As an animal lover, the real hero of the story for me is Eli the poodle.
Lillian Prestridge and her husband Bill are introduced to Eli, a standard Poodle when he leads them to the scene of a heinous murder in their normally quiet, gated community in the heart of East Texas.
Lillian lends her investigative instincts to her son Jake, County Sheriff, and his best friend, Grant Perryman, Chief of Security at Leisure Lake as they try to solve not one murder, but two, in the first of Linda Pirtle’s cozy mysteries: The Mah Jongg Murders.
From Linda Pirtle:
It is only natural that I would one day wind up in the literary field. I taught the art of writing and understanding literature for years as an English teacher at St. John, Lancaster, and Ennis high schools.
When I retired from administration, I turned my attention to working with my husband to create and build Venture Galleries, a literary Website devoted to connecting readers with today’s growing population of authors throughout the world. I have served as editor for some great books presently in the marketplace, and a year ago I entered the field as an author myself.
It was a perfect transition. I have long read and reviewed mysteries, and I found myself infatuated with the kinds of cozy hometown mysteries produced by Agatha Christie and Diane Mott Davidson. I am fascinated with dastardly murder mysteries solved by the lady next door who relies solely on intuition, instinct, and intuition.
The amateur detective of any cozy mystery has her flaws and makes more than her share of mistakes, but she tracks down villains simply because she has the dogged determination to keep piecing together the puzzle even when she knows everyone is tells her to quit and go on home.
Last year, I published first novel The Mah Jongg Murders, set in the mythical small East Texas gated community of Leisure Lake. The location was patterned after Hideaway Lake, where I live just north of Tyler. My protagonist Lillian Prestridge loves riddles and receives the puzzle of her life when she discovers the body of an unknown woman lying on the edge of the lake near her home.
Three successive murders, including the assassination of one her Mah Jongg friends, baffle the authorities — the county sheriff and the head of security at the lake. But Lillian, along with her Standard White Poodle Eli, follow the subtle clues until she is able to solve the mystery, pinpointing a murder that leaves the entire community in shock and breaking the heart of her son.
Review by Karen Cooper:
This is a very entertaining murder/mystery. As an animal lover, the real hero of the story for me is, Eli the poodle. However, Lillian is quite the sleuthing character, and the story is very much a whodunit rather than a doggy tale.
The book is well-written, the characters are fully developed, and the plot is enticing with twists that turn what at first seems like a rather simple murder/mystery into a more complex, unique and thoroughly entertaining story.