Mortar and Murder-Jennie Bentley

Mortar and Murder

Jennie Bentley

Berkley, Jan 4 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425239261

From Waterfield, Maine, Avery Baker and her significant other Derek Ellis sail to the remote Rowanberry Island to renovate their latest fixer-upper, a late eighteenth century Colonial owned by the latter.  However, besides being unwelcome on the other side of the barrier island by the “KGB” like caretaker for the away in Florida thriller writer Gert Heyerdahl, they find the corpse of a woman in the water.  They call the local police who quickly determine a homicide occurred.

After warning Avery to stay out of harm’s way (see Plaster and Poison), Waterfield Police Chief Wayne learns a paper the dead Jane Doe carried contained in Russian. The address of the Realty firm is owned by Avery and Derek.  He wants to interview the previous owner Irina Rozhdestvensky and asks Avery to join him when he does though he cautions her not to investigate.  Avery, having worked on mysteries before, agrees.  Soon a second body is pulled from the water.

Mortar and Murder is an engaging amateur sleuth whodunit as the former Manhattan designer “competes” with the police.  The story line is lighthearted fun though readers will wonder why Avery felt an urge to investigate.  Still readers cannot help but like her and Derek who make for a fun coastal Maine whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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