COLOR ME MURDER
By Krista Davis
Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore by day and creator of intricate coloring books for adults by night, has a housing problem. For years she’s rented an apartment in Reston, Virginia, but the commute is terrible. She’s been on the hunt for new digs in Georgetown but, alas, the rents are beyond her budget. Then a miracle happens, thanks to the largesse of Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers her the opportunity to live in the carriage house adjacent to his own magnificent digs, rent-free.
There’s a catch. Florrie has to move all her belongings into the house by 6:00 that evening, because his sister has been pressuring him to let her son, Delbert, live there. The professor detests his nephew, and in the brief encounter Florrie has with Delbert, she understands why.
On her first night, Florrie wakens to hear someone trying the handle of the French doors, and calls Maxwell and his majordomo, the very proper Mr. Dubois, to come to her rescue. When the professor’s sister calls the next morning, hysterical that Delbert didn’t come home the previous night, Florrie can’t help but wonder if he was her late-night intruder. Although she dislikes Delbert, she’s not prepared to find his dead body hidden in the bookstore.
Things go from bad to worse when Professor Maxwell is arrested for murder. And the police, including the very handsome Sergeant Jonquille, feel that Florrie knows more than she realizes. Doodling clues in her sketchbook, Florrie begins to consider other colorful characters who’ve been involved in Delbert’s life, all with a motive for murder. And she’s shocked to discover that she should add her sister, Veronica, to the list.
“Color Me Murder” is the first title in the Pen & Ink Mystery series by the prolific Krista Davis. It’s a terrific start to what promises to be a clever series. I’m looking forward to more adventures with Florrie Fox and her pals.