author now."
Seth nodded. "Sounds about right. You always were good with stories." He nodded to the wood. "You've got some flooring that needs to be replaced in most of the second-floor bedrooms. I should be able to get that done today, and I can paint tomorrow."
She stared at him, wondering if there was something more to his comment about stories. "Sounds good. Let me know if you need anything."
Then she turned and ran into her house, up the three flights of stairs and into her office, shutting the door behind her. When she'd caught her breath, she stood at the end window and watched him work, willing him not to look up so she wouldn't get caught.
A knock came at the door. "Cat, you want some lunch?" Shauna rarely came into the office if the door was closed, assuming Cat was writing, unless she was dropping off coffee or food.
Which she should be doing, rather than watch the way Seth's muscles rippled in the sun, especially after he surrendered to the heat and stripped off the T-shirt to the tank underneath. "I'm not hungry right now," she called back.
Well, she was hungry, just not for the soup and sandwich Shauna had prepared.CHAPTER 2
"You knew." Cat watched as her uncle stirred three teaspoons of sugar into his coffee. He reached for a fourth time, but she moved the sugar bowl out of his reach.
Uncle Pete sighed, then sipped his coffee, wincing at the bitterness that he couldn't possibly taste with all the sugar in the cup. "I'm not sure what you're talking about."
"Really, you want to play dumb?" She sipped her own coffee. "Fine. Seth Howard. You knew he was the handyman Shauna had hired."
"Guilty as charged. But in my defense, there is only one handyman in town, so it wasn't much of a leap." Uncle Pete shrugged. "So did he get you all ready for the arrivals today?"
Excerpted from A Story to Kill by LYNN CAHOON. Copyright © 2016 Lynn Cahoon. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good cozy with fun and a touch of romance
I enjoyed the new character and to my many characters. The story gets moving along well and I like that. I like who are the main people in. The story and think it is a good idea about having a retreat for writers.
Love this new series.
Cat Latimer is an author who moves back to her hometown in Colorado after inheriting a Victorian mansion from her ex-husband. She is surprised that he never changed his will when they divorced. They were both professors at the local college, he in Economics, she in English. She renovates the house into a bed and breakfast where she will hold monthly writing retreats. When Cat finds out that Shauna, her partner, has hired her high school sweetheart, Seth, as their handyman, old emotions rise to the surface. As the first group of writers arrives for a week-long retreat, Cat is not sure whether this was a good idea or not. World-famous author Tom Cook is attending the first retreat, giving Cat high hopes her new business venture will be successful. When Cat finds Tom, dead in his room, she calls her uncle, the local police chief. What is this going to do to her new business? To save her business and its reputation, Cat finds herself investigating and following clues to find the killer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down! I read it in a couple of days due to interruptions. The characters and plot are believable, and the story is well-written. The mystery was well-developed and engaging, with plenty of suspects along with twists and turns. A missing person, a fake wall, and some very odd characters all add to the story. The book was well paced and spiced up with just a hint of romance. The ending was unexpected yet, fit with the story. There is an intriguing cliff-hanger that makes me happy I have the second book ready to go. If you enjoy a good mystery that is not gory, pick this one up, even if you don't normally read cozy mysteries. You won't be disappointed.
Lynn Cahoon gathers a cast of interesting characters together for a writers retreat at a Victorian house near a college campus. What's not to love? Ms. Cahoon weaves an intriguing story, combining a mystery from the past with a murder in the present. As Cat Latimer tries to offer the perfect retreat for writers, instead her most famous guest is murdered. She becomes enthralled with investigating a missing person case that she is convinced will reveal the killer of her guest. Which of her other guests might be involved? I love the friendship between Cat and her best friend Shauna. I also like a little romance in my mysteries, and the one between Cat and Seth had the perfect mix of spark and banter. Ms. Cahoon includes clues and red herrings throughout the book, and the solution was logical and satisfying. I look forward to reading the next book whose mystery is previewed in the last chapter.
