Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery #3)
by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars
Myrtle is preparing for Christmas, when the proprietor of a mercantile shop is murdered and the culprit rearranges the display window to predict the next murder. Myrtle has to investigate the cold-case of a young woman who disappeared from the local college years before, in order to solve the string of murders that are threatening to ruin everyone’s holiday.
I cannot describe how much I loved this third book in the Myrtle series!
One of the things that made me fall in love with this book is the incredible character development. I love how the main characters change their minds, discover new information, grow in their personalities and abilities, and suddenly realize that their relationships with other characters can be different.
I was fully invested in the character growth and the story from the very first page. The writing drew me in, and emotionally hooked me into the lives of the characters. Myrtle herself is a fantastic main heroine. She is energetic and emotional and incredibly intelligent. I absolutely adored her strong relationship with Miss Judson, and her evolving relationship with her Aunt Helena.
I was massively curious about every clue. I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter and the next! I wanted to see how all the disparate clues could possibly come together to a rational conclusion. I was so pleased with the complexity of the mystery, and yet it all made sense in the end with everything explained and every loose end wrapped neatly in a bow. At one point, I thought that I had figured out who the murderer was, but I was completely wrong! I was genuinely surprised at the ending.
The secondary characters are wonderful as well, with the townspeople, policemen, newspaper journalists, and Myrtle’s friends all playing their part. The setting of the beach, the hotel, the pier, and the ships all give a creepy or homey atmosphere to the story that adds so much to the action of each scene.
One of the things I really loved was how the history of the town was a big part of unraveling the murder mystery. Myrtle had to find out about the past in order to understand what was happening in the present, and it gave the story so much depth. Brilliant writing!
Another nice feature of this book is the gorgeous cover art, which gives little clues to the contents of the book with the olives and the Campanile in the background. All these things feature strongly in the plot, and I love how the artwork incorporates them.
I have to mention how humorous the writing is! There is a lot of witty dialogue, funny aside comments to the reader, a jovial and charming unemployed solicitor, and an irrepressible lady journalist. It’s hilarious and wonderful!
I wish I could give this book 10 stars, and I look forward with extreme eagerness for the next books in the series!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.