As an experienced journalist, Molly is eager to bring the struggling Britton Bay Bulletin up to speed. But when she pushes Vernon, one of her less welcoming reporters, to dig a little deeper into the story of a prominent local family, the man ends up dead. The fact that he wasn't well-liked makes finding the killer extra complicated. The lists of suspects range from his ex-wife to his own son to Molly's boss, who has a secret of his own. But when Molly's attempts to sleuth out the truth result in her receiving frightening threats, the trouble is just beginning . . .
The one bright spot is Molly's newfound flirtation with Sam Alderich. The sexy mechanic is used to taking things apart and piecing them back together, and between the two of them they just might be able to solve this deadly puzzle-if Molly can survive peaceful small-town life long enough . . .
"The news is all good for this cozy mystery! Deadly News will make you want to pack up and move to the seaside town of Britton Bay, Oregon. The characters are vividly brought to life, there's a perfect touch of romance, and the mystery has enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Don't miss out on a charming new series-grab this cozy while it's hot off the press!"
--Sarah Fox, USA Today bestselling author
Read an Excerpt
Fated or not, Molly Owens was rethinking her decision to plant roots in the seaside town of Britton Bay. Or at least accepting the job as editor of the town's small, failing newspaper. The name of the little city by the ocean had called to her, but at the moment, tension pumped through the room like a stereo with too much bass as Alan Benedict introduced her to his staff of four.
All eyes were on her, making her stomach clench in tight spasms. At least Alan's voice was steady and kind.
"Molly has a double degree in journalism and literature. She's a remote editor for several large-scale magazines and has even worked with a couple of publishing houses as a freelance editor. We're very lucky she's agreed to join the Britton Bay Bulletin. As you all know, I've been spread a little thin lately and Molly is going to be my right hand."
"Welcome. Again," Elizabeth Grover said, a tight smile on her unpainted lips. They'd met when Molly had arrived this morning.
Elizabeth was probably in her fifties, and Molly knew she wrote most of the small pieces for the online and print versions of the paper. After accepting the position via email and phone interviews, Molly had done a bit of research on both the staff and the paper. Elizabeth was somewhat reserved, even though she'd been nothing but polite.
The young man seated to Elizabeth's right gave a different kind of smile — one Molly didn't want to dwell on for too long. The kind that most people — women especially — would look away from. Molly held his gaze, unwilling to show discomfort. From the corner of his upturned lips, a dark blue pen cap was sticking out. He pulled it out to speak.
"Nice to meet you," he said, running a hand through his blond, slightly shaggy hair. "I'm Clay. I'm only here part-time. I do some of the photography and the social media. What there is of it, anyway."
Laughing like he'd shared a joke, Clay put the cap back in his mouth — a plastic toothpick. Molly nodded and locked eyes with the man to Clay's left. It was his scowling face that suppressed any joy she might have felt over a position she'd been excited to take. She almost preferred the lecherous grin of the younger man to the simmering anger burning in this man's eyes.
"You want to introduce yourself, Vernon?" Alan asked, sending Molly an apologetic look.
She tried to smile reassuringly, but nerves zipped around her stomach like horses on a racetrack. Breathe. You're meant to be here.
When he said nothing, she filled in the silence. "I've read several of your articles, Vernon. You've got a great knack for headlines," Molly said, hoping her olive branch wouldn't be whacked down with a chain saw.
The older man, who looked a little like an unfriendly Albert Einstein with white tufts of hair growing from either side of his head like rainbows over his ears, snorted derisively.
He looked up from the furious spirals he was drawing with a black pen on a bright yellow Post-it note. "Well, gee, thanks. Means a lot coming from someone your age. What are you? Twenty?"
Molly curled her fingers together on top of the long mahogany table. Like the paper, she bet that in its glory days, it had been a thing of beauty. Now, it was weathered and scarred, marks creating a map of lines over the once glossy surface. She wasn't sure what had happened to the newspaper, or the table, but clearly, someone hadn't cared for it in the way they needed to. Though Vernon might not realize it and definitely didn't want to acknowledge it, she was the perfect person to bring it back to its former glory.
Molly straightened her shoulders and didn't shy away from his eye contact. "I'm twenty-eight, actually. I understand you're all a bit of a family already and I'm just hoping I can find my place here. I look forward to working with each of you."
