Murder by the Book - Devorah Fox
FYI: Blackmail Rape. Domestic Violence.

It’s short obviously, and I think if you know that going in you’ll be alright. My e-copy was 28 pages with the cover, but 3 were for the standard table of contents & about the author meaning it has 24 pages to devoted to the story.

Candy is an immediately likable protagonist for me, with an asshole boss just trying to make it through the day-to-day. While Mr. Sleink is hated by everyone, Candy can’t imagine who would actually murder him. Little does she know…

Murder by the Book has twisty relationships, an attractive detective, and an ameteaur bumbling along. Though the set up for her being involved is solid rather than outlandish like some.

Because it’s so short, things just tumble out instead of her having to tease, plod, and sleuth. Her co-workers basically blurt out their secrets to her. On the flip side, confessing to the cops under pressure quickly makes perfect sense.

I will say the clues the dead man supposedly gave was a bit outlandish for me. It’s not established that he’d be the type to do this, that he thought this way, or that he had the time.

Thankfully the standard interviewing of suspects, motive, opportunity, and such are realistic.

Murder by the Book is a cozy mystery, but condensed so the hijinks were cut and the realism amped up. With this set-up, characters, and outcome I think it’d work well as a full novel.

BUT it’d have to handle the rape and domestic violence and the victim well. With so little page time focused on it here, it’s hard to criticism as it’s just there.

It’s short and good, no worries there. I was happy with my choice and didn’t regret it. It was pleasantly surprising how nice it was to complete when I usually go for the long fantasy novels.

It’s 99 cents on Amazon, so the only question is if it’s worth it to you. It’s too bad it’s not on Kindle Unlimited, though that makes sense given the low page count.

It’s a short story if you need a brief escape, or an easy way to meet challenge numbers ;)