murder on old main street
Small-town gossip can be murder—especially when a ruthless blackmailer is involved.  As the annual Autumn Festival gets under way, the business owners of Old Wethersfield, Connecticut, are in an uproar over a proposed nonsmoking ban throughout the historic district.  Then a vicious murderer strikes.  It’s a case of “speak no evil” as amateur sleuths Kate Lawrence and Margo Farnsworth race to discover the truth before a local business owner is unjustly convicted of murder, or even more unthinkably, Kate’s daughter Emma falls under suspicion.

In the background, Kate’s longtime romance hits the rocky shoals of culture shock, Margo is caught up in an unlikely romance of her own, and Emma is intrigued by a man in uniform.  When Kate is forced off the road by a sinister Trans Am, she knows that she has been warned.  Can she identify the murderer in time, or will someone’s slip of the tongue make her the next Murder on Old Main Street?
Read A Review:

Kate and Margo are business partners in the marvelous setting of historic Wethersfield, Connecticut. Their business and lifestyles, however, are strictly 21st century. They operate a real estate firm in a quirky old renovated barn with secrets of its own.

From the moment the Methodist minister’s wife smiled upon seeing the corpse Kate and her daughter Emma discover to the strange warning of the victim’s boss, surprising suspects and clues abound.

In astounding time, the police force of Wethersfield uncovers and identifies the means of murder and a secondary weapon with fingerprints that lead to a suspect, whom they announce they will arrest in a few days. The prime suspect is none other than the luckless and unloved waitress-victim’s boss, Abby. Abby recalls that Kate was involved in a murder investigation (one of many hints to go back and read the first offering in the Murder New England Style mysteries) and begs Kate for help to clear her name. She gives Kate a suspect list and asks her not to tell anyone, which Kate promptly does anyway. Quite soon, Kate’s friend Margo, Emma, Kate’s boyfriend Armando, and Kate’s son all know that the hapless victim blackmailed a number of townspeople.

The victim’s spooky old house, a little back story, and some old diaries all help Kate and her friends uncover the murderer. A few clues are left not dangling, but open, tantalizing the reader with hopefully another Murder New England style mystery.

The sparky narration and quick wit of Ms. Ivie’s characters made me smile. A few typos and grammatical boo-boos and unconventional usages didn’t distract me as much as usual as I had fun trying to decide between the suspects. I did have to double back and check a character reference upon occasion, but generally, Ms. Ivie’s kicky turn of phrase made Murder on Old Main Street a fun read.

Lisa Lickel