It may be my imagination but I think Betsy Brannon Green get better with every book she writes. And I’m not the only one. Author of over fifteen novels to date, Green was chosen as a finalist for the 2008 Whitney Awards in the category of Best Mystery and Suspense. Her book Murder by the Numbers, published through Covenant Communications in 2009 is also a finalist this year.
If the title Murder by the Numbers, doesn’t clue you in to the fact that this is a murder mystery, then the cover riddled with gunshot holes and dripping blood is a dead giveaway (Get it… DEAD giveaway…) There are a lot of things about Green’s writing that I like, her unusual settings, her imaginative plot twists, but I think where Green really shines is in her characterizations. When you open the cover of a BB Green book you are walking into a world peopled with unique and believable characters so real you feel like they might live down the street or work at the post office where you buy your stamps.
In Murder by the Book, Green creates a very complex heroine by the name of Kennedy Killingsworth. Kennedy has just divorced her philandering husband and runs the local library in Midway, Georgia. Granted the facility consists of two trailers, but Kennedy (who lives on Pepsi and cookies) has dreams of expanding into four one day.
When Foster Scoggins the old unkempt patriarch of the Scoggins brood and owner of the local salvage yards brings his grand-daughter Heaven (who is nothing like her name) into the library, little does Kennedy know that within a few hours the man will be dead.
Rumors fly around Midway that old Scoggins killed himself over a love affair gone sour, but Kennedy doesn’t buy it. People who are ready to leave this world don’t apply for library cards and what woman in her right mind would have gotten anywhere near the smelly old coot?
Miss Eugenia of nearby Haggerty, agrees with Kennedy. You may remember this clever matronly crime solver from former Green books. With encouragement from her elderly friend, Kennedy pushes for answers and finds more secrets and motives than she ever imagined and almost as many possible love interests.
I love a good mystery and Murder by the Book fits the bill. Green creates a perfect balance of clever humor and romance while never dropping the suspense ball. The pace is quick, the clues are plentiful and the author keeps her readers guessing right up to the climax.
This book will not disappoint.