Photo Finished by Christin Brecher

Title: Photo Finished (A Snapshot of NYC Mystery #1)

Author: Christin Brecher

Published on: 25 October 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Photo Finished is the first book in Christin Brecher’s A Snapshot of NYC Mystery series.

Aspiring photographer Liv Spyer has rented a postage-stamp size apartment from her grandparents. She lives in the bedroom and has converted the rest of the space as photography studio. She also works part-time at her grandparents’ key shop (which is on the first floor of the building.)

Liv’s got a photography gig with one of the up-and-coming financial tycoon. She’s quite happy about it and gets into the subway without a care in the world. When her stop arrives, she’s pushed and pulled with the crowd. There’s a young and handsome man in the compartment who also wants to move out. Finally, Liv makes her way to the platform… sans her camera. The handsome man has it and the train has left the station. Oh-oh!

Dejected and sad about losing the gig, Liv walks home to find a British lady at the doorstep. She wants to duplicate a key. The lady is none other than the famous Regina Montague. Liv overhears Regina speak on the phone about finding a photographer at the last minute. Liv asks Regina if she could help and Regina agrees. There’s a coming out ball and Liv’s job is to photograph the debutantes.


At the Holiday Ball, most of NYC’s rich and famous are present – with their young daughters. Liv notices tension between a couple of guests – and it’s all got to do with one guest in particular – Charlie Archibald. After the dance, Liv goes out to the garden to see Regina retching. When she walks towards her, she sees something on the ground… or, rather, someone on the ground. Lying in a pool of blood. It’s Charlie. Someone’s gouged his left eye. Regina has blood on her hands (literally) and a waiter accuses her of murdering Charlie.

The police are called in and they have only one suspect on their list: Regina. Meanwhile, Regina’s team (including Regina) blame Liv for ruining their brand’s name. To prove her worth, Liv decides to investigate the case and bring the killer to justice.

I am a fan of Brecher’s Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series. Brecher writes stories that feature quirky characters and scenic settings. The mysteries keep one guessing till the end(always). So, when I heard of this new series featuring a budding photographer, I knew I had to read it.

The story begins on a quirky and hilarious note. Well, losing a camera on a jam-packed metro might not sound funny but leave it to Brecher to come up with a set of hilarious events that finally leads to the protagonist saying “Oh-oh!”


Murder at a debutante ball is not something that Liv expected when she landed the photography gig with the one-and-only Regina Montague. But finding her employer bloody-handed at the scene of crime – hmm, now that’s curious and curious-er. But Regina claims innocence and Liv too nods her head – Yes, Regina isn’t capable of killing someone… or, is she? When RM Studio blame Liv for ruining their brand’s name, Liv decides to solve the case.

The man who ‘stole’ her camera in the subway is called Harry. She meets him at the debutante ball and later at her grandparents’ home. They start dating. Harry’s also her ‘accomplice’ at amateur sleuthing. Halfway through the story, Liv learns the real identity of Harry – and she feels betrayed. Just when she thought she liked the guy and dreamed of a future with him… Hah!

The mystery behind Charlie’s murder kept me guessing till the end. We have a long list of suspects and Liv questions all the suspects from the list – sometimes more than once. Then we have a side story – more of a mystery, actually – which is somehow connected to the murder at the ball.

I absolutely enjoyed reading every bit of Photo Finished. Excellent start to the series. I admit I found the romance to be a bit too soon but as the story proceeded, it all made sense. (Soon after Harry’s so-called betrayal.) Quirky characters, NYC setting, and a mystery that kept me guessing till the end – I highly recommend you to give this book a try.

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