She turned to the last person at the table; a teenage girl. "I'm sorry. What's your name?"
"This is Hannah," Alan said, a smile spreading across his handsome, weathered face. "She's my niece. She's doing a work- experience practicum. Hannah is in her final year at Britton Bay High and runs the school newspaper. Has for the last two years."
Hannah smiled brightly and gave a small wave. "I'm free labor," she said with a laugh.
Some of the tension slipped from Molly's shoulders. Three out of four not visibly hating her were numbers she could live with. Living in L.A. had given her an extra layer of skin so Vernon wasn't going to get under it, if that's what he was hoping.
Alan leaned back in the black leather chair, his fingers pressed together under his chin. Molly noted the way Elizabeth stared at him, watching the man's every move with unnerving awareness. When her gaze drifted to Molly, the woman gave a slight start, like she knew she'd been caught. Elizabeth stood and reached for the water at the center of the table and poured Alan a glass, the ice ringing against the rim.
"Thank you," he said, his eyes holding Elizabeth's. His fingers wrapped around the drink, the prominent wedding ring on his finger clinking against it.
Molly loved watching people the way she loved reading books. Their actions and reactions were stories in themselves. She noted, as Elizabeth continued to pour for everyone else, the woman did not have any rings on. Accepting the water, Molly thanked her and gratefully downed half her glass. The dryness in her throat was as distracting as the tension in the room.
Glancing around once again, she marveled at how she'd ended up sitting in a nondescript conference room in a town that shared a name with her childhood best friend. All because she'd stumbled across an online ad posting the job at a time when her life was going the exact opposite of the way she'd planned. There was only one window in the stuffy room and though it was cracked open, the air coming through was dry and heavy. Again, L.A. was good preparation for hot days and cold shoulders.
Alan set his glass down, smiling at his staff. With a full head of salt-and-pepper hair, he reminded Molly of a more reserved version of her dad. It was, to her, another sign that she'd made the right decision to pick up and move. Of course, that choice had been kicked into high gear after walking in on her live-in boyfriend taking his ex-girlfriend on a naked tour of their sheets. Molly's sheets. That experience had been more like a boot in the face than a simple sign. Sometimes believing that everything happened for a reason sucked.
Elizabeth settled back in her chair, sipping delicately at her water. Despite the death-glare Vernon was giving her, Molly still believed she was right. With its cobblestone streets and easy access to the water, Britton Bay was a place she could see herself staying.
"Are we done with the meet and greet? I'd like to get back to work," Vernon said, pushing back his chair.
Molly glanced at Alan and saw his slight nod of encouragement. Opening the files in front of her, she passed handouts to each of them, pleased to see her hand was steady.
"This is a great article on responsibility, fairness, and accuracy in reporting. Elizabeth and Vernon, you have great personality and voice in your writing, but if we want to broaden the Bulletin's readership, which is what Mr. Benedict has hired me to help with, we need to make sure that the stories you're sharing have all of these things. Every time."
Despite practicing this speech, her voice wobbled as she closed the file and looked around the table. Molly cleared her throat and hoped her expression exuded a balance of professionalism and confidence. Thankfully, no one could see the way her heart hammered painfully against her rib cage.
Vernon didn't touch his handout. He glared at Mr. Benedict. "My understanding was that you're here as a copy editor? Maybe a fact- checker. If you're leaving the paper entirely, Alan, we have a right to know. Is she assigning stories now?" He hooked his thumb at Molly as if she were a mannequin and not a real person listening to his derisive tone.
Molly turned to face Alan. Sitting forward, he folded his hands in front of him. "Molly will essentially take over what I've been doing. To be honest, she's better suited to it than I am. She has the ability, background, youth, and the understanding required to make the Bulletin stand out among its competitors. We used to be one of the most read papers on the Oregon coast and we all know those numbers have dwindled. I won't say it's not my fault, because in part, it is. Maybe if I'd had the same passion for reporting as my father or grandfather, I'd have done a better job keeping us afloat. But I made a commitment to my family and the way I see it is, Molly's our best chance at me keeping my promise. While she's doing that, my goal is to up our revenue and get more businesses — especially some of the new ones, working with us. So to answer your question, her job title is ... vast. She'll do a little bit of everything and yes, that includes assigning stories."
