My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
In eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent runs a unique tour company called Paint & Shine, but sometimes the peaceful mountains play host to murder . . .
Miranda’s business—combining Appalachian adventure tours with art and a bit of moonshine—is the perfect place for an outdoor sporting goods company to hold an employee retreat. It’ll be a challenge, but the money they’re paying will definitely help with building her new distillery.
Miranda has lots of teamwork-fostering activities planned, from sketching classes to Southern cooking, but the executive running things prefers a more competitive spirit. In fact, after the workers are split into teams, they’re told that only the winners will keep their jobs, and tensions begin to spike. Even after a participant is found dead, the contest continues—while Miranda starts drawing her own conclusions about the ambitious attendees. Now she just has to find the proof . . .
I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it
I like Cheryl Hollon’s books and I’ve been enjoying this Paint and Shine mystery series. I jumped on the chance to read this one. Death a Sketch is the third book in this series and follows Miranda as she builds her business, organizing adventure tours with art and moonshine. In every book she solves another mystery. In this book she’s organizing a multiple day team building workshop for a group of people from a sportswear company, ofcourse things don’t go as planned. There are some last minute changes in how management wants the workshop to run and high stakes, as well as a murder.
This mystery took a bit of time to really start, but that worked here. We first get to know a bit about the participants in the workshop and what management is like for this company. We get to see how these last minute changes are pushed through and get a feel for the company culture and the pressure on the participants to do well in this workshop. Then someone dies and it’s up to Miranda to figure out who killed him and why, while continuing this intensive workshop. I liked the set-up for this mystery and the way Miranda has to continue the workshop while one of the participants is likely the killer.
I felt that there wasn’t as much investigating in this one, although that didn’t bother me too much as the book is fun to read and I liked reading about all the workshop activities. There are lots of undercurrents and secrets as well. It did bother me a bit how it got resolved as I have no clue how Miranda and the sheriff figured it out and the ending felt a bit rushed. I would’ve liked a bit more wrap up about what’s happening next with the participants of the workshop and their jobs, as well as more explanation about how they figured out the mystery. I didn’t feel like there were enough clues to figure out this mystery as the reader, but I did enjoy reading the mystery and following along.
This is a great series so far. I like reading about Miranda and her business. The combination of art, adventurous hikes, food and moonshine makes for a fun theme of the series. I also enjoy seeing Miranda find her place in the community and reading how she handles the business challenges. This book had her romance with Austin develop a bit more, which was nice to see. I liked reading about her friendship with Rowena. It also made for a good reason for Miranda to get involved in the mystery to make sure her old friend didn’t get blamed for it. I enjoyed reading about the various workshop activities in this book as it varied things up a bit from previous books. There is quite the variety of activities.
To summarize: This was another great read in this series. I am enjoying this series and the combination of themes with the hikes, art, food and moonshine. This book had a fun set-up for the mystery as Miranda organizes a multi day workshop and one of the participants dies. I liked how Miranda got involved and how she tried to solve this. I did feel there isn’t as much investigating due to the workshop, but I liked the way the workshop was the focus of the book and reading about the various activities. The murderer came as a bit of a surprise and I would’ve liked a bit more hints in that direction. The ending felt a bit rushed to me with the wrap up and explanations feeling a bit rushed. I like reading about Miranda and her business and seeing how she finds her place in the community. There’s some romance too and her relationship with Austin progresses. I enjoyed reading this one and look forward to the next one.