Wednesday 13 September 2023

Barrel of Money Murder (Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries Vol. 1) by Margaret Evans

Fans of Laura Keene in the Second Treasures Mysteries will delight in this new series, Laura Keene Cozy Mysteries . In the first story, Barrel of Money Murder , Laura discovers a house in her neighborhood with a reputation for paranormal activity and a patchy history surrounding the builder's death. Was it an accident, or was it murder?

While others may flee in the opposite direction, Laura delves into the original owner's life and unwraps more than she ever wanted to know about him and the so-called "curses" he put on his children and his money. Follow Laura as she, Connor Fitzpatrick, her friends, and of course, her cat Empress Isabella search for a Barrel of Money the owner hid somewhere on his property. Will the curses catch up with them?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Barrel of Money Murder by Margaret Evans is the first book in her Laura Keene Cozy Mystery series.  In this series you will find characters that are familiar as they were in another series (Second Treasures Mysteries) and, of course, Empress Isabella, the magical cat, has her own short story trilogy.

In Barrel of Money Murders main character Laura Keene Fitzpatrick and her husband Sergeant Connor Fitzpatrick are trying to adjust to being newlyweds and enjoy each other.  Unfortunately life always seems to get in the way and Laura ends up going down rabbit holes and doesn't resurface until the dilemma is resolved.  And when Florence Treadlow, local bookstore owner and friend, comes into Laura's store, Second Treasures, and sees some very distinct glassware on a shelf, Laura is forced to look into a cold case of the Franglethorpe family where all members of the family died and all deaths were ruled accidental.

The Franglethorpe family consisted of Cecil Franglethorpe, three wives who gave him a total of fifteen children.  In Cecil's will he has a clause that insisted that if any family member took anything out of his huge estate, they would find themselves cursed.  Florence Treadlow strongly believes that to be true and there is a house in town that is haunted and everyone knows it.  Laura and Connor just so happen to be moving into that same neighborhood a few blocks away from said haunted house. 

Laura is provided a summary of the Franglethorpe family from Charlie Kovacs, owner of the Raging Ford Bulletin and one third of the Kovacs triplets that run Raging Ford who have a sworn promise to watch over Laura and keep her safe.  

Laura enlists the help of her two childhood best friends, her college best friend, her husband and a few members of the police department who are friends as well....and this is all overseen by Connor's father the police chief.  The group are allowed into the old Franglethorpe estate and while looking around, they find journals written by every member of the family as well as the hired help.  So the journals are distributed among the ladies and they begin their deep dive into the family.

Unfortunately the group do not know that they are being watched very closely.  Well the only one to notice this is Empress Isabella who makes sure certain things are discovered and watches Laura very closely.

Readers are going to LOVE and HATE this first book in the Laura Keene Cozy Mystery series because you will fall in love with the town, the people, the relationships, the case they are caught up in and all that ..... but you will HATE the way that Evans ends the story .... for now..... ensuring that as soon as Volume 2 is available you will be right on it.  Evans knows how to end a book knowing that the reader cannot help but want more...... and that is why I love her books and always want more !!!

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