This book was light and fun!
Summary via Goodreads:
After the death of Elizabeth Parker’s great-uncle Martin Reynolds, the family’s house in the picturesque Maryland town of St. Michaels is sold. When the new owners dig up the pool, they find the body of the man thought to have run off eight years earlier after embezzling over a million dollars from the family business.
This grisly discovery not only unearths old questions about what really happened to the stolen money, but it brings Detective Joe Muldoon back into the family’s lives. Eight years earlier, Elizabeth’s cousin Ann reluctantly broke off her relationship with Joe due to family pressure. Ann always regretted that decision and now fears that it is too late for her and Joe–especially after she becomes the main suspect.
In Murder Most Persuasive, a clever and entertaining story with echoes of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Elizabeth tries to not only match wits against a killer who’s had an eight year head-start, but to also try her hand at matchmaking.
I admit, Persuasion isn’t my favorite Jane Austen novel, and listening to it while reading Murder Most Persuasive confirmed that. Still, I’m glad I revisited it, because I would have missed most of the Austen references in this book, and then I would have missed out on much of the fun.
I haven’t read any of the previous books in the Elizabeth Parker series, but that didn’t present any problems here.
The characters are lively and well-drawn. I suspect there is a little more depth if you watch them from book to book, but I enjoyed them as presented. I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth, as she struggled with a job she didn’t love and a sister she loved but didn’t always like (with good reason!).
The mystery was reasonably complex and well presented. I figured out the murderer fairly early on, but there really was some luck involved in that guess, and I did have my doubts as the story moved along.
And (as I mentioned above) the Austen references were lots of fun! The book never tries to be a retelling of Persuasion, so there isn’t any worry about getting the details wrong. It simply is a story with amusing references and parallels.
Mystery loving Austen fans should check out this series.
Kaye Publicity sent me a copy of this Murder Most Persuasive for review. Thank you!