When she'd contacted Alan about the job, they'd had a long conversation about the newspaper's history, as well as his family's, in the town. He'd followed his path, as his father had expected him to, but in today's market, he wasn't giving the public anything they couldn't easily live without. From what she'd seen, the Bulletin posted articles that barely passed as puff pieces: What was on sale at the market, what the local kids had been up to in their free time, and an up-to-date account of city hall's agenda. Hardly captivating stuff.
Molly hoped to deepen and strengthen the news they were sharing, regardless of Vernon's reluctance, which was seeming a lot like jealousy at this point. Alan hadn't mentioned anyone in-house wanting the position, but why would he? If he had, would she have thought twice? No. If Alan thought she was the best person for the job and Vernon had an issue with that, it wasn't her problem. At least, she hoped it wouldn't be.
"I, for one, would like to see this newspaper last for another hundred years, so I'm happy to take your advice, Molly," Elizabeth said.
"We talk a lot about the impact of the digital world on hard-copy news in class," Hannah said.
Molly nodded, appreciating the interruption to Vernon's pouting. "It doesn't make things easy, but we can work with it. Clay, I've seen your reach on social media and we'll talk about widening the Bulletin's audience there. Your web edition of the paper only shares one quarter of what's in print. That needs to change immediately. Not only is it more convenient for most readers, it gives the businesses advertising with you a wider audience. I know I'm new here, but from what I've seen in the last couple of days, there's a younger demographic moving in. We can appeal to that. Which means mobile-friendly editions of the paper, coupons that can be scanned by the cashier. And most importantly, news that people want to read. The town itself will be drawn to their hometown paper. If we make it more appealing."
Molly had taken a look at the town's history and population. It had grown and changed over time, with a few families having remained for several generations. However, young couples and new families were settling in the town, realizing it offered a lot of perks for less cost than many of the other cities along the coast. She loved the idea of bringing a small-town circulation back to life. Mostly, she loved the idea of moving forward and putting all of her attention into something with a real chance at success.
The conversation turned to current articles that had already been assigned by Alan. It was a good opportunity for Molly to ease her way in, see how they worked and the approach they took to getting their stories finished. So far, she hadn't seen much that required a lot of fact-checking because the paper was more of an observation journal than a media source. If she could help them fine-tune their current pieces, they could start making a shift in the right direction.
"Are we done?" Vernon stood abruptly. He picked up a black notebook covered with multiple Post-it notes in a variety of colors. Other than the one he'd drawn circles on while she'd spoken, they were filled with scrawled notes.
Mr. Benedict huffed out an impatient breath and looked up at him. He'd mentioned during the interview that he had some personal issues going on and would be leaving her with a fair amount of responsibility. Which was fine with her and best she accept it sooner rather than later.
"You're working on a few stories, but Alan said there's a special celebration this summer and you're working on a heritage piece, correct?" Molly asked, checking her notes.
Vernon all but sneered as he looked at her. "Yes. I'm doing a timeline of the Phillips family's history in Britton Bay. It'll be a lead-up to the annual Phillips Festival."
Which was boring on its own, seeing as it occurred every year. "I think that's a great place to start. What about an interview with the family members? Maybe even a cross-generational one, if that's possible?"
"Oh, there isn't a soul in the Phillips family who doesn't love to talk," Elizabeth said. Her bright smile went a long way toward making the drab office a happier place.
"Why would we interview people we could talk to any day of the week? They're not royalty," Vernon argued, gripping the back of his chair with both hands. His fleshy knuckles turned white.
"They'd tell you differently," her boss said.
"I read up about them. They have a long, unique history here in comparison to some of the other families. Would you be interested in setting up an interview, Vernon? If not, I could maybe pursue that angle. I certainly don't have as much writing background as you, but if I did the interview for you, you could use my notes. Plus, it'd be a great way to meet some people," Molly said, her voice syrupy sweet. She'd had just about enough of his toddler behavior.
"I think I can do my own damn job. You want an interview, I'll get one. I'm sure people will be jumping all over our paper to read about what Clara Phillips bought at the Stop and Shop," Vernon growled.
When he walked out of the meeting room, a silence ensued. Molly bit her lip and tried to breathe softly. Evenly, rather than expelling the deep sigh she'd like to.
