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Monday, August 5, 2013

An abundance of red herrings. A Gift for Murder by @kgmccullough #mystery




Cover links to Amazon.com

A Gift for Murder

(Market Center Mysteries)


by Karen McCullough





Greed, jealousy, and anger often lurk below the surface of trade shows and business exhibitions, but murder isn't usually on the program.


For fifty-one weeks of the year, Heather McNeil loves her job as assistant to the director of the Washington DC Market Show Center. But the Gift and Home trade show, the biggest show of the year at the center, is a week-long nightmare. This year’s version is worse than usual. Misplaced shipments, feuding exhibitors, and malfunctioning popcorn machines are all in a day’s work. Finding the body of a murdered executive dumped in a trash bin during the show isn’t. The discovery tips Heather’s life into havoc.

The police have reason to suspect the victim’s wife killed him, but Heather doesn’t believe it. She’s gotten glimmers of an entirely different scenario and possible motive, but questioning exhibitors about the crime doesn’t make her popular with them or with her employers. Still, other lives might be at risk, and if she doesn’t identify the murderer before the show ends, the culprit could well remain free to kill again.

Her only help comes from a company executive with ulterior motives and the Market Center’s attractive new security officer, Scott Brandon. Despite opposition from some of the exhibitors, her employers, and the police, Heather seeks to expose the killer before the show ends. To solve the mystery she will have to risk what’s most important to her and be prepared to fight for answers, her job, and possibly her life.

Praise for A Gift for Murder


What a great character Karen McCullough has developed in Heather McNeil. She is genuine, likeable and a bit complex. In 'A Gift for Murder' McCullough has produced an appealing setting that reveals to the reader what occurs during a trade show. Her writing is concise; her characters skillfully portrayed and her storyline stays on track, creating a most enjoyable and interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed every page.



What can I say? I loved this book. It's rated as a cozy mystery, but it's got much more than that. The characters are great, the plot is wonderful and I was really into it from the beginning.



A Gift for Murder is a delightful mystery, with some laughs, a touch of romance, and an abundance of red herrings. Heather is an engaging lead, and her supporting cast offers both contrast and balance to her role. The murder venue presents plenty of opportunities for hiding clues in plain sight, and the author does a fine job of providing her new sleuth with the resources to get the job done. The behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on a convention center-sized trade show adds interest to the story without detracting from the murder investigation itself. This is a solid start to a promising new series.


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