FIRST CASE by Kathi Daley
The First Writer's Retreat Mystery
Moving to Gull Island after her brother's stroke Jill Hanford surrounds herself with writers of various genres as she transforms his resort into a writer's retreat. But when a suspicious death occurs, Jill puts her own journalistic abilities into action, taking on a freelance assignment to write a human interest story about the woman. For this is no random woman, rather one of the few survivors of the Friday the 13th Massacre that occurred 11 years previously. Aided by the writers at the retreat and a unique parrot named Blackbeard, Jill tries to uncover the truth of that tragedy and its relation, if there is one, to this latest death. When Jill starts to receive threats she has to wonder if some mysteries are better left unsolved.
FIRST CASE is a great start to a new series! Daley provides us with an island of well developed intriguing characters. She also takes a stereotypical teen slasher film premise and turns it into a historical event, a mystery to be solved, and the possible motive behind a new crime. While many cozy mysteries involve cats and dogs, FIRST CASE takes a different approach to pets with the inclusion of a bird. Blackbeard is a parrot able to provide clues in a most unique manner.
This first Writer's Retreat Mystery is a well developed story with heart. Daley brings life into her characters making me want to spend time with them and get to know them better. I enjoyed the dynamics between these people (and bird) and look forward to reading about their continued interactions.