Slay in Character by Lynn Cahoon

Slay in Character (Cat Latimer Mystery, #4)Slay in Character by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Kensington Books, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cat runs a writer’s retreat, her previous retreats have all ended up involved in some form of murder mystery, and this time is no exception. Amongst the writer’s who are already acquainted with each other, is Jessi Ball, a student from Covington. While up at the local ‘ghost’ and immersive western town, Outlaw, the retreat get into the normal thing of period photographs and watching the high noon shootout, they also run into Jessi’s best friend, Dannielle. Things are thrown completely upside down when Dannielle is found murdered above the saloon in Outlaw, Jessi doesn’t know what to do, especially when she finds out that her ‘best friend’ may not have been much of a friend at all. As more secrets come to life, Cat is worried that Jessi may be in danger, and so does Dante – part of the mob – he beseeches Cat to look after Jessi until he can get back into town at the end of the retreat week to take over looking after her. Who murdered Dannielle? And did it have anything to do with Jessi?

So this is the first Cat Latimer mystery that I’ve read by Cahoon. As I’ve said a million times before, in a million other reviews, I am a downright sucker for a cosy mystery. And one that is centred around a writing retreat with actual authors? Count. Me. In.

The story was okay, though I had the killer worked out at around halfway through the story, I didn’t have confirmation, but I was pretty certain in my assumptions, and I was right. That did take away from the story a bit, as it’s never as fun if you’re working everything out before the characters, who find themselves in these situations a lot, do. In my eyes it was rather obvious who the culprit was, though throwing in the peeping tom and stuff did give it an air of uncertainty at times, I’ll admit.

I liked the characters well enough. I find Seth and Cat’s relationship a bit…odd? I’m pretty sure they are a couple…but there’s not really much in the way of coupleness happening, that could have been because Cat was run of her feet with the retreat and all, but they just don’t come across as remotely a couple at all, this had me scratching my head a bit. Not that it really adds much to the story, just a little thing I noticed. The characters were pretty run of the mill cosy mystery characters, there wasn’t really any outstanding character development that I could see, but then I haven’t read the previous 3 books in this series, so I could be seriously missing out on MAJOR character development.

I’m not a fan of massive recaps in series books, because I’m a firm believer that you should have read the series in order therefore not needing an extensive recap. However, I do find small, succinct, recaps valuable. They would’ve been exceptionally valuable in this case because there was a couple of previous events alluded to but never explained. Like, what happened between Shauna and Seth? And what’s a bit of backstory on Cat and Dante? We’re told that Dante is part of the mob, but that’s about it, and that Seth’s jealous of his and Cat’s friendship and Dante is clearly hoping that something more will come of it. I just wish there was a little bit of recap given to these instances. It may have shown me a bit more about the characters themselves.

I loved the surprise that Seth is working on throughout the book, the reveal had me excited, though I had kind of guess (yeah, again) at what it was going to be, it still made smile when it happened.

Overall this was an okay story, with okay characters. It was interesting enough but it just didn’t wow me.

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