Monday, October 27, 2014
Dead Man's Carve
In Dead Man's Carve (A Tickled to Death Mystery #1) by Kym Roberts, Rilee is a wood carver with her own shop in Tickle Creek, Oregon. Rilee lost her fiancee over two years ago, and has never moved on. She remains loyal to him and emotionally cut off from almost everyone else. When one of her clients is found dead - by Rilee, she is determined to find the bride and groom carvings he commissioned from her, one of which disappeared with his death. For various reasons, the wood carvings are very symbolic to Rilee.
At the same time, Rilee finds herself with a stray Boxer calling her home his home, and a mysterious, former military stranger "Stone" taking up way too much of her thoughts. Stone has his own reasons for being in Tickle Creek, and as Rilee's search for the carvings and the truth behind Ryan's death intensifies, his reasons for being there are revealed. But the deeper Rilee and Stone dig into the past and current events swirling around Tickle Creek, the more questions arise. Will they find the answers even as danger gets closer? Will Riley finally start letting go of the past to find her future?
Dead Man's Carve is fast paced, and Kym writes with good flow in a story that will keep you guessing. The mystery twists and turns, and Kym kept me intrigued. I really liked Stone and Rilee. They both have tragedy in their pasts, and they both struggle in their own ways with their present because of it. They are strong, and I like how Stone draws Rilee out and makes her start to feel again. Their relationship was just as intriguing to read about as the mystery in Dead Man's Carve, and they both grow a lot as they get to know each other.
I like that Kym writes humor into this mystery, I felt that it really helped bring the characters to life. There a lot of secondary characters, some more visible than the rest, but they all add a lot of dimension to a small town cozy mystery.
I'd recommend Dead Man's Carve to anyone looking for an entertaining mystery with relationships and character growth woven in effortlessly.