Murder at Harbor Village by GP Gardner
Cozy Mystery, New Series
Lyrical Underground (November 13, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
Digital ASIN: B079WM9X29
About the Book: Young retiree Cleo Mack is trading in academia for a second act in Harbor Village, a community for active seniors in coastal Alabama. But someone in this picture-perfect coastal town is burning the candle at both ends . . .
It’s love at first sight when Cleo arrives in Fairhope, Alabama, after taking early retirement from her longtime position as professor of social work. Touted as “the nicest town in the world,” Fairhope is home to an eclectic community of retirees. Harbor Village boasts classes in painting, pottery, and photography, not to mention being a buyer’s market for husbands. It seems an ideal place to make new friends and rediscover life. Until a dead body is found in the pool.
When the victim turns out to be the unpopular director of senior living, Cleo is named acting director. Now she must rely on her well-honed people skills to uncover a killer in a place where short-term memory isn’t what it used to be, and age is just a number. And if Cleo keeps snooping around, her number may soon be up . .
Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama. Cleo Mack is considering taking retirement after being offered an incentive, but she is still too young to retire and is not sure if she can handle it financially. She is a social worker, but has recently been teaching at the University. She is in town looking to see if she wants to move to the small town, close to her daughter and her family. Shortly after arriving in town, Cleo meets a resident of the retirement community, Harbor Village. As well, she meets the director of the village at a coffee shop. After a conversation, she is offered a part-time position as resident director at Harbor Village and an apartment in the complex. When the Director of the facility is found floating in the pool dead, a strange set of circumstances is set into motion. It’s also a shock for Cleo to learn that the unlikable lady is also the current wife of her estranged ex husband. Cleo is named Acting Director and works with the police to help solve the murder. Cleo soon discovers that things inside the idyllic community are not what they seem.
This was a fun and interesting cozy with a couple of mysteries that tie together in the end. There was a lot of questionable circumstances, especially surrounding how Cleo got her job, but it is fiction. The culprit was pretty easy to figure out, but it was finding the evidence and being able to determine who was involved that kept the story going. I enjoyed most of the characters, but especially Patti. It will be nice to see her continue to develop in future books. This was a good start to a new series, and I am looking forward to seeing where G.P. Garner goes with these characters in her next book. The publisher, Lyrical Underground, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author
Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at gpgardner.com.