Sets up the series of Cat opening a bed and breakfast and hosting a writer's conference monthly. At her first one, one of the guests is killed. Now, to save her business, she needs to find out why and whodunit. I enjoyed the story. I also liked how some of the characters' backstory was slowly given. I did not figure it out until the end nor the why. It was interesting. I was also intrigued to discover that there may be an overarching story lines between books. I want to see how that plays out. Can't wait to read the next book, which I have.
Several things to enjoy about this first book in the series--a writers retreat bed and breakfast-type place, a small college town, Colorado backdrop, and the core characters. The story was interesting, so I will continue on to book 2.
This was a great book. I loved all the characters. Well mostly. The ones I didn't, you're not suppose too! The end hooks you to needing the second book. Lynn Cahoon did a great job.
I really liked this first-in-series. I usually choose a cozy based on its location, which tends to be in the Northeast, so I might not have picked this one if it wasn't my book club's book for March. I'm glad I read it, though! The story moved at a good pace, and I really liked some of the main characters, especially the best friend/roommate/business partner Shauna, high school boyfriend Seth, and police officer/uncle Pete. I liked the main character, Cat, though I found her sudden departures from conversations she's having, to be a bit odd. This book kept me guessing to the very end, though the culprit was one of the (several) people I suspected throughout the story. I'm looking forward to discussing this with my book club and to reading book #2 in the series!
Lynn Cahoon delivers a gem of a cozy mystery. As a reader of her tourist trap series, I was looking forward to reading the first book in her new series. I was not disaapponted. Cat Latimer returns to her hometown to start a new chapter in her life after inheriting her former house from her late ex-husband. The writer's retreat brings five writers to her new b&b for what should be a getaway to encourage and discuss writing. Instead it turns into murder. As we meet each guest, we learn there are hidden agendas and secrets that have brought them to Aspen Falls, but is it motive for murder? As Cat uncovers clues, past and present events colliade and lead to the killer. The characters, story and setting was a wondetful mix that made for an enjoyable read. A second mystery around the death of Cat's ex-husband start to unfold. I hope in later books we learn what happened to Michael. I am looking forward to the next installment.
I enjoyed this first in a new series by Ms. Cahoon very much. Considering I love her other series, I figured that I would love this one also, and I do. Cat has decided to restart her life with her friend Shauna by opening a writer's retreat, they end up with more than expected when a guest ends up dead. From here we are taken on a journey into the past that may tie with the present. The mystery was excellent, I didn't quite figure it out, I had the who but could not get the why, but it was explained satisfactorily and made sense. I love the characters, there is a wide variety of personalities that fit together nicely. I loved Rose, she gave me a few laugh out loud moments, and Cat's Uncle who is the sheriff is so likable, he is not the brash in your face cop that you read in so many cozies, he actually does his job, quietly and thoroughly. I eagerly await the next in this series, as I will definitely continue on.
Title: A Story to Kill - Cat Latimer Mystery Book 1 Author: Lynn Cahoon Published: 8-30-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 320 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery, Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781496704351 ASIN: B0190HGVK6 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.75 Stars I received a copy of "A Story to Kill" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Publisher's Description: A new series from the author of the Tourist Trap Mysteries! Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers' retreats in the big blue Victorian she's inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it's an authors' getaway—but Cat won't let anyone get away with murder… The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn't know why he came all the way from New York, but she's glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees. Cat's high school sweetheart Seth, who's fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it's her uncle, the local police chief, whom she'll call for help when there's a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun? My Review: Lynn Cahoon captured my devotion with her Tourist Trap series. She has a way of creating characters that seem like someone you might meet in your everyday life. Her descriptive writing style brings the settings and the towns where they are located into being. Many scour the maps looking for these towns to visit. She has done no less for her latest series. Cat, Pete, Seth, Shauna and the others are each individual personalities that work together to make Aspen Hills, Colorado a community to which ou will want to visit often. Cat unexpected inherits her husband's home upon his death. She leaves her professorship at the local Covington College and opens the home as a retreat for writers while she plans to write the paranormal book she has felt was waiting to get out. When celebrated author, Tom Cook , is among her first guest she is pleased. When he turns up dead in his room, she is worried her retreat may be endanger of closing before it is open. She, Shauna and her uncle, the Chief of Police set to find a killer. It is almost destined that as a paranormal writer she starts to wonder if her ex-husband might have returned to his home and her. There is also the reawakening of old emotions for her old boyfriend, Seth. This is a start to a soon to be well loved new series for Ms. Cahoon. I gave "A Story to Kill" a 4.75 out of 5 stars rating. If you have never read Lynn Cahoons book before, be sure to try them now. You will then understand why she is one of my favorite authors to read when I need a pick me up to lighten my soul.
