Southwest of Love and Murder by Brenda Whiteside

I really need to stop reading these suspenseful murder mysteries while I’m all alone and simultaneously watching Forensic Files. And Dateline. And an OJ Simpson murder special on A&E. Will I never learn?!

What’s it About? 


Mystery writer Phoebe Anderson owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her…or murder to follow her.

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again. With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason.

First Impressions

Phoebe had a wild one-night stand with Mason a few months back, and after her ex-husband is murdered she decides to take a trip to Mason’s ranch to do some “research” for her next book. Yeah right! Call it whatever you want missy, we all know you had every intention to ride that cowboy one more time. And good on ya! As for the actual murder mystery taking place in the novel, I was shocked that we as the readers learn right away who the killer is, while the rest of the characters remain in the dark. I thought this would lessen the overall suspense, but boy I was wrong!


A Killer’s Point of View

The entire book alternates between various characters’ points of view, one of which being the killer’s, who is intent on getting Phoebe’s attention so they can work on a future book together. This guy takes “crazy fan” to a whole new level with his wacked sense of reality.

The fact that we are privy to the killer’s inner thoughts, not to mention his future plans for murder, was an amazing way to increase the intensity of the book. There is one scene in particular where the killer goes after a close family friend of Mason’s, and everything is played out so slowly that you’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering if he’ll actually succeed. I kept wanting to scream out “Behind you!” You can see it happening, but you can’t do anything to stop it!


Another Cliché

This book has several murder mystery clichés throughout, which Phoebe almost mocks because she is now seeing them in real life as opposed to writing them in one of her novels. And yet, I was disappointed that she still manages to fulfill every single cliché rather than avoid them! For example, never ever agree to meet a murderer/kidnapper/psycho without police back-up! I thought the fact she was a mystery writer would mean she would catch on a bit quicker to the killer’s plans, but she was pretty slow to put things together. Probably the one feature of the book I would have liked to change.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: The Love and Murder Series, book 2. I never read book 1, and had no problems following along.

Should you read it? If you’re looking for a book with a little intrigue, then hell yes!  Plus, who doesn’t like a little romance mixed in as well?

Smut Level: There is some really hot foreplay, but the sex act itself was usually glossed over.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 302 Pages.

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