A Death in the Family (Paperback)

by Marlene Bateman

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Death_in_the_family

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Product Description

In her debut mystery, Motive for Murder, gutsy private investigator Erica Coleman proved that when it comes to sleuthing, she takes the cake. Now, the fast-talking, food-loving heroine is back, and she's sure her next assignment will be as easy as pie...

Erica and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche's eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, enlists Erica's help in an investigation of her company, things quickly get sticky. Before the investigation can begin, Blanche's unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers—and it soon becomes clear that Grandma's passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When Aunt Martha, Blanche's reclusive sister, becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues. As she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case—before she bites off more than she can chew.

Product Details

  • Size:  6" x 9"
  • Pages:  320

About the Author

Marlene Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and grew up in Sandy, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in English. Marlene is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and lives in North Salt Lake, Utah. Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in various magazines and newspapers and has written a number of nonfiction books. Her first novel, a mystery romance, was the best-selling Light on Fire Island.

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Intriguing with plenty of interesting twists.

by  Heidi  -   reviewed on  March 12, 2014

I find I quite enjoy this type of mystery. The characters are appealing and likable, but not perfect. The plot is intricate and interesting to follow and the excitement builds to the often surprising climax. I confess, I did not expect the story to take the turns that it did, but I was glad that things worked out the way they did. In a family story like this the relationships always complicate things and that is certainly the case here. Erica faces the uncertain prospect of trying to figure out who murdered her husband's grandmother and why. And everything points to issues regarding her grandmother's will and concerns about the family business. Investigating can be awkward to begin with, add family to that mix and things get very murky indeed. While the characters are LDS (Mormon) and that effects the feelings and actions of the characters, it does not in any way overwhelm the story and the focus on the murders. Well-written and enjoyable, I can easily recommend this to those who enjoy clean mysteries with plenty of tension.

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Fun new mystery

by  Cathy  -   reviewed on  March 19, 2014

I was way excited to read this new mystery about Erica, and I was not disappointed! Erica is one of my very favorite characters, her OCD makes things crazy and she's super smart. I really like that I can see a bit of myself in her. The plot of this one was fun, I liked that there were so many possibilities of suspects and you could see just how it could have been whichever person. In the end, I was really surprised by just who the killer was and how Erica figured it all out, when it didn't seem as though there had been a clear forerunner the whole book. I loved this book and Erica's recipes and I hope to be able to read more books about her soon!

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a GREAT mystery!

by  Shauna  -   reviewed on  March 27, 2014

Marlene continues the Erica Coleman mystery in a WONDERFULLY INTRIGUING way! Erica has come to celebrate her grandmother's eighty-first birthday at which her grandmother tells her she might need Erica's detective skill to solve a puzzling problem with her company. But before her grandmother can tell her what that problem is they find that her grandmother has passed away. An autopsy shows that her grandmother did not die from natural causes. Erica is determined to find out not only what happened to her grandmother, but what problem her grandmother could possibly need her to solve with the company. As family members are the most likely suspects... Emotions will flare... Accusations will fly... And fingers will point... It becomes even more upsetting when grandmother's sister, Aunt Martha is also found dead in the woods...and her house has been ransacked. To top it all off Erica becomes a target as she gets closer to solving these multiple crimes... Wait until you find out who really did it and WHY! GREAT TWIST! LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!

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Totally did not see this ending coming!

by  Diane  -   reviewed on  March 31, 2014

What do you get when you combine a penchant for sleuthing, a love for cooking and a moderate case of OCD? A whale of a private detective. Carrying a plate of Texas Brownies. In this, her second assignment, Erica Coleman, wife, mother and ex-cop turned PI, uses her talent for cleaning, organizing and seeing the details that ordinary lawmakers miss to uncover a deviously twisted murder plot. The victim is savvy businesswoman, Blanche Coleman, Erica’s own grandmother. With the clues piling up, throwing suspicion on nearly every member of her large family, Erica must somehow sift through the chaff and discover the malevolent, desperate mind hiding behind seemingly innocent eyes. When a second murder closely follows the first, Erica’s skills are put to the test as she urgently tries to unknot the mystery. Knowing that she may well be next. Looking for a fun bit of mystery and mayhem? A diverting glimpse into the mind and heart of a desperate killer? With a large dose of family and some excellent cooking thrown in? A Death in the Family is a crisply-written, sure-fire romp for the murder mystery lover in your life. Especially if it’s you. I love a good murder mystery. So does my Grandma. This is one we can both enjoy!

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