Murder by Numbers (Lemon Tree Bay Mysteries Book One)


PARANORMAL: Lucas Pepper is an accountant on leave from a prestigious firm in Melbourne. He is visiting the small town of Lemon Tree Bay on the southeast coast of Australia, while he helps his Uncle Hugo transition his own accounting firm, getting it in shape to sell. Lucas never knew his uncle because of a forced separation caused by a family argument, and his parents never mentioned Hugo to Lucas. Just as he is getting to know his ‘new’ uncle, Lucas discovers his murdered corpse on the floor of the office, directly after receiving a haircut from Clara Mitchell. Clara stumbles upon the murder scene shortly thereafter because she is returning Lucas’s phone. Her ex-boyfriend is an officer investigating the murder, and he has a bias toward believing that Lucas is the perpetrator. It’s up to Clara and others to discover the real culprit.

Though the first half of this book drags somewhat, the pace picks up in second half and the tension level rises as well. Some of the supporting characters are interesting, but the main standouts in this category are Willow Mitchell, Clara’s mother, and an older character named Kris. Several of the other supporting characters aren’t as memorable. However, Clara has a few paranormal visions, which add intrigue to the story, and they help to lead her and her group of amateur sleuths to the perpetrator. There is a nice small-town feel to this story, and Ms. Mayfair does a beautiful job of describing the locale, making it seem like an enchanting community within which to live.

Carey Sullivan