Monday, December 20, 2021

The Sorority Murder

The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan
12/28/21; 448 pages
MIRA Books

The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan is a highly recommended murder mystery.

Three years ago Candace Swain was a popular sorority member and senior nursing student at Northern Arizona University when she left the sorority Spring Fling party and disappeared. A week later her body was found in a lake at a golf course. Her case remained open with the only suspect, a homeless alcoholic, missing. Now Lucas Vega, who was a freshman when Candace was murdered, has decided to do a podcast focused on Candace's murder for his senior capstone project as a forensics major. He is hoping to review the case, present some new information he has found, and have listeners call in with any additional information they might have.

When Regan Merritt, a former US marshal, is a guest lecturer at the university, Lucas invites her to share her expertise on his podcast. When reviewing the case and the information Lucas has discovered, Regan decides to join him on the podcast. She stays on to help as new information is brought to light and she believes Lucas may actually be able to solve the murder. It is also clear to her that Lucas is holding a secret of his own that may have been the impetus behind the podcast idea.

Regan is a great, fully realized character and hopefully she'll be back in her own series. She provides the maturity, intelligence, knowledge, and experience that the novel needs to make the investigation into the murder mystery seem believable. She has a lot of her own resources and contacts in the area that are of great help. Lucas is also a believable character, but he seemed younger than a senior in college. It is clear from the start that he is hiding something, but he is clearly dedicated to solving Candace's murder. He and Reagan make a good team.

The Sorority Murder is a compelling, complex, solid murder mystery and held my attention throughout despite the fact that the pacing of the plot is a bit uneven at the beginning and it does have a slow start while setting up the story. Once things get moving and new information is slowly coming in, the pacing picks up. Along with following Lucas and Regan, there are also excerpts from a journal Candace kept. The narrative approaches solving the mystery like a procedural. I enjoyed this approach where new information is discovered or uncovered in the quest of solving the mystery.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of MIRA Books.

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