Mystral Murders (Julie O’Hara Mystery Series)

I love mysteries. They’re a fun bit of brain fluff that I take great joy in trying to be clever enough to solve the crime. The only thing I could love more is reading a well written murder mystery. The worst – being let down by anĀ  otherwise unsolvable mystery poorly written with unnecessary back story on characters that have nothing to do with the actual murderer.

 

mystral murder

Lee Hanson

This is a short read (took me about 4 hours one evening) that starts off interesting, and then loses its way as the author weaves an unnecessarily complicated story about a murder of an internationally known travel agent on a luxury cruise. You’re introduced to the cast of characters including the suspects and the heroine. Julie O’Hara reads body language, and with her investigator boyfriend Joe Garrett, become embroiled in the death of the flirty, married, cheating Adrianne.

Once the murder happens, you are introduced to all the suspects and their POV, and curiously enough, the ghost of the murdered victim. I’ll be very honest with you – it was a story full of background information on suspects that, although have believable motives, was nothing more than explanations of their jobs, circumstances, and relationship they had with the victim. Never at any point does any of this information actually have to do with the murder. In fact, the murderer is only revealed after being introduced ONCE, halfway through the book, and his motive was ridiculous. It was as if the author lost her way and decided to throw in some red herring type of character to take the blame. It was disappointing, disjointed, and a huge let down of an ending.

Sadly I am not interested in reading any other Julie O’Hara mysteries, considering she didn’t do much but have sex with her alcoholic boyfriend and make detailed observations of the suspects. The victim’s ghostly narrative was completely unnecessary and, at best, throws the story off with her whimsical and uncharacteristic musings that had nothing to do with the victim’s personality when they were alive.

2 stars because I finished it.

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