A Story to Kill was so fun to read !!! If you like getting lost in a book, this is a book you must read !!! The setting of most of the story is in a bed and breakfast whose owner is focusing on it being a Writer's Retreat. Cat inherits the house from her ex-husband according to his will. She moves back into it with her best friend, Shauna. Shauna does all of the cooking, errands and dealing with the guests so that Cat can continue writing her 3rd book. Unfortunately one of the guests is found murdered in his room and he was a very popular author. Luckily Cat's uncle is the Police Chief so he is on top of everything. But who would want to kill the author ? Who knew he was there ? Could it have been one of the other guests ? Once the murder occurs the week goes downhill pretty quick. Will this be the end of Cat's dream to have a bed and breakfast writer's retreat ??? Can Uncle Pete solve the murder before the end of the week ? Cat has so much going on between running the bed and breafast, trying to get her word count in every day and trying to get a grasp on her feelings for Seth, her high school sweetheart who just so happens to be working on renovations to the house as well as keep the current guests some what satisfied or at least keep them alive. Lynn Cahoon has a great first book in this Cat Latimer Mystery series.... I LOVED getting lost in the big bed and breakfast. I felt like I was a guest...... Need a retreat of your own ? Wanna get away for a bit ? Let Lynn and Cat take you there.
A Story to Kill Sounded like a good mystery story. Starts out with Cat, a professor who now wants to write books acquires her ex husbands house. She moves into it, in the town where she grew up, fixes it up to be a writers retreat. Her ex boyfriend is the handyman and others think he's hot. She has many resources at the nearby college and the writers are able to use them. One important writer attends but after one day he's found dead. Her uncle the police chief helps to find out what happened. Few characters and it's easy to keep them straight with one another. Strange noises from the attic and nobody is there and her ex's journal shows up on the porch... So many secrets, so many mysteries that all combine to make a good read. Amazing how it all comes to an end with answers. Excerpt from the next book is included at the end. I received this book from The Kensington Books in exchange for my honest review
I really liked this mystery. Aspen Hills, Colorado sounds like a perfect place for author Cat Latimer to open up a writer’s retreat. Although surprised to receive the house at all via her ex's will, she and her best friend Shauna Mary Clodagh ready the house (with the help of Cat’s former high school boyfriend, Seth Howard), for the first group of writers. Nearby Covington College is a great resource for any of Cat’s attendees and the small town has its’ share of quirky folks. The murder quickly becomes very layered and wasn’t too easy to figure out. Cat's past with the college and her ex is what's very intriguing here. Cat’s Uncle Pete heads up the local police, but he is reticent about his job and doesn’t reveal much. It was a fantastic read and a great way to learn all about the characters in Aspen Hills that will hopefully return soon in another story.
Lynn Cahoon has done it again. She knows how to build not only a believable mystery with increasing suspense, she layers it so deep you never know what layer will be pulled back first. I have been a big fan of the Tourist Trap mystery series written by Cahoon and was expecting I would enjoy this series as well. I must say, she has exceeded my expectations with the depth of characters and plot. I fully expected a good mystery from this great writer but what I got was several mysteries in one book. I am going to pre-order the next book in this series right now because I don’t want to miss a thing that goes on at these unique writing retreats put on my Cat Latimer and her best friend Shauna.
