After falling in love with the quiet lake life and a certain police detective, former Chicago Tribune reporter Emma Moore trades interviewing jocks for chasing champion cows at the county fair. As a small-town newspaper reporter, she covers local topics both big and small, but when her friend Luke is arrested for the murder of the head coach of his club softball team, she’ll need to hone her investigative skills to clear his name. Emma calls up best friend Grace for help, and together the women go up against cutthroat parents willing to kill for a chance to get their daughters onto a premier college sports team.
The game is tied with bases loaded, and murder is up to bat. Can Emma and her friends bring the heat and win the game?
This second in a fun series featuring Emma Moore and her chic friend Grace is another winner. Back in 2019, I wrote about McKenna’s first Emma Moore novel – The Great Jewel Robbery – and described it as “Nancy Drew for the 21st century.” Murder Up to Bat further solidifies that statement.
Emma and Grace are two very likable, intelligent, and clever heroines matching wits with a couple of affable, good-looking men as they all chase down the clues to solve a murder. All very improbable compared to real-life murder investigations, meaning there’s very little mess here and a lot of human interaction.
There are tons of cozy mysteries on the market right now. Some of them work, some don’t. What works here is McKenna’s writing, which is colorful, informal, and very, very relatable. The reader is meant to connect with Emma – she could be us! – and McKenna does an excellent job of making that connection.
Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries.
Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).
Her novels reflect her mercurial temperament and include historical romances, contemporary romances, cozy mysteries, and dark mysteries. With some being “clean” and some being “naughty,” she has a book for your every mood.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband and Sidney, the rescue dog from Tennessee. When she isn’t writing, reading, editing, or walking the dog that never tires, she’s sleeping.
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