Saturday, November 30, 2019

#Book #Review ~ Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery, Book 5) by Sybil Johnson ~ #CozyMystery @SybilJohnson19

Book Details:

An Aurora Anderson Mystery
Cozy Mystery 
5th in Series 
Henery Press
November 19, 2019
Paperback: 264 pages 
ISBN-10: 1635115590 
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598 
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN

Purchase Links:

About Ghosts of Painting Past:

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.
About Sybil Johnson

My Review:

Ghosts of Painting Past is another wonderful book in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series. I’m so happy to be visiting Vista Beach again. Rory, Liz, Martin, and Rory’s parents are back in a mystery that pulls on the memories of citizens of Vista Beach. Swan and Arika Anderson are swept back into their pasts as high schoolers in Vista Beach when the discovery of a missing classmate rocks the community.

The story's setting is during the Christmas season in Vista Beach, California. As the town is gearing up for the festivities, Rory is assisting in the preparation of the Christmas craft show, the lighting of the trees along the pier, and the annual sand-man contest. As she’s working at home though, a disturbance across the street pulls her away. The property soon becomes a crime scene and past and present collide into an unsavory case for Martin, Rory’s police officer boyfriend.

There are several storylines in Ghosts of Painting Past that are seemingly distinct, but the author takes each thread and magically weaves them all together. Ghosts of Painting Past is engaging, flows well, and keeps the reader on their toes. The red herrings tossed in will keep the reader guessing what exactly is going on and then near the end everything seamlessly falls into place.

Rory is a great character, very compassionate and determined exonerate her father, even if it means taking unsafe and unnecessary chances. Her boyfriend, Detective Martin Green, is a wonderful character and we see a bit more of their romance but also some doubts. The couple has some emotionally charged scenes and I’m happy to see their characters are human and imperfect.

I enjoy the fact their romance doesn't overshadow the other threads in the book. Martin is my favorite character in the book. He's capable and competent, and I love his interactions with Rory, even when things are tense. I loved Liz, Rory's friend, and Arika, Rory's mother. They were unique and added to the story.

The story was a quick and easy read. There wasn't anything confusing or hard to understand. The dialogue between all the characters was fluid and comfortable. The author does a great job creating a world that grabs the reader and pulls them in, keeping them engaged from start to finish. The characters are vibrant and exciting for the most part. I really enjoyed Ghosts of Painting Past.

My Rating:

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