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#Blog Tour #Murder in Myrtle Bay by Isobel Blackthorn #Mystery @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Isobel Blackthorn’s new book release Murdr in Myrtle Bay.

Murder in Myrtle Bay

When feature writer Ruth Finlay and her elderly neighbor Doris Cleaver visit an antique and collectibles market in the small town of Myrtle Bay, they get a lot more than they bargained for.

After Ruth’s old tennis coach is found dead, they discover that there’s no lack of people who harbor a grudge against the victim, and a tangled web of family ties and lies begins to unravel. But can Ruth and Doris find the killer in time to avert a second murder?

A quirky feel-good mystery laced with intrigue, Murder in Myrtle Bay is the first book in Isobel Blackthorn’s ‘Ruth Finlay Mysteries’ series. Set in small town Australia, it is a sure pick for any fan of classic whodunits and cozy mysteries!

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My thoughts:

Murder in Myrtle Bay is the first book in Isobel Blackthorn’s new series of cozy mysteries featuring Ruth Finlay, an intrepid journalist with a passion for cooking.

As you would expect it, a lot of attention is paid to describing the characters- our protagonist Ruth, her father who is now living in a home, Ruth’s neighbour/ surrogate mother figure Doris Cleaver, and lots of other inhabitants of Ruth’s little town of Myrtle Bay. Isobel Blackthorn masterfully weaves the tapestry of creating stories and unique features for her large cast of characters. Of course, some of them become suspects in this new case of a murder in an old factory/marketplace. While Ruth is more on a cautious (i.e. let’s not jump to conclusions!) side, her seventy-five-year old neighbour Doris doesn’t waste much time in going after her suspects straightaway. I must admit I totally admire Doris’s adventurous sense of fashion and her encyclopaedic knowledge of who is related to and who might have wronged who in this little town.

The mystery starts with Ruth and Doris visitng the marketplace and finding a dying man in one of the stalls. With his last breath David Fisk, a local P.E teacher, manages to say ‘I didn’t do it’- the words Ruth and Doris will have to ponder over multiple times over the course of their amateur investigation. Ruth has fond memories of David and for the life of her can’t see why anyone would want to do harm to this sweet man, but she is bound to discover that there were plenty of people to bear a grudge against The Coach. Luckily for Ruth, there is a limited list of suspects-people who were present at the antiques and collectables market when the crime happened. Still, our amateur sleuths will have their hands full and that is even before they discover another mystery- that of two lovers who had their trysts in the old factory in an attempt to hide their extra-marital affair.

Ruth is also on a writing deadline for her piece on the factory history. It was surprising entertaining to read about a successful business that implemented innovative management practices and flourished economically only to die a slow death in 1980s when cheap exports flooded Australian markets. Ruth’s article, the descriptions of her running route and Ruth’s and Doris’ obligatory sleauthing at the local Bakery add to creating a good sense of what the town of Myrtle Bay where the series is set is like.

If you love cooking, baking and feeding people as a way of showing your love and something to help you clear your mind and concentrate, you’ll relate to Ruth. I found her relationship with her elderly father very touching and I hope to see more of Mr Finlay in the sequels. I also expect Doris’s daughter Emily to play a part and hope Ruth can find a good friend in her.

Thank you to the author and the publisher for the complimentary review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio –

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including gripping mysteries and dark psychological thrillers.

The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Reader’s Favorite book awards. A Prison in the Sun was shortlisted in the LGBTQ category of the 2021 International Book Awards and the 2020 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Her short story ‘Nothing to Declare’ was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019. Her dark thriller A Legacy of Old Gran Parks won a Raven Award in 2019. The Cabin Sessions was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award 2018 and the Ditmar Awards 2018.

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism from the University of Western Sydney for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel The Unlikely Occultist and the full biography Alice A. Bailey: Life and Legacy.

Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Five of her novels are set on the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. These standalone mystery novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction.

Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including asylum seekers and family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives in rural Victoria, Australia.

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Thank you for reading the post! Have a wonderful Tuesday!


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