"He gets a little grumpy without his coffee," Elizabeth said.
Clay snickered in between chewing on the cap. "Or if he's awake."
Hannah laughed. Molly kept her expression neutral and tried to focus on the people who actually wanted her here.
"Clara Phillips? Married to the mayor?" Molly asked, thinking back to her research.
"She is," Hannah answered. "Their daughter, Savannah, is my best friend."
Molly smiled. Hannah and Savannah. It was cute, just like the teen. Gears turned in Molly's head. A fresh start. A fresh point of view and a good way to test out her staff's capabilities. "How would you like to ask your friend a few questions for the paper?"
Hannah's eyes widened. She looked at her uncle and then back at Molly.
Molly laughed. "Completely. Might be nice to get a young person's perspective on what it's like to grow up in a family so well known in a small place. On top of that, she's got the responsibilities that go along with being the mayor's daughter. And she'll definitely open up to you more than someone else. Why don't you put together some questions, and we'll go over them together and determine what you should ask. Once you do, I'll work with you on writing up an article. It'll give me a chance to see your writing."
Alan beamed at Molly, but his smile paled in comparison to Hannah's. "I'd love that. Thank you. I've got to get to my second-period class, but I'll start on the questions after school."
"Great. It was nice to meet you," Molly said truthfully.
She kissed Mr. Benedict on the cheek and left the room. When she did, he checked his watch, his brows furrowing, forming little creases on his forehead.
"I ... uh, need to get to a meeting. I'll leave the day in your capable hands," Alan said, standing.
When he stood, Elizabeth's eyes followed him. Molly watched, fascinated as the woman tried to be subtle about her staring.
"Elizabeth, in addition to running the regular classifieds next week, I'd like you to do a small piece on requesting some local opinions on a few different topics. Make sure they aren't controversial issues for now, but let's invite the town to take part in their paper. Maybe we could even run some fun polls."
Elizabeth nodded, but her eyes continued to dart to the open door Alan had left through. It didn't surprise Molly when a moment later, Elizabeth excused herself from the table and said she had to get to work.
Molly gathered her papers, hoping Clay would leave as well. She wasn't quite ready to deal with his role yet, as she hadn't figured out exactly what he did. The paper had a subpar website, a Facebook page with no information, and twenty-five followers on Twitter. Besides that, the way he looked at her made her skin itch.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Deadly News"
Copyright © 2018 Jody Holford.
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
Molly Owens moves to the small town of Britton Bay looking for a new start as the Editor of the town paper. Her life is quickly pulled into turmoil when she discovers one of her reported murdered. Guilt over forcing the reported to do a story makes Molly follow all of the leads she can find to try to find the killer. What a great start to this series. A unique story that focused on the paper and branched out inot the town, which allowed the reader to meet the charates and feel like they were participating in the story line right along with Molly. I look forward to following her on her future stories.
I heard so many positive things about Deadly News That I had to try it. It turn out that it is a really strong first in series novel that made me want read the second book immediately. I loved the small town romance/small town mystery with the romance taking a small lead. The book felt fresh even though it followed both genre closely. Molly experience moving around as an Army brat explains the ease with which she settles into this welcoming community and chemistry and the situation that faces her during her first week in town explain her attraction to Sam even though she arrived adamant that men would not be part of her life for a long time. Not to mention that kind of insistence is almost begging to be challenged. Britton Bay and its people call me to return soon.
I enjoyed this book. Good light read.
I loved this book so much! From the perfect setting to the wonderful characters. It did have more romance in it than a regular cozy but oblivious that didn't bother me. I love Jody Holford writing style and will be checking out her other books. Deadly News was her first cozy mystery.
This was just an OK cozy mystery for me. Maggie has moved to a new town on the Oregon Coast to edit a small town newspaper. One of the newspaper reporters resents her arrival. When he does not show up for work she goes to his house and stumbles over his body. She sets out to solve the mystery. The mystery was easy to solve even though there were a few suspects. The motive was thin and the suspect did not make sense. I was not a big fan of the romance. There was a lot of repetition and the main character got on my nerves. She has the annoying cozy habit of insisting that she would not interfere but does. I also do not like it when the sleuth breaks the law or tampers with evidence. I did like the newspaper background and the town could be interesting. It was a quick read.
