Saturday, November 27, 2021

Murder in the Medina (Blake Sisters Travel Mystery, #1) by Carter Fielding

Murder in the Medina: A Blake Sisters Travel Mystery-- Book 1Murder in the Medina: A Blake Sisters Travel Mystery-- Book 1 by Carter Fielding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two engaging sister-sleuths and a “to DIE for” setting!

Finley Blake is an attorney-turned travel writer based out of Manhattan and her younger sister, Whitt, a banker living and working in Manila. Both travel for work and, when possible, try to arrange for their paths cross during their travels to enjoy some sister-time. When Finley gets an assignment in Morocco, the two arrange a meet-up in the gloriously exotic city of Tangier. Finley arrives first and the hotel the sisters have chosen is a charming haven of luxury yet there’s just something “off” about manager. But Finley settles in and heads up to the rooftop bar for some refreshments where she meets a number of the other hotel guests: a film crew shooting a movie in and around the city. They’re a mixed bunch with their own issues but they welcome Finley into their midst.

Whitt arrives the next day and Finley takes her up to the bar to meet her new acquaintances. While they are mingling, the group hears a scream, and rushing back into the hotel, they discover one of the film’s crew is dead.

Murder in the Medina has two delightful main characters, an exotic and evocative setting, and a surprising and baffling mystery. Although the characters are different as night and day in interests and temperament, the author made me feel the love the sisters had for each other. In addition, both women are looking at new relationships with men in their lives and it was nice to be privy to each one’s inner dialogue as they sort out their thoughts and feelings about their futures with their guys. While Whitt feels the glow of a new relationship perhaps moving to another level, Finley encounters a past love. I enjoyed the easy-going, ready-for-anything, and Whitt’s love interest, David.

Besides the engaging characters, the story has a strong feeling of place. The plot takes the reader to several interesting locations in Tangier, Casablanca, and parts in between. The descriptions of the sights and sounds and smells made me feel I was there right beside the sisters as they explored so many fabled places.

There is more than one mystery in the story, and I liked that the sisters really left things up to the police to solve them. However, the reader will have enough clues to zero in on the right suspect yet still be surprised at the end. As far as the sisters, though, there isn’t a lot of bumbling around, getting in the way, or showing up the professionals. Sure, they question the police’s conclusions, but I felt they reacted just like a regular person would if they ran into the same circumstances.

There was a lot of action in the story once things started happening, and that’s pretty early on. There was always something going on! No one gets a breather until the end.

I recommend Murder in the Medina to cozy mystery readers who like a series that moves the characters from one location to another rather than a single setting. Even the fun prequel, Murder in Montauk, lets the reader armchair explore Long Island. Also, readers that enjoy a second-chance-romance storyline might want to take a look here as well.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.

View my original review on Reedsy Discovery!

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