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A Willing Murder (A Medlar Mystery) by Jude…

A Willing Murder (A Medlar Mystery) (2018)

by Jude Deveraux

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1349141,659 (3.45)11
Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she'd admired as a child. It's much too big for her alone, but she'd die before letting anyone in town know that. Then Sara's niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan - a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she'll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara's home, she finds she's not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it's impossible to deny his good looks and charm - he's clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger - she's also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does. However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan's murky past to unravel the small town's dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to light.… (more)



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I enjoyed this and am glad I read it. I did have some difficulty keeping all the families and half siblings straight. It was very easy to see who the killer was from the beginning but it was enjoyable watching the trio discover it as well and listening to them quibble among themselves. I will definitely read more in the series. ( )
  bookswithmom | Dec 18, 2019 |
An unlikely trio become a team of amateur sleuths in this first book in a new series by Jude Devereaux. Sara Medlar, an aging and rather prolific romance writer, has returned to her hometown of Lachlan, Florida. It is a huge home and before she knows it, she is sharing it. For starters, her first houseguest, Jackson Wyatt, is very special to Sara. He is the grandson of her one true love, and she loves Jack as her own. When Sara's niece, Kate, is offered a real-estate job in Lachlan, Sara gets a dual opportunity. Not only is she able to fill her home further, but she is afforded the opportunity to get to know her niece.

As two skeletons are uncovered on another site, the team decide to investigate things for themselves. As they do so, however, that people would much rather not talk about it, wishing even the bodies had never been discovered. This only drives, Sara, Jack and Kate further when it comes to getting to he bottom of things.

Lachlan is a quiet town, with an apparently quiet past. However, the past is indeed revealed and long-dead secrets are ultimately exposed. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the series, as well as the second, A Justified Murder. This is certainly like many of the cozy mystery series that I read. Lately, I have been reading several stories with amateur sleuths and this team, and their methods, is quite delightful. ( )
  RobinLovesReading | Oct 25, 2019 |
Not a bad first book from Deveraux in this genre. While it wasn't on the edge of your seat type of suspense, there were some twists and turns and the characters were enjoyable. ( )
  eesti23 | Jun 1, 2019 |
This was a netgalley, the first in a new crime series set in Florida. Kate's father died when she was young: she heads back to the small town he came from to try and find out more about him. She meets her aunt, a woman who bears no relation to her mother's description. And then a historical murder is discovered, and unpleasant secrets in the small town begin to emerge.

Although I liked the relationship between Kate and her family, in places this felt rather workmanlike. Given that it's a series though, I could see this improving in the subsequent books. There's a strong romance element, which is the genre the author has previously published in.
  charl08 | Apr 16, 2019 |
A Willing Murder by Jude Devereaux is a 2018 MIRA publication.

An impressive beginning for this new mystery series!

Kate wants to learn more about her deceased father, a man she never had a chance to know. To that end, she hunts down her father’s sister, Sara. To her surprise, Sara is a famous romance author, now retired.

After Kate manages to find a job in her Aunt Sara’s hometown, Sara invites her to stay with her at the old mansion she is re-modeling.

However, Kate is not Sara’s only guest. Jackson Wyatt, is also living on the estate, while recovering from a devastating car accident.

Unfortunately, Kate and Jackson seem to rub one another the wrong way. However, the trio becomes focused on the unsettling discovery of a pair of skeletons found buried beneath a rotting tree. As it turns out, Jack had a bittersweet relationship with one of the victims, which prompts Sara and Kate to help Jack find closure by discovering what really happened to them.

However, there are forces at work preventing them from unearthing anymore small- town secrets.

Addressing the elephant in the room first: Yes, this is the Jude Devereaux, who has written 31 New York Times bestsellers as a historical and contemporary romance author.

To my knowledge, this is her first attempt at writing a pure mystery.

In my opinion, Devereaux has done an admirable job with laying the groundwork for what could be the start of a long running mystery series.

Things did get off to a shaky start with too many convenient developments taking place, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Jack and Kate’s banter, in the beginning. What has apparently supposed to pass for humor fell flat, but after the story progressed and I became better acquainted with the characters, the more I appreciated the dialogue.

I did enjoy the quirkiness of the story, the eccentricity of the characters, and of course I just love small town secrets and drama. Another thing I enjoyed about this story was the cold case element, which is one of my favorite mystery tropes.

One thing I think is worth mentioning, however, is that while not marketed as such, specifically, this book could also fit into the cozy mystery category- (and some readers have already caught on to that).

The violence, language, and sexual chemistry are very mild and of course, Sara, Kate and Jack are amateur sleuths, so technically, this one might also appeal to those who enjoy the reading cozies. However, fans of pure, standard mysteries may be the targeted demographic.

The emotional issues at play, such as Kate’s relationship with her mother, the questions she has about her father, and Jack’s torment over his tragic car accident, didn’t weigh the story down, or take center stage. However, I did wish for a little more information about Kate’s father.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It’s an easy, light, mystery with likeable characters, mixed with humor and a few mild sarcastic jabs, here and there. I am looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Sara, Kate, and Jack develops and what this unique trio will get up to next! ( )
  gpangel | Mar 29, 2019 |
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