This has everything a cozy mystery lover requires. Cat Latimer, widowed and back home again. Looking for a fresh start, she opens a writers retreat. She’s nervous and excited when she discovers none other than Tom Cook, a famous writer, is among the guests. Imagine how shocked she is to stumble upon his dead body. There’s plenty of suspects. A stalker fan, another guest with a grudge, and, according to his wife, a whole bunch of people who wish him dead. Romance distracts Cat as she sifts for clues. Her old flame is also back in town. And he wastes no time letting her know he still carries a torch for her. Lynn gives you much to ponder as there’s more than one mystery in these pages. Why did Cat’s dead ex-husband leave her the house? What’s with the weird woman who signed up for the retreat, but doesn’t take advantage of it? And who is the the rude guest, William Williams, and why does he appear to loathe Tom Cook? And let’s not forgot Tom’s widow. She appears out of nowhere and books a room. Why would she want to stay at the very place her husband was murdered in? And why doesn’t she appear to be more upset about his death? See, I told you there’s more than one mystery. And there’s a whole lot of fun characters and suspects to sort out. All the ingredients for a darn good cozy. This is the first book in the series, so jump in now. I’m sure this will be a fun one to follow.
I was so excited to start a new cozy series. What can be better than that right? This book has a lot of things I like - cozy town, bed and breakfast, mystery and whole lot more. For me this was a great start to a new series. I am looking forward to getting to know Cat, Seth, Shauna and all the characters. Another thing I liked about this book is that there are two mysteries going on at once. We have the murder that Cat is trying to solve as well as the mystery of her failed marriage. Once you start reading this then you will understand what I mean. The author did a good job of keeping me guessing who the killer was right up until the end of the book. If you are looking for a fun new mystery series I say give this one a chance.
A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon is the first book in A Cat Latimer Mystery series. Cat Latimer is a former English Professor at Covington College. She has decided to start the Warm Springs Writer’s Retreat in Aspen Hills, Colorado (near the college). Writers can get away from the normal environment, meet fellow writers, and have some quiet time to write. It is all thanks to her ex-husband (Michael) who recently passed away and left her this house. This is Cat’s first retreat and one of the guests is Tom Cook, a bestselling writer (something Cat was not expecting). Things are going well until Cat notices that she has not seen Tom in a while. Cat finds Tom dead in his room. Cat immediately calls Chief Pete Edmond, her uncle. Who wanted Tom dead? Cat needs to get to the bottom of this mystery (it did happen in her house). Seth Howard, her boyfriend from high school, has been fixing up the house for her and will be doing a remodel to add additional space to the house. Seth discovers a secret room in the attic but is unable to open it. When Cat finds Michael’s journal, it references the room, and he even left her a key. Did any of this have something to do with his death? Then someone leaves a white carnation outside her study. Only Michael knew she loved them. This is only the beginning. Cat is in for a busy time with her writing (she writes paranormal novels), her writing retreat business, a possible romance, solving Tom’s murder, and now this! Join Cat on her adventures in A Story to Kill. I thought that there was too much romance in A Story to Kill. I do not feel that romance should not be the dominate part of a cozy mystery. The book had Cat admiring Seth’s rear end in his jeans and watching “his muscles ripple”. It was too much (these were just two examples). I enjoy a little romance in a cozy mystery (it needs to be subtle and play out slowly), but the lust fest was over the top (and I am not exaggerating). The mystery (main one) was so very simple and easy to solve (I knew who the murderer was when they found the body). The secondary one leaves us with a cliffhanger (it will probably take place over a series of novels). I thought the secondary mystery (about Michael) was more captivating (it definitely captured my interest). A Story to Kill as a satisfactory first novel. I think it needs some work (like less romance and lusting). I felt bad for the retreaters. Cat spent more time writing (working on her second novel) and with Seth, than with the people who paid for the retreat. I give A Story to Kill 3 out of stars. The book is nicely written and has a good pace. I will read the next book in the series to see if there is improvement. I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest and forthright review. