Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: A Gift for Murder - 1st in the Market Center Mystery series
Author: Karen McCullough
Release Date: January 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present, Washington DC
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Karen's Website/Blog: www.karenmccullough.com
What can I say? I loved this book. It's rated as a cozy mystery but, It's got much more than that. The characters are great, the plot is wonderful and I was really into it from the beginning.
Our main character, Heather McNeil, is assistant to the Director of the Washington, DC Commerce and Market Show Center; Janelle Addison, is the Director and Heather's superior and Scott Brandon is a former policeman and a newly hired security officer for the Center. Most of the action in the story revolves around these three but, there are many interesting characters intermingled with these.
For most weeks out of each year Heather loves her job very much but, the biggest show of each year is the Gift and Home trade show and is a weeklong (which usually seems like months to the workers). This year, so far, there are misplaced shipments, exhibitors who are fighting with the staff and among themselves and a malfunctioning popcorn machine that will keep Heather busy. Along with all this mess, Heather finds the body of a murdered executive from one of the company’s that is selling their wares dumped in a trash bin. After this Heather's personal and professional life is thrown into the wringer.
The police have arrested the man's wife but Heather and many of the other exhibitors and friends do not believe that she is guilty. She tries to figure out what happened with the help of Scott Brandon and some other staff and discovers that other people might be in danger. Her only real help comes from another of the exhibitors with a motive of his own. Heather and Scott hurry to try and discover the culprit before the show ends and everyone goes off to all parts of the country. She risks her health and her job and her life to discover who killed the executive and if she can't identify the killer she may end up dead.
As I said before, I loved this!! The writing is first rate and I'm surely looking forward to more from this author. I've been to trade shows and I remember that they are very difficult and there are people coming at you from all directions and that was out in the country. In Washington, DC it would be horrendous. I'm hoping that this author is ready with another Heather adventure and will be looking for it on the book shelves. Enjoy, and I'll talk to you soon.
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