Saturday, March 18, 2023

Murder's Legacy (Tori Winters, #2) by Anita Dickason

Murder's Legacy: (A Tori Winters Mystery Book 2)Murder's Legacy: by Anita Dickason
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The delightful heroine, Tori Winters, returns, and it is non-stop excitement from the start.

As Tori Winters and her close-knit group of women friends forge ahead with their plans to turn the old Leichter mansion into the upscale Red Door Inn B&B, they are surprised to learn that not everyone in the small Texas town of Granbury is thrilled with their decision. They knew going in that local developer Judd Swanson and his wannabee Queen-Bee wife, Myra, opposed their plans; they had wanted the land themselves to build an exclusive housing development. But when they are met with unprecedented roadblocks at city hall and rumors fly that the property is unsafe and needs to be condemned, they realize someone is lurking in the shadows wanting them to fail. And when a skeleton is uncovered when a wall in the tunnel between the house and the old guesthouse suffers a collapse, Tori knows that there are still secrets yet to be revealed, and someone is prepared to kill to keep those secrets hidden.

Murder's Legacy is the second book in author Anita Dickason's super Tori Winters Mystery series, and it is an exciting follow-up to the debut, Deadly Keepsakes. With its engaging main character and her growing group of friends and "found" family, I had been looking forward to her continued adventures since the last page of the previous book; I was not disappointed.

Tori Winters, although hailing from Missouri originally, is a bit of a steel magnolia. Her early life and career, first as a nurse in an ER setting and later in hospice, have perfectly honed those tendencies. When she gets her dander up, get out of her way or suffer the tongue-lashing you will most certainly have deserved.

I've really enjoyed her home renovations with the descriptions of the old and the upgrades, and I liked how she defers decisions to the friends who have thrown in with her to make the Red Door Inn a success and their future. Her relationships have grown immensely over the two books of the series, not only with her women friends and partners but with David as well.

The fictional characters of the very real town of Granbury run the gamut of personalities, and much like any small town, they all know each other and their business. Mia is the one to go to for critical information and to understand the historically pivotal relationships; she's got her finger on the town's pulse, not to mention being completely in tune with Tori herself. They have developed a great partnership, and the five women together are a great team.

The story's action starts immediately and never lets up. Once again, the house yields another long-held secret that drives the story's events. Recurring characters and new keep things moving ahead, and I never knew who was behind what was happening. I liked that the plot incorporates some of the realities of getting a new business up and running, along with permitting and working with a city. Hopefully, the actual Granbury isn't anything like what Tori is dealing with. Surely not. Myra continued to try to stir up ill will, and I laughed about the mayor's wife's visit and her failure to buy in to Myra's negativity. In the end, I was very happy with the outcome and am, again, left waiting with great anticipation for the next chapter in Tori's continuing story.

With its delightful heroine, great small-town supporting characters, and exciting non-stop plot, I recommend MURDER'S LEGACY to cozy mystery readers who like strong female protagonists, storylines tied to factual events, and fans of the author's previous work, especially the previous novel in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Lone Star Book Blog Tours.

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