Title: The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder
Author: Marla A. White
Genre: Holiday Cozy Mystery
After injuring herself on the job as a Los Angeles cop, Mel O’Rourke leaves the force battered both physically and mentally. Looking for a fresh start, she moves to a quiet mountain town and opens the Babbling Brook Inn. Excited for her new life, Mel decides to participate in the town’s holiday cookie contest, but her newfound joy goes up in smoke when one of her guests turns up dead in her lobby.
Mel is tempted to attribute the death to natural causes but when another guest dies, her cop instincts kick in. The local Sheriff tells her to stand down, but Mel can’t let it go. With everything on the line, she has to push through her fears to catch the killer before more bodies drop, perhaps even her own.
In order to keep the Babbling Brook Inn from losing more guests, Mel must catch the killer or she’s through. An injury forced Mel O’Roarke to leave the police force, but her cop instincts are still alive and kicking. She loves her new quiet life as an innkeeper in a small mountain town. She’s getting to know the townsfolk and even enters a holiday cookie contest but all that comes crashing down when a guest is found dead at her inn. She chalks it up to natural causes at first, but her cop instincts go on red alert when a second guest is murdered. The sheriff tells her it’s just a coincidence, but she trusts her own gut. She starts investigating herself and when she gets too close, the murderer tries to kill her. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Mel. Can she nab the killer before the body count grows?
The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder is a fantastic holiday cozy mystery I read in one sitting. I love a good cozy mystery, especially during the holiday season. Marla White blends cozy mystery with small town holidays perfectly. I adored Mel as the heroine. She’s very likable with honest reactions. The rest of the characters were quirky with their own backstories. Any of the characters fit the profile of a killer but the motive was a complete surprise. The plot moved at a nice easy pace, even though it was less than a hundred pages. Marla White’s writing captures the reader’s attention and keeps the reader invested until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder and I look forward to more from Marla White. If you’re looking for a holiday cozy, pick up The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Marla White started her illustrious career as a storyteller at the age of four by drawing on the TV screen to help Winky Dink get out of mortal danger, earning her a firm spanking. Deterred by the negative feedback, she studied to be a park ranger instead until she realized it was really a TV show about park rangers she liked, not the actual outdoors.
After a stint working in local TV as an assistant/hand model/ad copywriter and occasionally a camera operator, she came out west. Her first job was working for the producers of “A League of Their Own” but no, the character of Marla is not named after her. She’s been involved in several award winning television movies and was the head of television for Emmy Award winner Peter Tolan’s Fedora Entertainment. Additionally, she teaches story analysis and story workshop at UCLA Extension.
Appropriately, she found out on April Fool’s Day she’d sold her first book, "The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder” to Wild Rose Press.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N