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DYING TO BE MURDERED:A Jennifer Marsh mystery

By Judy Fitzwater

Fawcett Books, 2001 (pbk)
ISBN: 0-449-00640-9

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Aspiring mystery novelist and caterer's assistant Jennifer Marsh is surprised, and doubtful, when her friend Monique Dupree calls to tell her an elderly cousin wants Jennifer to stay in her mansion and chronicle the end of her life for one thousand dollars a week. Is Mary Bedford Ashton nuts? Probably. Is she delusional, believing that someone is trying to kill her? Possibly. Is she dangerous? Could be, but hey, the catering business has been slow, and the royalties on her books aren't pouring in, so Jennifer takes a chance.

The scenery of Macon, Georgia, is lovingly described; the antebellum mansion, replete with hidden passages and resident ghosts, both old and modern, is delightfully creepy. Jennifer agrees, despite several warnings to the contrary, to stay in the old house 24-7 to record the mysterious threatening notes and keep an eye out for suspicious happenings, and it isn't long before Mrs. Ashton's premonition of danger turns out to be well-founded. There is no body, but lots and lots of blood. Jennifer would like nothing better than to turn the whole thing over to the police, but she'd made a promise to Mrs. Ashton that she intended to keep, and a mystery she just had to solve. She is assisted and/or hindered in her quest by the colorful ladies in her writing group, and by her boyfriend Sam, an investigative reporter. This is a nice addition to the series, and a pleasant read for cozy fans.

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