I received this book for free from Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Dark and Stormy Murder (A Writer's Apprentice Mystery #1) by Julia Buckley
Series: A Writer's Apprentice Mystery #1
Published by Berkley on July 5th 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Purchase: At Amazon
Lena London's literary dreams are coming true—as long as she can avoid any real-life villains...
Camilla Graham’s bestselling suspense novels inspired Lena London to become a writer, so when she lands a job as Camilla’s new assistant, she can’t believe her luck. Not only will she help her idol craft an enchanting new mystery, she’ll get to live rent-free in Camilla’s gorgeous Victorian home in the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana.
But Lena’s fortune soon changes for the worse. First, she lands in the center of small town gossip for befriending the local recluse. Then, she stumbles across one thing that a Camilla Graham novel is never without—a dead body, found on her new boss’s lakefront property.
Now Lena must take a page out of one of Camilla’s books to hunt down clues in a real crime that seems to be connected to the novelist’s mysterious estate—before the killer writes them both out of the story for good...
I was a little iffy on the first page of the book, because the main character is reading a mystery novel. And the plot of the novel was written out. So it was like reading a book inside a book. Which was a bit weird. But after that first page and a bit, the author stopped doing that and just concentrated on the actual book. Each chapter has a paragraph of the novel Lena and Camilla are writing together. And I think it was supposed to give you an idea about what each chapter was going to be about. But after reading the first two, I stopped reading them and just read the chapters themselves.
There was a bit of a love triangle in the book, but Lena did make her choice before the end. I loved how the mystery of the house was done, and how Lena met a bunch of the residents in the town. I had no idea who the killer was, but it made total sense once the reveal happened.
I really liked that there were two main mysteries in the book. The murder and a secondary crime. The second mystery was partially solved, but not completely and sounds like it will be picked back up in the second book. I’m not usually a fan of cliffhanger endings, but this one had enough wrapped up that I didn’t mind so much. Especially as it was the secondary mystery that remains unsolved, and not the main one.
I loved Lena and Camilla as characters. The way their relationship developed during the story worked really well. I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series, and if you haven’t read this one yet, I recommend it!