BY: LYNN MCPHERSON
The first book in the new Izzy Walsh Mystery Series!
An oceanfront estate in the beautiful New England town of Twin Oaks is the ideal setting for Isabelle Walsh and her close-knit group of friends to celebrate their annual girls’ weekend in 1953.
While off to a promising start, the weekend quickly goes awry as murder interrupts the fun and the hostess is accused of the shocking crime. Izzy quickly realizes it is up to her to save her innocent friend and bring the murderer to light.
Keen intuition and quick wit are Izzy’s only tools. She must use them to find the dark truth before the killer brings her investigation to a dead stop…
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In The Girls’ Weekend Murder by Lynn McPherson, Izzy Walsh joins a group of friends at one’s seaside home for an annual girls’ weekend, where they eat, laugh, gossip, catch up on each other’s lives, and generally have fun. That is, until the hostess’s husband is murdered and his wife is arrested for the crime. Being a true and loyal friend, and never having a single doubt that her friend is innocent, Izzy pulls out all the stops to clear her friend’s name, as she doesn’t think the police will do a good enough job since they are convinced his wife killed him. But Izzy knows better. However, as determined as she is to expose the truth, someone else is just as determined to keep it hidden.
Set in 1953 New England, the story takes you back to a simpler place and time, where life was much less confusing and, while murder was taken just as seriously, interfering in a police investigation usually didn’t land you in jail. If you like historical mysteries that you can’t figure out until the end, you’re going to love this one.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: The Girls’ Weekend Murder by Lynn McPherson is the story of friendship, love, and betrayal. When our heroine, Izzy Walsh, and her two friends, Jo and Ava, travel to a third friend, Mary’s, home for an annual weekend get-together, they are expecting good food, cold drinks, fun, laughter, sunshine, and female bonding. What they are not expecting is for Mary’s husband Charles to die suddenly or for Mary to be arrested for his murder. Furious at the police detective’s lack of insight—since he can’t immediately see that her friend is innocent—Izzy vows to solve the crime herself. With the help of her two other friends, Jo and Ava, Izzy embarks on a quest to find the killer. But what she discovers is a lot more questions and, even worse, what clues they do manage to gather point to Mary as the most likely suspect. Not at all what Izzy hoped to accomplish.
McPherson’s character development is superb. I adored Izzy who, for a woman in 1953, is both a spitfire ahead of her time and utterly charming. If you want a heartwarming mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end, you can’t miss with The Girls’ Weekend Murder.
It was the summer of 1953, and I was feeling good. In fact, I was feeling great. Getting all dolled up was a treat I rarely got to experience these days. This morning my husband and children refrained from knocking on the bathroom door for a full half hour in exchange for a pancake breakfast usually reserved for birthdays. That provided me with just enough time to get ready. I put on my favorite corset with a full blue skirt and crisp, white blouse. Then I applied matching indigo eyeshadow. Finally, I tackled my limp, straight hair. This would take a little extra effort. I carefully took the pin curlers out and tried to arrange it just like the picture I had in front of me from Enchanted magazine. I unleashed half a can of Aqua Net over it and neatly tucked a violet pansy behind my ear to match my eyes. I took a final peek in the mirror and was pleasantly surprised. I was ready to go cruising on the open road. That’s how I felt, anyways. More accurately, I would be driving responsibly through the suburban town of Twin Oaks. But it was en route to a weekend I had looked forward to all year.
It had been a long time since I’d been out on my own. Every time I went out solo, I told myself I must do it more often. But it didn’t happen. My husband, Frank, was extra sweet today by surprising me with the keys to his fixed-up convertible. A bonus of having a mechanic for a husband, I supposed. I had this grin on my face so wide I looked like I was trying to sell toothpaste. Okay, I need to rein this in. My excitement would land me in bed, sleeping, by nine o’clock if I kept it up. But I couldn’t help it. Our girls’ weekends had been reduced to a once-a-year event, and I was giddy with anticipation. I still saw the girls regularly but it was usually for a quick coffee or playtime with our children. There simply wasn’t time to unwind and pal around. This was important to me because I needed to remember who I was other than the roles I had in life, such as wife and mother. These were my greatest joys, but I still delighted in occasionally reviving the immature young woman who loved silly antics and laughing until her face hurt. I could hear her calling to come out as I turned onto Ava’s street.
Ava Russell, my best friend, could make anyone laugh. Her amusing observations and sarcastic tone made her hard to ignore. But it was her big heart that solidified my affection for her. She was a loyal, caring friend, in addition to–or maybe in spite of–her biting wit. I pulled into her driveway and turned off the car. No sooner had I done this than Ava’s front door swung open and she was waving madly at me, making her gorgeous brunette locks bounce up and down on her shoulders. I could see a brilliant yet fiendish smile on her face highlighted by her signature red lipstick, which she swore never to leave home without.
“Izzy, what did you have to do to get Frank to let you take this beauty for the whole weekend? Or is it better I don’t ask?”
She winked at me and I rolled my eyes.
“Ava, I believe proper etiquette is to start with a simple greeting, such as good afternoon, before giving me a hard time,” I remarked.
“Oh, darling, you know I’m just jealous. Frank is such a prince. Bruce barely lets me use our car to go get groceries. If I didn’t promise to bring him back some of those damn potato chips every time I went, I think it would be a real battle.”
I laughed. “Bruce is a sweetheart. You make him sound like a brute.”
“Izzy, please. I didn’t say I’d lose the battle. He’s just not as generous with his precious car. Never mind if he had a car like this!”
“I like to think Frank is simply that sweet but, in truth, I think in the back of his mind he reassures himself that if anything happens to the car, he can easily fix it in the shop,” I admitted.
Frank opened a mechanic shop following his return from the war. I would have said he loved cars, but that wasn’t quite accurate. In fact, he loved engines. He was a hands-on problem solver and enjoyed figuring out how any engine worked and making it run smoothly. During the war, Frank joined the air force and became a proficient airplane mechanic. Since he joined as a skilled car mechanic to begin with, he mastered the craft and then taught it to others. Frank trained recruits on the Avro Anson airplane. Later in the war, upon his request, he went overseas to serve. That was a dark time for me, one I didn’t like to think of often.
© 2017 by Lynn McPherson
Author, Pepper O’Neal:
“In Izzy Walsh, McPherson has created a character who’s fun, witty, and loyal to a fault, with a fierce determination to prove her friend is innocent of murder—the perfect combination for an amateur sleuth. Told with a unique and refreshing voice, this is one you will want to keep on your shelf to read again whenever you’re feeling nostalgic. A really fun read!” ~ Pepper O’Neal, author of the award-winning Black Ops Chronicles series