Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Murder on the Eightfold Path - 3rd in the Mantra for Murder Mystery series
Author: Diana Killian
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: April 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Stillbrook New Jersey (and surrounding areas)
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Diana's Website/Blog: www.girl-detective.net
Finding a body lying prone (dead) in her motherís yard is going to put A.J. Alexander in a rough position. Literally and figuratively. Her mother, Elysia, is the prime suspect (she was seeing poor Dicky) and A.J.ís boyfriend, Jake, is an investigator on the case. Plus, a fall at the crime scene puts A.J. flat on her back.
Naturally, her mother, being a former star, announces to the world if the police arenít going to look any further than her as a suspect, sheíll have to bring the murderer to them. Of course A.J. is sucked into her motherís investigation. Pain or not, she know s her mother too well. If she doesnít keep an eye on her, Elysia may just spend the rest of her life in an orange jumpsuit. As tempestuous as their relationship has been in the past, itís not something A.J. is going to allow to happen. One way or another sheís going to have to try to put a lid on her motherís reckless ideas and rantings.
Easier said than done, but A.J. tries her best as they ferret out leads and create wild yet possible scenarios. These speculations uncover people and things in Dickyís life that even the police didnít know. Now to put the correct pieces in their proper placeÖ
Of course, stress canít come in small doses can itÖ? Thereís something going on in Jakeís life that may change the dynamic of their relationship. And Lily, A.J.ís co-manager at Sacred Balance, is up to something. Something which A.J. has little time to deal with. Perhaps it will all work itself out; itís a job in itself to keep her mother from being killed first.
Elysia makes it hard for the reader to like her until she (infrequently) shows a slightly more humble side. So itís easy for the reader to sympathize with A.J., bless her heart, having to deal with her mother throughout this investigation. Her thoughts and feelings are torn in different directions more than once and she staunchly stands by Elysia and gives into her again and again. Sometimes against her better judgment. It just makes the reader want to shout out advice to A.J. (more than once).
A.J. uses her brains and tries not to take any unnecessary chances, though some situations call for a now-or-never attitude. A good combination in a character which makes it easy for the reader to get to know and side with her. Jake is a bit hard to read, though with each book a layer or two is pulled away. Elysia has made herself known, no bones about it. I enjoy Emma and Suze and hope to see more of them in the future. Now as for LilyÖcould that be another story?
I canít wait to see what Ms. Killian comes up with next.
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