I began reading an e-book on my Kindle during my Labor Day Readathon.
I chose one I had won in a blogger’s giveaway, Dead of Winter Break, a cozy mystery by Kelly Brakenhoff. In this second book in a series (which read just fine as a stand-alone) Cassandra Soto, an administrator at a Nebraska college has begun her second semester there after living in warm Hawaii. She has her first, unwelcome, taste of Nebraska winters. She and Murphy, an unwanted dog, live in a house that is damaged by a Nebraska storm. Sean Gill, one of the love interests involved in this story, is a neighbor’s son, visiting for the Holidays. Or is he? Is he there for some other reason, and does he get involved in the fixing of Cassandra’s house for some other reason than neighborliness? The head of Campus Police, Andy Summers, is another love interest who keeps Cassandra apprised of all campus matters, since she is in charge during the Holidays.
At the December commencement, attended by Cassandra and her sleuthing buddy, Cinda, they spot Dr. Nielson, who supposedly retired and moved to Florida. It turns out Nielson, who had supervised a student/faculty trip to China the past semester, has changed his mind about retiring and has returned to the small college town. Wondering how his return will affect her promotion and plans, Cassandra attempts to get in touch with him, but before she can do so, he is murdered.
Forced to live in the dorm with the International students and those who cannot go home for the Holidays, Cassandra becomes the “dorm mother” to the students who connect with Murphy in a way she has been unable to do thus far. The relationships between the students and between the students and Cassandra provide clues and suspects into Dr. Nielson’s demise.
There are a good number of twists and turns that keeps the reader turning pages–whoops! scrolling right. LOL that provide red herrings and many suspects in the affair.
It is a darned good read .