A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon
Published by Tantor Audio on August 30, 2016
Series: Cat Latimer Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
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Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder…The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.
Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?
A Story to Kill is the first book in Lynn Cahoon’s Cat Latimer series. It’s an interesting read because it leans heavily toward romance at times, just as much as it’s a cozy mystery. As a romance reader, I loved this aspect, but I think that readers who don’t care for romance in general might not enjoy the secondary plot.
Previously an English professor and now an author of young adult novels, Cat Latimer has inherited a Victorian house in Colorado after the death of her ex-husband. She’s surprised to inherit since they were already divorced at the time of his death, and they had split up because of his infidelity. Cat decides to turn the house into a bed and breakfast writers’ retreat and is looking forward to her first group of guests.
That group includes bestselling novelist Tom Cook and some fun supporting characters such as Rose and Daisy, the hilarious sisters of a certain age who both write romance novels. The group also includes some less than savory characters, such as a disgruntled aspiring writer and a standoffish grad student. Rounding out the cast are Cat’s BFF and culinary whiz Shauna, as well as Cat’s first love from high school, Seth, who’s the handyman fixing up the house.
The retreat gets off to a rocky start when Cat stumbles upon Tom Cook, dead in his room. Cat’s uncle, the local police chief, is on the case—but Cat’s also doing some detective work of her own. Juggling a brand-new B&B, a new book on deadline, the mystery of Tom’s murder, and a possible second chance with Seth, and Cat’s got quite a bit on her plate.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. As I mentioned, the plot leans pretty heavily on the rekindled romance between Cat and Seth. Personally, I’d love to read their romance novel, mystery optional! They have an interesting history together: high school sweethearts until Seth joined the Army and Cat went to college, where she fell for her professor and married him, only to discover he was unfaithful and divorced him. Cat and Seth are very much able to pick back up where they left off, but I felt that there was so much still to be explored in the complexities of their relationship.
As a mystery, I enjoyed the story. However, as I mentioned, there’s a strong romance subplot and I think many cozy readers might not go for that. For me, it was a fun read and a great start to the series.
Rating: 4 stars