Deadly News by Jody Holford is the first in her new Britton Bay Mystery series. This is a sweet mystery romance. I enjoyed the book. I felt it moved a little slow at first; however, it soon picked up speed and I couldn’t put it down. I loved reading about the different characters in the small town of Britton Bay. Molly Owens has been hired as the new editor of the local paper. I enjoyed Molly’s character but I wished for more physical description of her. I especially liked the hero Sam Alderich. “The man walking toward her, wearing a pair of dark blue coveralls and wiping his hands on a grease rag, was tall, with wide shoulders, and thick, dark hair. His smile had more wattage than the sun setting behind him. Her stomach flip-flopped like it had no memory of just being wronged by this very gender!” I am looking forward to more books in this series. I was gifted a copy of this book.
Cozy Coastal Mystery This is a cozy mystery with a side of romance. The story takes place in an Oregon seaside town of about 2000 people. Mystery, romance, a puppy, the ocean, a small town; this book has it all. The plot is well done with enough suspects and plot twists to keep your interest. The town is full of interesting characters that feed the humorous side of the story. It is very realistic and believable. This series has a lot of possibilities! I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
Excellent mystery the author did a great job with the death and the puzzle. While the story was bare bones, I will be interested to see what come next....I amp betting the books will get better.
Deadly News by Jody Hedlund is set in Britton Bay, Oregon. Molly Owens has moved from Lancaster, California to Britton Bay to become editor for the Britton Bay Bulletin. The Britton Bay Bulletin’s owner, Alan Benedict, is hoping Molly can revitalize the struggling paper to increase readership and revenue. Vernon East, a reporter for the paper, is antagonistic and resents Molly’s presence. She assigns Vernon to interview Vanessa Phillips on her family and two days later he is found dead in his home. The suspect list is long since Vernon was disagreeable, but Molly did spot a good clue at the crime scene. Molly works her way through the suspect list which includes an ex-wife, victim’s son, and her fellow employees. Someone feels Molly is getting too close to the truth and leaves her a threatening message. Molly is a reporter and not about to be dissuaded in her quest for the truth. When not out on the trail of a killer, Molly is settling into her new abode and making friends. She also finds an adorable bouncy puppy in need of an owner. Britton Bay will be a lovely home for Molly once she pinpoints Vernon’s killer. Deadly News is a cute new cozy mystery. The cover is adorable with the black and white puppy who Molly names Tigger (it suits him). Molly is a likeable main character. She is starting over after catching her boyfriend in flagrante delicto with his ex-girlfriend. Thanks to mechanic, Sam Alderich, she finds a charming carriage house to live in with a landlady who will become a good friend. I would have liked more backstory on Molly, but she is an interesting, friendly character. I did find it odd, though, when she spilled out case details. As a reporter, I expected her to keep details to herself (it seemed out of place). The pace alternates in Deadly News. It starts out brisk, then slows down through the middle (especially when Molly is thinking about the case) with it picking up towards the end of the book. The mystery has several suspects with subtle clues. Avid cozy mystery readers will find this whodunit a cinch to solve. I was surprised by the quick romance between Molly and Sam. The sparks fly right away between them and he jumps into to help her with the mystery. I prefer a romance that develops slowly and is not as prominent in the story (the mystery should be the focus). I am giving Deadly News 3.5 out of 5 stars. A Britton Bay Mystery series has potential, and I will pick up the next book in this new cozy mystery series.
This is a fantastic new series! More romance than is usually in a cozy, but in a good way; Molly is new in town and makes an enemy in her new co-worker at the local newspaper. So, of course, she stumbles upon his dead body soon after arriving in Britton Bay. Not many people liked the victim, but who hated him enough to kill? Molly is ruffling feathers by following her inner reporter and trying to investigate the murder, which the police do not want her to do. As usual, I was shocked at the revelation of the murderer. Good writing style, adorable puppy, cute mechanic, etc...all the makings of a good cozy. 4.7 stars. I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley. #netgalley #jodyholford #deadlynews
Note: I received an ARC of Deadly News from NetGalley and Kensington Books Lyrical Underground. My honest review is below: Hear ye, hear ye; read all about it. Deadly News has it all – an appealing heroine, an intriguing mystery, a cute puppy, and, yes, a little touch of romance. Deadly News is the first offering in a new cozy mystery series by Jody Holford, and it’s a good one! Molly Owens moves to Britton Bay, Oregon to take a job as the new editor of the local paper, never imagining that within a couple of days of her arrival, her co-worker would die under mysterious circumstances. Fearing that he had been murdered as a result of a story she had assigned to him, Molly decides to investigate. Her inquiries lead her to explore the various relationships among members of the town, and we meet a lot of colorful characters along the way. Molly is smart and funny, and her would-be romance with local mechanic, Sam, seems natural and not forced. And the mystery kept up the suspense until the end. I look forward to reading the next book in this series!
