Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review & #Giveaway: Paint the Town Dead (An Aurora Anderson Mystery, Book 2) by Sybil Johnson

Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (December 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1943390335
E-Book ASIN: B0156W71GW

About the Book:

The Ocean Painting Society invites you to join the painting wave…

It’s June in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, the place computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson calls home. Decorative painters are flocking to the newly built Akaw hotel to attend the Ocean Painting Society’s inaugural convention.

During the week-long event, Rory plans on shopping the trade show floor, working in her mother’s booth, taking classes and connecting with other decorative painting fans. She doesn’t expect to witness her childhood friend collapse in class and die. When the police find no evidence of foul play, Rory embarks on her own investigation. Can she brush aside the lies to uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice?

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, craft and hobby mysteries.

My Review:

My review of Book 1, Fatal Brushstroke, may be viewed on Amazon:

Rory is back and the dust has settled in Vista Beach after all the turmoil that happened in Fatal Brushstroke, Book 1 of the series.  There is a new hotel that has been built in town, the Akaw, and they are hosting a painting convention.  There are many vendors, artists, and guests attending, including Rory's mom's store, some of Rory's friends, and a highly regarded artist who just happens to be the aunt of a friend.  All is moving along nicely until the protesters start their antics.

The protesters are unhappy that the hotel was built in the first place.  To make matters worse, the construction damaged several surrounding homes and the homeowners want restitution even if it means sending their message through windows, picket signs, and handbills.  This group will stop at nothing even going so far as to infiltrate the convention and wreak their havoc within.  Are they also capable of murder?

During a fire alarm, the hotel is evacuated and when the all-clear is given and everyone moves back inside, Rory watches her friend Jasmine double over during a class.  After it's announced that Jaz has passed away, the police determine that there isn't any foul play at hand and close the case.  Rory is almost positive that the police are wrong and sets out to find out what really happened.

What Rory finds in her amateur investigation doesn't just involve Jasmine's death.  There are so many storylines in Paint the Town Dead that you can't help but keep reading the book long after you're supposed to be sleeping (cough...cough).  I love how Sybil takes each thread and magically weaves them all together into a book that is engaging, flows well, and keeps the reader guessing.  The red herrings tossed in will keep the reader guessing what exactly is going on and then near the end everything seamlessly falls into place.  

One downfall, as I noticed in the first book, is that I really don't think Detective Green is getting his 10 seconds of fame.  He should be written into the story a little bit more. He's capable and competent, and from what we do glimpse, would be a perfect character to interact more with Rory whether it's in a potential romance or a friendship. I really didn't see a whole lot of detecting on his part, either. His scenes were short and some were unexciting. I did enjoy seeing the concern that he had for Rory even though there is now another person in the way.

Just like Book 1, the story was a quick and easy read. There wasn't anything confusing or hard to understand. The dialogue between all of the characters was fluid and comfortable. The author does a great job creating a world that grabs the reader and pulls them in, keeping them engaged from start to finish. I really enjoyed Paint the Town Dead.

Review copy provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions, and observations are my own.

My Rating:

Amazon Link:

Praise for the Book:  

“Johnson paints characters with a folksy charm that makes them feel like family…Color me a fan!” – Diane Vallere, Author of the Material Witness, Style & Error, and Madison Night Mystery Series

“Rory is definitely a quirky character; she has the ability to draw the readers in so that they want to follow her through her adventures.” – Suspense Magazine
There are enough plot twists and turns to keep the reader interested and guessing right up to the end. Prepare to do nothing else until the book is finished!
~Cuppa Tea w/G

The reading was easy, the story flowed smoothly and I had a chuckle or two at the characters expense.

PAINT THE TOWN DEAD is one of the most relaxing cozies I have read…
~Mallory Heart Reviews

…chalk up another mark in the win column for Sybil Johnson’s Paint the Town Dead….There are many of the elements that make a cozy mystery cozy, and surprises to hold our interest. Looking forward to #3!
~Back Porchervations

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.


dollycas aka Lori said...

Great Review!!

Sybil Johnson said...

Thanks for the review. Glad you liked it!

Marilyn said...

Sounds fabulous and please enter me. Thank you for having the are a new Author to me so I would love to read.

Rita said...

I liked the review.

Kaye Killgore said...

Very nice review

Sapphyria said...

Thank you all so much. I love this series and can't wait to see what is in store for Rory next!