One thing that I love about cozy mysteries is that they can actually leave you with a good feeling, while they navigate around touchy topics like murders, some of which are brutal. Skinny Dipping With Murder (An Otter Lake Mystery book 1) by Auralee Wallace took that a step further and actually made me laugh out loud, often, throughout the whole book. It was hilarious and had a murder mystery! Perfect!
From the back of the book:
Welcome to Otter Lake, where the relaxing, restorative atmosphere is to die for.
Erica Bloom is in no rush to return to Otter Lake, the site of her mother's spiritual retreat for women. Erica met her inner goddess years ago and she's happy to have forged a new identity on her own, thank you very much. But her new-age-y, well-meaning mother is losing her grip on the business, and needs Erica's help. So she heads back to her New Hampshire hometown, where nothing much has changed-except for maybe the body in the well...
SKINNY DIPPING WITH MURDER
When Erica was a teenager, she fell prey to a practical joke that left her near-naked in Otter Lake's annual Raspberry Social. The incident was humiliating, but it wasn't like anyone got killed-until now. Those who were behind that long-ago prank are starting to turn up dead, and Erica's appearance in town makes her a prime suspect. To make matters worse, the town sheriff just happens to be Erica's old nemesis, Grady Forrester...who also happens to be hotter than ever. Can Erica find a way to dig up the truth-before someone digs her grave?
The first book in Auralee Wallace's Otter Lake Mystery series is a killer good time!
I talk a lot about characters and that is because I really believe they make a story. The characters in this book are so absolutely fun, hilarious, quirky, and easy to love. All of them! There was not a single one that I didn't love reading. The funny banter worked between them all. Between giggles, there was some romance, which was also funny. And also a murder to solve, not so funny, but since everything else was draped in funny undertones, umm, overtones, it was totally not so dark.
The story grabs you from page one, word one, and zips along dragging you laughing the whole way. I seriously read this in one night. There were a lot of reasonable suspects and I did have the actual guilty party on my shortlist, which is always fun. The climax was tense and ... you guessed it: funny. I needed this read, I needed the laugh. I need to read more. I hear there is a second part coming soon, you will want to grab this, now and be ready for that.
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Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.