Who ever thought reading about a decapitated corpse couldn’t be funny hasn’t read, “An Axe To Grind, A Dark Oak Mystery” by F.M. Meredith.
No, it’s not a comedy and the murder isn’t funny. I’m guessing F.M. Meredith didn’t write this to focus on the comic side.
However, author F.M. Meredith has found a way to write a gripping murder mystery while including enough light-hearted moments that the book isn’t dark and ominous. The story centers around the death of Kenneth Buchelo. When his decapitated body is found by the paperboy, detectives of the Rocky Bluff Police Department are called in. As Detectives Doug Mulligan and Frank Marshall begin their investigation, they find Buchelo lived in a fantasy world constantly telling lies about his life. In addition, they discover he’s a stalker.
While working on the case, Detective Mulligan is also trying to work on wedding plans with his fiancée Stacey Wilbur, a Vice Detective. The main obstacle in the plans is Mulligan’s house guest, Officer Gordon Butler.
Herein lies the fun part of this book. The old saying, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I won’t have any luck at all” applies to Officer Butler. The man seems to have the worst luck and it’s never his fault. Some of the situations he gets into, you can’t help but laugh.
There are several minor stories going on in the background at the same time as the investigation, but the author ties them all together nicely. There are no lose ends nor rocky transitions from one case to the murder and back again.
The focus on the murder will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are quite a few prime suspects who have a motive for killing Buchelo including two family members of the girl he was stalking. In addition, there are several other people that make you suspect they might have motive too.
The plot is fast pace with just enough suspense to keep you guessing. The characters are likable and by the end of the book you’re wondering what case the detectives will be working on next.
“An Axe To Grind” is the sixth book in the Rocky Bluff Police Department series. This is a stand alone book that doesn’t have to be read in order. There are references to earlier incidents from the previous books, but the reader isn’t left in the dark if they haven’t read them. The references are just enough to peak your interest to make you want to read the other books.
Author F.M. Meredith has created a great group of officers in the Rocky Bluff P.D. They’ll make you feel safe and secure as they solve their latest murder mystery.
One final note. I don’t know if F.M. Meredith meant to have a humorous side to her story or not. If not, I hope this doesn’t offend her. I haven’t seen the book mentioned as a cozy or light-hearted mystery anywhere.
However, to me the humor is a part of it. It by no means takes away from the murder mystery. To me it enhances the story. Be sure to pick up a copy and read it yourself. See what you think and let me know.
An Axe to Grind, A Dark Oak Mystery * Oak Tree Press * @2010 * ISBN: 978-1-892343-78-9 * Paperback * 178 pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.