Moving Is Murder by Joan Havelange

Moving Is Murder by Joan Havelange
Publisher: BLW Publishing Inc.
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

How well do you know your neighbours?

Linda Burton is house-sitting for her aunt’s friend in the pretty little town of Glenhaven. Linda, who has spent her working career in the city, has fallen in love with the pleasant little country village. Everyone she has met is so friendly.

Strolling down the alley one evening in search of Gertrude, a pet cat. She hears a voice complaining about burying a body. Not completely convinced she heard correctly. Linda decides to emulate her heroes. Amateur detectives. She tries her hand at detecting. Unfortunately, Linda puts her trust in the wrong person.

Can Linda outwit the killer? Will her aunt Violet figure out the clues Linda has left? And even if Violet does, will it be too late for Linda? And will Violet fall into the same trap?

Even the sleepiest small Canadian town can hide deadly secrets.

The mystery was exciting and well-paced. Linda quickly found herself wrapped up in something she was wildly unprepared for, so I had to keep reading to see how she’d react to the most recent threat to her safety. That’s the sort of storytelling that I like to find, and it made me curious to read more from Ms. Havelange than I already have so far.

There were times when I struggled with Linda’s blunt and sometimes awkward personality. Given that she had heard a lot of stories about her aunt’s previous cases, I was surprised by how socially unaware she could be in sensitive and potentially quite dangerous situations like sneaking into other people’s backyards or homes to see if they had dead bodies stashed anywhere there. This would have made more sense for the first instalment of a series, but it felt out of place for me for a character who should have known better. If this had been explained better, I would have felt comfortable choosing a higher rating as I am a fan of her and the other main characters in general and have enjoyed what I’ve read about them so far.

I appreciated the descriptions of the many reasons why some people are drawn to small town life. The narrator did a good job of explaining the benefits to knowing all of the neighbors well and of living in a quiet place that tends to stay more or less the same from one year to the next. I could feel the author’s love of this setting, and it made me smile to see her spend so much time developing it as well as the unique folks who lived in Glenhaven.

This book is part of a series, but it can be read out of order or as a standalone work.

Moving Is Murder kept me guessing.

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