Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher, Terrie Farley Moran
Series: Murder She Wrote #53
Published by Berkley on June 8, 2021
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
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three-stars

After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. They’ve moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate.

But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis facedown in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. She hadn’t known Willis long, but it’s clear to her that he didn’t concern himself with making friends. The question isn’t if her friend’s husband was murdered but by whom.

I enjoyed Killing in a Koi Pond once I got through the first few chapters. Jessica arrives in South Carolina and is immediately surrounded by not so great people, aside from her friend Dolores who is a nice lady. Everyone else, including Dolores’ husband, is a bully, or mean, or rude. And then Willis is killed that night. It was just too quick an introduction to the suspects and the murder happened too soon.

Once I got settled in though, the story was fun. Jessica is the Jessica we’ve known for years, nosey, friendly, talkative. The other characters are fleshed out well, and several have reasons to want Willis dead, but you may guess who the killer is before Jessica’s reveal. There were several twists, but to be honest, I enjoyed the characters more than the actual plot, but I think that’s okay for a Murder, She Wrote book.

About Jessica Fletcher

Jessica Fletcher (born Jessica Beatrice MacGill, and writes under the initialed J.B. Fletcher) is a fictional character from the US television series Murder, She Wrote.

In keeping with the spirit of the TV show, a series of official original novels have been written by American ghostwriters, including Donald Bain, Jon Land, and Terrie Farley Moran, and published by the New American Library. The author credit for the novels is shared with the fictitious “Jessica Fletcher.”

About Terrie Farley Moran

Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ‘Em and Eat café and bookstore, where murder and sweet tea are always on the menu. Agatha Award Best First Novel winner, Well Read, Then Dead, the first book in the Read ‘Em and Eat series has been followed by Caught Read-HandedRead to Death is now available.

Terrie’s short mystery fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and various anthologies. She has been short-listed twice for the annual Best American Mystery Stories. And her story, “A Killing at the Beausoleil” was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story.

The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her seven grandchildren.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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