A New Cozy Author! Jody Holford has finally hit the scene with her new cozy mystery Deadly News! I genuinely enjoyed this first book! Molly Owen had recently accepted a job at the local paper in the seaside town of Britton. The paper had fallen on some hard times and Molly was hired to help turn it around. From her first day on the job she felt the antagonism of a long-time employee, Vernon. When Vernon ends up dead, she suddenly finds herself viewing each of her co-workers as suspects in the Murder. After deciding she needs to investigate, she finds herself as a target. As I read through this book, I too couldn’t seem to figure out who the killer was . The story takes you on an adventure through the little seaside town as we follow Molly through her investigations. Is everything really as it seems, or is there a much more logical reason behind what is going on? I liked Molly as our protagonist and enjoyed my view of the town and local characters. I can’t wait for the next in the series to come out!
First of all, I love the adorable cover showing cute puppy, Tigger. This new series has potential with a likeable protagonist, Molly Owens, and an interesting supporting cast of characters. I found the starting pace peppy, then it slowed in the middle, and picked back up in the latter part of the story. The plot is centered around reporter, Molly, and the newsroom and employees she’s just started working with in the charming seaside town of Britton Bay, Oregon. When one of the staff starts researching a news story and is murdered, can newcomer Molly help police solve the mystery? Being a very traditional cozy mystery reader, I was both surprised and shocked that Molly quickly established a romantic relationship with mechanic, Sam Alderich. I’m happier when the mystery stays centerstage and any romance develops slowly, along with trust. I also found the killer reveal quite abrupt, and the reasoning a scenario I’ve read many times before. I give this story 3-1/2 Stars which I graded up to a 4 Star Review because I did like Molly and many of the other characters, and I hope to see more originality in future books. I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Lyrical Underground. Thank you.
This was a super adorable cozy and one for my keeper shelf. Likable characters(especially Sam!!) an adorable pup, a great setting and a fantastic mystery combine for a charming story that I thoroughly enjoyed. This new series is off to a great start and I hope for several more adventures with Molly, Sam and the rest of Britton Bay!! I received this book on NetGalley from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Deadly News is the debut cozy novel by author Jody Holford, and is a nice blend of small town cozy mystery with just the right amount of romance on the side. Molly has left California for an editorial position in Britton Bay on the Oregon Coast, and is soon embroiled in a murder investigation after she finds her antagonistic employee dead, and believes she's responsible for the circumstances leading to his demise. Plenty of likable characters, and a mystery that kept this reader guessing until the very end - as well as a couple of red herrings thrown in to keep me on my toes. I absolutely recommend this book, and I'm eagerly anticipating the next release in the series. A+++
This is a strong series debut set in a friendly, coastal Oregon town. Molly has just moved to Britton Bay to start her new position as editor of the town's newspaper, in hopes of helping revive the paper and meeting its townspeople's needs. What she didn't plan on was having to investigate a murder while settling into the job and her new town. Not knowing anyone very well, she had a fair list of potential suspects, which makes for an intriguing mystery. I didn't solve the mystery before it was revealed in the book, which made it entertaining from start to finish. I also really liked the feel of the town and some of the people Molly started to get to know: Sam, Katherine, Callie, Bella, Alan, and Elizabeth. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series! I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
Deadly News is first in the new Britton Bay Mystery series, and what a great start! The adorable pup on the cover with his little purple bear and the newspaper headline are what first attracted me to it. Each item is an important part of this clever, intriguing mystery, with very well-defined, realistic characters, and the beautiful Oregon coast setting. Molly Owens came to Britton Bay to become editor of their small newspaper. At least one person is seething that she is there. Vernon is an older man who doesn’t like most people and the feeling is mutual. Alan is third generation owner of the paper. Hannah, Alan’s niece and intern, and Elizabeth seem cooperative. Clay is the part time photographer and social media expert. Molly assigns tasks for a piece on the Phillips family, the local movers and shakers. That evening, she finds the air has been let from all her tires and stops at the service station. The good-looking mechanic who filled them told her where she could find a place to rent, a carriage house at the local B&B. She also met