Review: MURDER IN A BASKET by Amanda Flower

Murder In A Basket

An India Hayes Mystery

Amanda Flower

ISBN: 978-1-4328-2567-6

Five Star Publishing

281 Pages

Reviewed By Diane Grace

India Hayes, college librarian and struggling artist, is talked into running a face-painting booth at the Founders’ Day Festival by her older sister, Carmen. She’s not sure how her sister persuaded her to dress in the pink pioneer costume, including mobcap and granny boots, but that’s a small problem when she finds one of her fellow artists dead.

The woman, a basket weaver named Tess Ross leaves behind an angry blacksmith husband, an adopted son, squabbling siblings, an artists co-op she helped start and a labradoodle with a trust fund.

India with her backbone of cooked spaghetti and relatives that put the word dysfunctional in the dictionary, finds herself talked into searching for the killer by the distraught son, a college student with a crush on India. In her search for answers she is conned by the victim’s lawyer into being the foster-owner of the labradoodle until things are settled. To make matters worse, Tess is the sister of the college provost, India’s pompous superior. The further India looks into the matter the worse things get. With a little luck, India will find the answer to her quest before she becomes the murderer’s next victim.

Murder In A Basket is Amanda Flower’s sophomore effort in a series featuring India Hayes, college librarian and amateur artist. Ms. Flower’s writing style fits in nicely with other professional cozy mystery writers, Earlene Fowler, M.C. Beaton, Barbara Colley and others. The story has more twists and turns than the baskets the murder victim made. India goes blundering into one situation after another. And if she can’t get into enough trouble by herself, her neighbor and family will be happy to do it for her. All in innocence of course.

This is a delightful story, I would find myself immersed in the characters, rooting for them to succeed, cringing when they got in over their heads. Made me wish there was a Stripling, Ohio and a Founders’ Festival to visit. I can recommend Murder In A Basket without qualm one to any cozy mystery reader.

Copyright 2011 by Diane Grace

Disclosure of material connection: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep in consideration preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

Cozy mystery, Mystery

  1. #1 by Ann at December 28th, 2011

    Thanks for the review. Earlene Fowler and MC Beaton are two of my favorites.

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