Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Patrick Kelly’s new release, The Overlook Murder. This was an enjoyable cozy mystery/police procedural, the second in the Wintergreen Mysteries series. Scroll down for my review, a character guest post and a giveaway!

The Overlook Murder (Wintergreen Mysteries #2) by Patrick Kelly

Cozy Mystery/Police Procedural, 2nd in Series, Setting – Virginia

Published May 14, 2022 by Chaparral Press LLC

About the Book: It’s a short walk to the overlook but a long way down.

The rich entrepreneur Damian Susskind has recently survived a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery. Suddenly aware of his own mortality, Damian summons his family and friends to Wintergreen to share the latest plans for his will. Unfortunately for Damian, one of those in attendance bears him malicious intent, and by the end of the day, Damian is dead.

Retired police detective Bill O’Shea is asked to help the short-staffed Wintergreen police department investigate an accidental death. Forensic evidence soon convinces Bill that this was no accident. There is plenty of motive to go around and more than a few suspects–the difficulty is tying a single killer to the crime. Will Bill and his friends solve the case, or will a Wintergreen murderer go free?

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love the Wintergreen Mystery Series!

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Overlook Murder is not a traditional cozy mystery, in the sense that it is not an amateur sleuth solving the crime, but it has many of the characteristics. Bill O’Shea is a retired police detective living in Wintergreen, Virginia. He is working with his neighbour Cindy, part time in her catering business. Cindy has a job catering meals at the summer home of wealthy Damian Susskind. Damian invites his lawyer and three beneficiaries of his will, as well as his secretary to a retreat at his home to discuss their lives, his business and his will. He has recently recovered from a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery. Someone at the house doesn’t want the will to be changed and by the end of the day, Damian is dead at the bottom of the overlook, from an apparent heart attack that caused him to fall. The Wintergreen police department is short staffed, so the interim chief asks Bill to help out and he is made a consultant. As more information is brought forward it is clear that Damian was murdered and it is up to Bill and two young detectives to solve the crime.

I enjoyed this story, with its mystery, police procedural aspect, and personal storylines all rolled into one. I liked Bill’s character. He was very smart and had great instincts. Not being a police officer, he was able to cross a few lines with his investigating and questioning, but never doing anything that would hurt the possible arrest and conviction. His personal life played out parallel to the investigation, with Cindy also being a suspect at one point. He was very realistic and their relationship had natural ups and downs. Mitch and Krista, the police officers working the case, are young and not very experienced but they are learning and didn’t get upset that Bill was leading the investigation. I liked that Krista was smart, especially with technology and helped to break the case open. There were various suspects that all had motives, most of them being money, as well as a few red herrings. I kept changing my mind on who I thought was guilty and when the reveal finally came, I was happy with the choice of killer, but also somewhat surprised. This is not a fast paced story, or one with a lot of action, it is a clean, investigation that kept me interested from beginning to end. Overall, this was an enjoyable story with a good mystery, great characters and nice backstories. I did not read the first book in this series, but I will go back and pick it up to find out how Bill ended up in Wintergreen solving his first murder. I recommend it to those who like a good, clean mystery with interesting characters and plot.

Purchase Links – AmazonKoboB&N

Should I Get a Dog? (Character Guest Post from Bill)

Hey, Carla. Thank you for inviting me to be a character guest today. I could use your readers’ help with a difficult decision. Should I get a dog?

“Dad,” my son Matt said on a video call we had yesterday, “I hate to think of you living up there in Wintergreen all by yourself. You’ll go crazy if you don’t find someone, or something, to keep you company.”

Matt is a graphic artist and lives in Savannah, Georgia. I’ve only lived here in Wintergreen a few months, and he hasn’t yet come to visit, so he doesn’t realize that I’ve already made a number of new friends. Truthfully, I’ve lived alone since my ex-wife, Wanda, and I split up years ago. But I didn’t have a dog when I was working as a homicide detective in Columbia, South Carolina. Why do I need one now?

My other son Brandon echoed this concern on another call, and so did Wanda. In fact, I first heard the dog idea from Wanda. “You should get a dog, Bill,” she said. “You know what they say, ‘A dog is man’s best friend.’” The three of them must have conferred on the matter, because over the course of one week, each of them brought it up.

And on our call yesterday, Matt reiterated the point when he said, “I think a dog is the perfect antidote for your loneliness.”

“Who says I’m lonely?” I said.

“I know you feel great about the view and the nice warm weather you’ve had all summer.”

“Actually, fall has already arrived in Wintergreen,” I said. “The temperatures are dipping into the forties at night, and the foliage is gorgeous. You should come visit.”

“But winter will be here soon,” said Matt. “When it snows and is freezing outside, you’ll grow lonelier still. The gray days get very long. A dog would cheer you up.”

“I’ll think about it,” I said, and a few minutes later, we ended the call.

But let’s face it–dogs are high maintenance. They cost a lot–both in terms of time and money. With my current situation, if I want to sleep in, no one hassles me about it. I hardly ever sleep in, but that’s not the point. When the snow does come, and my friends have assured me that it will come, I don’t have to go
outside at all for days at a time. I can throw another log on the fire, dial up a new movie, and relax. But with a dog, life’s not that simple. A dog must go out for exercise and to do their business at least four times a day.

And then, of course, there’s the money spent for food, vet bills, and boarding fees if I want to take a trip. The canine-driven costs would cut into my other areas of discretionary spending. I like to open an expensive bottle of wine once in a while and hate to think I’d have to give that up.

On the other hand, there are times when I could use a friend, someone who would enjoy watching another episode of a cop show and wouldn’t give me a hard time about staying up late.

It’s a puzzler all right. If only I could get a loaner dog and try them out for a month. Back in Columbia, folks signed up to be foster hosts for pet rescue services, but I didn’t know if those opportunities existed in Nelson County.

Heh. Wait a minute. My friend Frieda Chang has a poodle named Curly that enjoys my company. I met Frieda and Curly while investigating what has become known here in Wintergreen as The Overlook Murder. Frieda is a romance writer and often travels to readers’ conferences in far flung cities. When Frieda leaves town, Curly stays at a care center down in Nellysford, but maybe next time, Curly
could stay with me.

I called Frieda right away, and she loved the idea. So, it looks like I’ll be taking care of Curly before too long, and if it works out, well, maybe I’ll get a dog too.

Hey, readers. What do you think? Should I get a dog? And if so, what breed would you suggest?


Enter for a chance to win a prize package which includes a signed print copy of The Overlook Murder, mailed to the winner’s home (US or Canada) plus a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

About the Author: Pat Kelly was raised in Yorktown, Virginia, graduated from UVA, and left the state to pursue a corporate career. After settling in Texas, Pat married Susie, and together they raised two daughters in the awesome city of Austin. With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories.

Pat has written eight novels–books one and two in the Wintergreen Mystery Series, the Joe Robbins Series of five suspense thrillers, and one standalone novel of historical fiction (The Sheila Stories)

Pat is the winner of a Beverly Hills Book Award and a silver medalist for the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for adult fiction. He serves as Membership Chair of the Heart of Texas Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

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