Calliope, owner of the best eatery in town, who knows almost everyone there. Vernon interviewed the matriarch of the Phillips family, who loaned him a box of family photos, journal pages, and newspaper articles. On Saturday he didn’t call or come in to work. Molly went to his home to see if he was okay and found him dead, with a heavy portable coffee cup with blood on the base nearby. Much later, when Molly prepared to leave the office, she heard a noise in the alley near the dumpster. She tracked it down to a little black and white puppy wrestling a stuffed purple bear from a pile of trash. With no collar or owner nearby, she put a sign in the window about the pup and took him home until the owner contacts the paper. She also came across a printed series of emails between Vernon and Elizabeth, blackmailing her and Alan if they did not stop their relationship. That could put a different spin on the murder investigation. This is a series that I am looking forward to seeing more of! I highly recommend Deadly News for several reasons. First is how well Molly is defined. Within a short time, I felt as if I had known her much longer than the length of the novel, and appreciate her personality, work ethic, career, her intelligence and willingness to find the truth. I like Hannah; she is an outstanding teen! She studies hard and excels as an intern. Katherine is a landlady and mother figure everyone would want. I loved the puppy from the start! This sweetheart has a special appeal. The sensitivity and dignity with which the author addressed a serious health concern is exemplary. The more we learn about it in this manner, the more sufferers and families may be freed. The plot is full of twists and turns that kept changing my suspect list. I had very briefly considered the real bad guy but couldn’t guess a motive. Yet, the rest of the suspects didn’t seem quite right, even with some of the evidence. I was completely surprised at the outcome, including the why behind the who. This is a must-read for those who enjoy journalism and well-written cozies! From a grateful heart: I received an e-Arc of this novel from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
Deadly News by Jody Holford was a cute and engaging read. Molly Owens is an experienced journalist and has accepted the position of editor for a struggling small town newspaper. She is smart and funny and is looking forward to making a new home for herself in Britton Bay, OR. I liked Molly immediately and the other characters are equally likable. The plot was smooth and quickly paced with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. The reveal was quite a surprise as I never guessed the identity of the murderer. There were also a few quirky characters in this small town that I would love to get to know more about, so I hope there will be more books in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Underground via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Jody Holford has been on my reading wish list for a while. Normally a contemporary romance author, Daily News marks her first time writing a cozy mystery. In Daily News, Molly Owens moves from California to Britton Bay, Oregon, to become the new editor of the Britton Bay Bulletin, a small town failing newspaper. Molly wants to get more people to read the newspaper both online and in print. Her first course of business is to get staff writers Elizabeth Grover and Vernon East to write better articles; ones people actually care about reading. She immediately clashes with Vernon, who she secretly thinks wanted the editor position for himself. Molly proposes Vernon interview a descendant of the town’s founding family as part of a special interest piece. Days after the interview, Vernon is found dead and Molly can't help but think it's because of her. While Molly isn't a reporter, she's curious as to the details of Vernon’s death and what really happened. Using her job at the paper as a reason to ask questions, Molly innocently questions various residents. With the help of her landlord's son, Sam Alderich, Molly learns surprising information about Vernon and several Britton Bay residents. As Molly works to pick up the slack at the newspaper left by Vernon’s death, she strikes up a romantic relationship with Sam. Too bad she's closing in on the killer who may just make her the new top story. Daily News reads more like a romance then a cozy mystery. There seems to be more time spent on the relationship between Molly and Sam then you would normally find in a cozy mystery. For me,that was perfectly fine, as I've always wished there was a little more romance in cozies. Sam and Molly made for good characters. They're both very likable and are people I would love to hang around with. I loved the growing love story between them. Jody has written a good mystery. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the story while trying to figure out the killer. The reveal and the reason Vernon was killed was surprisingly shocking. I think Jody did a very good job. I'm a really looking forward to her next book in the series. **Received a copy of the book from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed.**