Sunday, September 20, 2020

Murder in Melaque She Wrote! A BillJo Doll Mystery

A mystery novel by BilliJo Doll uncovers death in the Costalegre region of Mexico.

In a hotel full of suspects who is the next victim? French Canadian tourists have been dying in the Mexican village of Melaque for ten years. Is it all a coincidence or is something more sinister afoot? Murder in Melaque is the latest page turning mystery from writer BilliJo Doll. The author who had previously scored with Murder in Montana set in her home state now sets the table in her adopted state of Jalisco, Mexico.

Echoing the best of Agatha Christie, Billi Jo Doll takes us on a romp through the idiosyncrasies of the French Canadian tourists who flock not just to the west end of Melaque every winter but to to the Hotel Descanso Sombre in particular. The story takes place during the two week vacation of Garnet. Garnet has had a rough year. Her father died, her husband left her and she was fired from her job of 15 years as a reporter in Boise.

It's the beginning of a new year and before she can start a new chapter in her life Garnet starts sleuthing the mysterious deaths that have been occurring for a decade that follow the annual fiesta hosted by singing British Columbia grocery store magnate Bernard and his flirtatious wife Kadar. Could ten French Canadians die naturally? Coincidentally? For a decade?

Some people think so, Garnet does not. Will videos from the parties taken over the years shed light on the killer's identity? Time is running out for Garnet and the guests. Everyone is a potential victim and everyone is a potential suspect in Murder in Melaque.

Everyone is under surveillance in this voyeuristic tale. But whom is watching whom and why? The victims all seem to have been poisoned. Does the hotel's garden yield clues or the poison? Is the killer Severin, the retired Montreal lawyer? Aldric, the former symphony conductor and avid gardener? Margaux, the old woman who knows everyone and everything including poisonous plants?

Could the killer be one of the men who's libidinous advances Garnet is always fending off? Could it be Remy, the drunk dancer? Yves and his gigolo behavior? Dorian of the RCMP?

Garnet places her trust in one guest and together they unravel the mysteries of the mysterious tenants though they come to different conclusions as to whom the prime suspect should be. During her investigation, Garnet reveals the tight-knit and insular community from Quebec who speak their own tongue in Mexico and have very little need to speak Spanish or English.

Can the murderer be stopped before Garnet flies back home to Idaho or have they already left?

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