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Dollycas’s Thoughts Author Cat Latimer is back in Colorado in the house she and her ex-husband used to own. Seems he never changed his will after their divorce and she is turning the house into a retreat for other writers to come to get it away from all their distractions at home to work on their books. The nearby college also has an excellent resource library and she hopes the writers will find inspiration or the details they need to bring their stories together. She can’t believe bestselling author Tom Cook is one of her first guests. With the help of her friend Shauna, who can actually cook and her old high school boyfriend’s construction abilities this first retreat should go off without a hitch. That is until one of the authors attending the retreat meets his untimely demise. Cat thinks her plans for her new business are toast. But maybe, she will be able assist her uncle/ police chief find the killer and wrap this whole thing quickly before she is out of business. As I have come to expect from this author she has created some very heartwarming characters and added the perfect amount of those who are much more unique. I love that Shauna has come with Cat and they are running this business together. Shauna is ultra organized and that leaves Cat time to not only write but investigate. Seth and Cat had a thing in high school but as happens they drifted apart. They are trying to take things slow, or least Cat is, but you can feel the sparks that ignite when they are even just in the same room together. Uncle Pete knows that Cat is not going to leave the investigating to him so he listens to all her ideas and her reports of what she has picked up while she is out and about. These are very detailed characters and so well crafted for just the first book in the series. As for the mystery, I thought I knew the killer but had no idea why, there was no motive that I could see. When Cat kept digging and pushing things started to fall into place and one subplot wrapped up in a way I had hoped it would. There were plenty of twists and turns and deflection. A HUGE secret plays a major part to solving this mystery. The story kept my eyes almost literally glued to the pages. I needed my questions answered just like Cat. In true Lynn Cahoon style while the main mystery concluded, she pulls us in at the end with a cliffhanger. Fatality by Firelight come out February 28, 2017. Thankfully we don’t have to wait a whole year Grab this one up right away. I know this is just the start of what it sure to be an amazing series.
This is a great book; this is the first book in the Cat Latimer Mystery series written by Lynn Cahoon. Cat Latimer is a former English professor, she is hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier and far less famous attendees. When she finds his body in his room, she puts her sleuthing skills to the test trying to find out what really happened. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon is the first book in a new cozy series by Ms. Cahoon and it was an excellent read. It caught me in the first chapter and I didn't put it down until I had finished it. Cat Latimer is a strong woman who may still be healing from her ex-husband's betrayal but that doesn't stop her from returning to her home town and beginning a new life. All of the characters are well developed and the setting was clearly described as the story progressed. I definitely want to visit and get to know all of them better. The plot moved quickly and the clues were well placed to keep me turning the pages so that I could find out more. I definitely want to read the next one in this series. I was provided an ARC by Kensington via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
A STORY TO KILL is The story to read! I’m a huge fan of author Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap Mysteries, available only in eBook. However, being a woman who still loves holding a paper book in my hands, I was thrilled to hear Ms. Cahoon not only had a new series coming out, but it would be a print edition! Brilliant from chapter one, with every page I turned I became more and more caught up in this book. I never like being distracted when reading, and I distract easily. That being said, a marching band could have paraded through the room and it would have had no chance of pulling me out of A STORY TO KILL. Everything that I love about author Cahoon’s writing, her talent for developing multi-layered characters, providing wonderful locations, and gripping, edge of your seat mystery, are all present and accounted for in this exciting tale. It’s clear Lynn Cahoon has a new hit series on her hands! Trust me when I say, you need to have A STORY TO KILL in your TBR. When you do get your own copy, make sure to check out the sneak peek of book two in the Cat Latimer series, FATALITY BY FIRELIGHT. You’ll find it at the back of the book.
This is a fantastic book, I was caught up in the story from the very first page. I can't explain exactly what caught my attention, but once I started I had a hard time putting it down. The setting, the characters and the story itself was spot on and it all flowed so smoothly. Cat Latimer returns to Colorado to open a writer's retreat in the home she inherited from her ex husband. When a famous author dies at her very first retreat, an investigation begins and emotions run high for everyone involved. Rekindling a love, investigating and reading her ex husband's journal are just a few of the things Cat is into in this book. Put your feet up and lose yourself in this exciting story by the talented Lynn Cahoon. I promise you won't be disappointed. I received and Advanced Reader's Copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.