About A Brush With Murder
A Brush with Murder: A Paint by Murder Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (October 12, 2021)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643857746
ISBN-13 : 978-1643857749
Digital – ASIN : B08SVXS4J3
A quiet lakeside town in western New York state is the new home of Manhattan artist Chloe Abbington and the backdrop for murder in this series debut by Bailee Abbott.
For Chloe Abbington, the transition from a fine art painter in New York City to a painting-event business owner in charming Whisper Cove is more than a little jarring. But when poison-pen journalist Fiona Gimble writes a viciously negative review of the newly opened Paint with a View, Chloe learns that critics are the same everywhere. And when she finds Fiona’s body behind her shop with a painting knife in her neck, Chloe realizes that this picture-perfect town offers anything but peace and quiet.
Suddenly, bustling Artisan Alley is a crime scene, and Chloe is the prime suspect. Her sister and business partner, Izzie, isn’t much help–she’s busy running the shop, and besides, she has secrets of her own. As shrewd Detective Barrett tries to paint her into a corner, Chloe soon finds that Fiona had plenty of enemies. The Whisper Cove Gazette columnist wielded her pen like a sword, slicing and dicing just about every shop owner in the lakeside town.
Chloe sets out to prove that she’s been framed for Fiona’s murder. But she’d better learn the fine art of detection quickly before the real killer paints the town red again. Otherwise, she may end up trading in her paint smock for an orange jumpsuit…or a green burial plot.
Chloe Abbington has returned to Whisper Cove to help her sister open her new business, Paint with a View, a painting event shop. Chloe isn’t sure when or if she will return to New York, right now she is just going to do her best to make her sister Izzie’s shop a success.
Journalist Fiona Gimble is not a nice person. She has negatively reviewed almost every place in Whisper Cove and enjoyed doing so. Izzie tried to do the right thing by inviting Fiona to her opening night event. Instead, the woman flung one-liners at Chloe during the event and stated she doesn’t know when she will run the article about Izzie’s shop as she hightails it out the door.
As Chloe finishes cleaning up she goes to take the trash out to the dumpster and finds a very dead Fiona Gimble with a painting knife in her neck. Of course, Chloe is the prime suspect, but she really doesn’t have much history with the victim. She needs to convince Detective Barrett there are plenty of other viable suspects while working to clear her name too. The only thing Chloe would want to be framed is her artwork, not herself for a crime she didn’t commit.
In Brush with Murder, author Bailee Abbott introduces us to Chloe, Izzie, and her parents along with Izzie’s employee Willow and some other friends. I really enjoyed meeting Chloe. She really puts her sister’s interests first. Willow is also a hard worker which is a good thing because Izzie’s interests are clearly divided giving me a negative feeling about her. She pushes a lot off onto Chloe’s shoulders and not the way I would expect someone to act when opening their dream business. Some of the tasks Izzie’s came up with to promote her business felt off too, but those issues were minor. Their parents seem to be the quirky characters a mystery like this needs. Mom is pretty set in her ways and Dad is the cuddly guy that tries to smooth everything out. A surprise appearance by Chloe’s ex shakes up the story in a fun way. I felt the author did a nice job of presenting the core characters, but I hope Izzie grows quickly as the other characters evolve at a reasonable pace. Check out the cute puppy on the cover. That is Chloe’s dog Max, lovable from the very start.
The mystery was complicated by the victim’s own actions. She was a ruthless individual leading to a vast number of suspects in her death. The author drops some clear clues but it took me some time to catch on. When I did my thinking was still diverted by some turns and twists perfectly placed by the author. By the end, the guilty party was at the top of my personal suspect list but there were a couple of others still on the list too. I think Ms. Abbott penned a very interesting mystery that kept me on my toes.
The event painting theme was fun. I really liked the painting your pets event and would love to do something like that for my own pets. It seemed to be set up for novice painters which I truly am.
Brush with Murder was a really good first installment for this series. I hope Izzie grows on me in the next installment because I truly like the other characters and think the series has a lot of potential.
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About Bailee Abbott
Bailee Abbott is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Visits to Bemus Point, a town along the Chautauqua Lake in southwest New York inspired the setting for the PAINT BY MURDER mystery series. She also writes the SIERRA PINES B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long.
Great Escapes Praise for A Brush with Murder: A Paint by Murder Mystery
by Bailee Abbott
A Brush with Murder transports readers to Whisper Cove where there is a wrathful departed reporter, pleasurable paint projects, shop owner suspects, a cuddly canine, a determined detective, a bothersome ex-beau, and a curious Chloe.
~The Avid Reader
I loved the characters and the backdrop of painting was so entertaining.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”