Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Murder in Chianti - Armstrong and Oscar Cozy Mysteries #2

Murder in Chianti is the second Armstrong and Oscar cozy destination mystery by T.A. Williams. Released 27th Jan 2023 by Boldwood books, it's 264 pages and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free. The first book in the series, Murder in Tuscany, is also currently available on KU. 

This is a beautifully descriptive and well written destination mystery set in Tuscany. Expat former policeman Dan Armstrong and his trusty canine sidekick Oscar are assisting the local constabulary in solving the violent murder of a local in the expat community, resort owner Rex Hunter. Dan's ostensibly along to facilitate translations in English for the police and witnesses, but his insights are valuable and he and the lead detective have a good rapport and friendship. 

The plotting is solid and the dialogue and characterizations are well controlled and believable. The mystery, denouement, and resolution are self contained in this volume, so it works well enough as a standalone, but the writing and mystery are so well planned and executed, that it would make an excellent weekend mini binge or buddy read. 

It's not derivative at all, but it reminded me in a lot of good ways of Leon's exceptional Brunetti books as well as Walker's lovely Bruno, chief of police books. Fans of those authors will find a lot to enjoy here.

Four and a half stars. Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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