Irregardless of Murder: by E. E. Kennedy
a Miss Prentice Cozy Mystery Book I
Publisher: Sheaf House
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (320 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia
Book 2, Death Dangles a Participle releases September 2013!
Amelia Prentice, fortyish high school English teacher, trips over a corpse in the public library. Now her cozy small town life in the Adirondacks will never be the same.
Amelia (whose pet peeve is the non-word irregardless) returns to school, only to learn: This death was no accident and she’s a murder suspect. The victim’s mother disappears; friend Lily is thrown overboard from the Lake Champlain ferryboat, a mysterious millionaire wants to buy Amelia’s house, the school nurse is viciously attacked and Amelia’s old beau Gil seems interested again. And, of course, there’s the Lake Champlain monster.
It will take all Amelia’s wisdom, humor and faith to figure out what’s going on. If she survives . . .
Truly serendipity for me! The words “cozy” and “murder” hardly seem to fit together, making me think this might be a change of pace from the romance and mystery I usually read. Of course, seeing “irregardless” made my fingers itch to get out the red pen and start marking, but I refrained and started reading—had a delightful, “whodunit”, clue-seeking weekend with Miss Prentice and her friends and acquaintances. Along the way, love wiggled its way in and curled up to stay. Irregardless of Murder captivates—beautifully written. It is clever, humorous, and insightful with glimpses of emotional and spiritual awareness that seem to slip in at just the right time.
The reader is into the environment and action with all the senses engaged from the start. The action glides along gathering unique characters and clues like a Pied Piper.
Miss Amelia Prentice, high school English teacher, loyal friend, Sunday school teacher, and pillar of the community, is a suspect in the murder of one of her former students. She takes it all in stride. Her acceptance of people and their eccentricities brings together a kaleidoscopic of personalities. Consequently, her hostility toward Gil Dickensen causes one to take notice. Gil’s nephew Vern, with his unquenchable optimism, ignores the chilly attitude Amelia and Gil have operated in for over a decade and becomes not only Amelia’s bodyguard but also a determined matchmaker.
Amelia’s best friend, Lily Burns, so wrapped up in herself, keeps things stirred up without even trying. Her ‘aversion’ to Dr. Alexander (Alec) is an ongoing touch of humor as the eccentric Alec pursues his search for the Lake Champlain monster all the while humming or whistling hymns that always seem to fit the action going on. His background is mysterious but his tenacity and unfailing help makes him especially relevant to the plot.
The many secondary characters add texture to the story. Sally Jennings, the ‘go-getter’ realtor, has her special agenda and a voracious greed. The extremes she is willing to go to in order to get what she wants is amazing. Judith Dee, the school nurse, who is eager to tend anybody’s wounds and quick to offer pain killers, gives one pause for thought. Marie, the mother of the murdered woman, who has a secretive past, finds that past sneaking into the present. Stephen Trechere , the Montreal of millionaire, who wants to buy Amelia’s home, has an intriguing reason for wanting it. Many of Miss Amelia Prentice’s students get entangled with the murder investigation and create some tense scenes as Amelia and her friends get through some pulse-pounding, dangerous moments. Of course, Sam the cat does his part to entertain.
The unraveling of ‘whodunit’ kept me searching for clues, laughing with the characters’ antics, and feeling good about how the they overcome sadness, adversity, and past mistakes to forgive themselves and others.
E. E. Kennedy’s writing sparkles with humor, well-concealed clues, a fair share of red herrings, abiding love, and a very special touch of spiritual insight.
Irregardless of Murder is a keeper!