A Colorful Scheme by Krista Davis

Title: A Colorful Scheme (A Pen & Ink Mystery #4)

Author: Krista Davis

Published on: 30 August 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Colorful Scheme is the fourth book in Krista Davis’ Pen & Ink Mysteries.

Celebrations are full-on at the Maxwell Mansion. Bookstore owner and coloring book artist Florrie Fox’s boss Maxwell is marrying Jacquie for the second time. The couple divorced soon after their only daughter’s disappearance decades ago. Years later, they realized heir truly loved each other and decided to give their relationship another chance.

None of the 500 guests at the party know there’s a wedding. Some of the famous writers are invited. Arthur Bedlingham, Jacquie’s ex boyfriend and author, has arrived too – as someone’s plus one. The wedding goes as planned. But the next morning, Florrie is woke up by screams. Mr. DuBois, the Maxwell’s butler is calling for help. There’s a man face down in the pool. Florrie goes to help him while DuBois calls the emergency services. But it’s too late. The man is dead.

The police then learn that the victim ate THC brownies from the party favors box. But Florrie, her mum, Eric (Florrie’s boyfriend) and DuBois packed the favor boxes with cupcakes – there weren’t any brownies. Since the victim already had a heart condition, the THC brownies increased his heart rate and must have fallen into the pool and drowned.

I read the first three books of this series last year and was eagerly waiting for the next installment to appear on the KU catalog. The Pen & Ink Mysteries has become one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love the characters, the setting, and the theme (adult coloring books.)

Florrie is now somewhat of an amateur sleuth. She’s solved three crimes already and a guest murdered at the wedding would be her fourth case. Apart from the murder mystery, we have three side stories to keep us hooked. 1) The mysterious disappearance of Caroline (Maxwell and Jacquie’s daughter) and rumor is that, Florrie’s mum is Caroline. 2) Florrie’s mysterious stalker 3) A wedding guest/author who’s never shown his face to the public.

Well, speaking of the secretive author, I had my doubts that something’s not right about this. Whenever Florrie visited the author’s home, his wife (who’s also an author) claimed he was away on a writing retreat. There was evidence of a man in the house, all right. But it just didn’t seem true…

Florrie’s mysterious stalker’s identity was a shocker… and a tad hilarious. I wouldn’t give away any spoilers but if you have read the previous installments, then I would say it has something to do with the past. Whose past, you ask? Read the book to find out. 😉

The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. The list of suspects might be short but there are plenty of red herrings. Readers must quit playing detective and let Florrie do her sleuthing.

There’s a new character in the series – and her name’s Jezebel. She doesn’t appear until the second half of the story – though mentioned once in the first half. She added a dash of quirky and fun, making the read more enjoyable.

Overall, this was another fantastic addition to the series. Each book in this series can be read as a standalone but I recommend you to start from book #1 if you haven’t read it already.

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