Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Dust to Dust by Audrey Keown

This is an interesting combination of murder mystery and a sort of adult coming of age novel. The setting of the historic hotel, location of the murder, was well done. It immediately set the stage for secrets from the past. And the secrets were fundamental to solving the murder mystery and to revealing a family heritage.

The plot structure moves along at a methodical pace as Ivy, a clerk at the hotel and also a descendant of the original owners of the building, uncovers possibilities as to the identity of the murderer. In that sense, this is not a fast paced nor page turning novel. There is some suspense but only near the end of the mystery section. A bit more of the book reveals family secrets as Ivy comes to understand more of her heritage. I felt the solution to the murder came out of left field, so to speak. It was an unexpected surprise as I either missed clues or there were none.

This is a mystery for readers who like the story of the amateur sleuth to be as important as, if not more so, the actual solving of the mystery. I do like Ivy as a sleuth and will be looking for the next in the series.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Audrey Keown set her mystery series in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a place she calls home. For ten years she wrote professionally for periodicals, sharpening her story telling skills. Themes of redemption and connection to history appear in her novels. Like her protagonist, Ivy, Keown has battled anxiety and writes about mental illness in her fiction, hoping to help lift the stigma. You can find out more at

Crooked Lane Books, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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