Sunday, February 11, 2024

Review: Murder in a Care Home by Dawn Brookes

by Dawn Brookes
Release Date: January 31, 2024
2024 Oakwood Publishing
Ebook ARC; 282 Pages
ISBN: 978-1913065959
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from author

4 / 5 Stars

A spate of deaths in a care home. Someone is getting away with murder...When her friend Edna suspects foul play following the deaths of two residents from a prestigious retirement community, Marjorie goes undercover to investigate.

Along with her trusted friends Horace, Frederick, and Edna, Marjorie must catch the killer before anyone else dies. Going undercover as new residents, Marjorie and Horace set out to uncover the truth. But there is a ruthless killer in their midst, and Marjorie must catch them before she becomes the next victim. The four friends risk life and limb to uncover the dark secrets hidden behind the walls of the not-so-idyllic community.
My Thoughts
Murder in a Care Home is the fifth book in this series and the first one I read by this author. And while I may have missed out on some of the character and relationship development from the previous books, I thought the author did a great job of introducing just enough information about each of them to make me feel connected to them and to the story.  As a result, I enjoyed the rapport between the characters as well as the actual mystery.
Marjorie and Horace featured the most in this book as they were the ones who entered the care home pretending to be convalescing from an injury and a surgery, and for an exorbitant fee. I loved Marjorie's inner monologue as some of the things about the home were explained to her, especially when she was confronted with the physical activity portion she would have to undergo, and the extra fees she would have to pay.  That she is the leader of the group is not in doubt as she seemed to be the most stable of the four and seemed to be the more logical one as well, so I naturally preferred her character. As I am getting older, I feel like I am preferring my MCs to be older as well so I liked the fact they were all in their eighties and facing issues with health, families, and money as it was more relatable. It also made me think a lot about my own future and what would happen when I reached that age. I will be frank however, and mention that Edna's character is very annoying, almost like a child. The ''What about me?" and "I thought about it first" constant neediness and whininess was extremely tiresome. 

The murder itself was fun, if a bit predictable.  I think I figured it out quite early in the book, but it didn't deter from my liking the story or enjoying the twists and turns the author tried to throw into the story.  Maybe I've read way too many of these, I don't know.  The main characters, while they snooped, didn't really do anything too out there, so I rather like that, and they were willing to share information with each other. The parrot had me cracking up. It makes you think that even though you may plan everything to a tee, forgetting even one little thing, like a bird in a covered cage, can play havoc with your plans. I am not giving away anything to do with the murderer by mentioning this, but I loved that parrot. 

Murder in a Care Home was entertaining, with a plot that was fun and engaging, even if predictable.  While I was not a fan of all the characters, Marjorie is someone with whom I'd love to have a cup of tea and chat about things as I feel she would be very observant and interesting.  I am looking forward to reading the next book when it is released in December 2024.



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