Eat Crow and Die (P.J. Benson Mysteries)

KIRKUS REVIEW

An accountant with sleuthing experience works to prove her boyfriend innocent of murder.

P.J. Benson thinks she might be pregnant. The prospect brings her no joy, since her mother became schizophrenic while pregnant with P.J. When Ginny Kingsley, the sister of her boyfriend, Sheriff’s Detective Wade Kingsley, calls with the news that Wade’s boat has just blown up on Lake Michigan, P.J. rushes to the hospital. Wade has a concussion and his son, Jason, no more than a few scratches. But Wade’s ex-wife, Linda, and her second husband, Michael Brewster, are missing, presumed dead, and the police consider Wade a very likely suspect. Right from the start there are suspicious circumstances. The explosion turns out to have been caused by a bomb. The police wonder why Wade and Jason just happened to be up front dropping anchor at the time of the explosion. Linda’s parents insist early and often that Wade is guilty. A man shows up at the hospital claiming Michael owes him money. When Linda and Michael’s home is broken into and trashed, P.J. gets to hear the threatening message someone has left on the answering machine. Linda’s parents think Wade left the message and stole a valuable emerald necklace to boot. Fighting morning sickness and her fears for the future, P.J has no plans to end her pregnancy even though a distracted Wade seems no happier about it than she is. As the evidence piles up against Wade, P.J., refusing to give up, unearths a number of other suspects. Now she just needs to convince the police.

P.J.’s third (As the Crow Flies, 2011, etc.) provides plenty of suspects and motives while delving deeper into a fraught romantic relationship.

Pub Date: June 10th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4328-3076-2
Page count: 282pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online: May 5th, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015

5 out of 5 stars. Characters and plot really pull you in. June 3, 2015

By I told you so on June 3, 2015

After reading Eat Crow and Die, Maris Soule’s latest mystery, I’ve decided I want to be P.J. Benson’s best friend. Because, let me tell you, that gal has an interesting life. Strange men crawl into her house to die on her dining room floor, her boyfriend accused her of murder, there’s a dead body buried in her yard, her mother is bat-shit crazy, her neighbor smells funny and, oh yeah, she just might be a little bit pregnant. Mystery and intrigue seek her out and then they put their feet up and stay a while.

Eat Crow and Die details a few tense days in P.J.’s life, days filled with murder and mayhem. The mood is tense and often frantic—there is a lot going on at once—every character and every conversation might hold a clue that could blow the investigation wide open. While P.J. struggles to keep her emotions in check, she works her way through the convoluted maze of questions and characters surrounding the explosion of a boat on the normally peaceful waters of Lake Michigan.

Eat Crow and Die is a character-driven mystery and P.J. Benson is a character everyone can relate to. I highly recommend this interesting read along with The Crows and As the Crow Flies.

5 out of 5 stars. Well-crafted, tightly-written. Feb 25, 2016

By Robert M. Weiron

Maris Soule has, again, crafted another wonderful cozy mystery with enjoyable excitement, intense emotion, and appropriately placed clues. The main characters, P.J. Benson and Wade Kingsley, continue to grow and develop amidst a helpful array of interesting supporting players. Each chapter — and the book itself — ends with page-turning enticement to want more.

5 out of 5 stars. Love the Crow books. Feb 1, 2016

By Lucy M. Kubashon

I’ve enjoyed reading all three of Ms. Soule’s books in the Crows trilogy and would love to see more. Believable characters and interesting plots. Hope to see P.J. and Wade again.

5 out of 5 stars. Five Stars. Jan 11, 2017

By Sally A. Mettleron

It is even better than the first Crow book I read. I had to read until done very quickly.

5 out of 5 stars. A Page-turner. Jan 4, 2017

By EFM Book Lover

Trouble seems to follow PJ Benson. While this is the first book that I’ve read in the Crow series, Ms. Soule weaves backstory in so skillfully, that I got a clear picture of prior mishaps PJ had encountered. This is the kind of mystery I love, red herrings, well-drawn characters, various plausible motives and an edge-of-your-seat climax. I also liked the realistic struggles PJ and Wade had navigating the news that she was pregnant and that he was under suspicion for murder. These very human struggles made the characters believable and sympathetic. I look forward to reading the previous books in this series.

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