Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Reunion with Death by Sheila Connolly

Here's the description from Netgalley:
Laura Shumway couldn’t say why she’d agreed to go on the class reunion trip to Italy. Maybe it was to take stock of her life, or maybe it was just to catch up with old friends, take in the sights, and relax in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Either way, she knew she’d discover a lot on the trip, about both herself and her former classmates. What she didn’t expect to discover was the dead body of esteemed professor Anthony Gilbert.
Gilbert had had a long and illustrious career at the college. Now retired to Italy, he appeared as a surprise guest speaker at the women’s vacation villa, still disarmingly handsome, still charming, but not nearly so eminent in the eyes of Laura’s classmates. As a young professor all those years ago, Gilbert used his position and looks to seduce and then cast aside many of his young and impressionable students, and at least some of the women on this trip had been hurt by his false promises of love. The kind of hurt that runs deep and may have given any number of them a motive for murder.
Before the poliziaor carabiniere get involved, Laura and a few trusted classmates set out among the vineyards and hills of the Italian Riviera to solve the murder on their own. With the help of some influential locals and good old-fashioned detective work, they’re soon led to the conclusion that one of their classmates might be a killer—and what started as a trip to see how far they’d all come may turn into a stark lesson about just how far one of them would go.

This was actually my first time trying a cozy mystery.  I thought, what better book to read around Christmas time??  I've been wanting to try cozy mysteries for a while now.  Sometimes I just want something light and fun.  And these cozy mysteries are fun, because they still involve murders (which my mom says I have a problem with..), but it's not deep, it's not intense, it's not super emotional.  This was such a fun book to read while it was snowing like crazy outside and I just wanted to enjoy the holiday season.

It takes place in Italy, which made me want to go to Europe so badly.  I honestly loved the descriptions of the little towns in Italy and the group's daily excursions more than the story about the murder.  If you're craving a getaway but can't afford one, this would be a good option to mentally get you to Italy!

Laura, the main character, I actually really connected with.  Which was odd since she was older..and I'm only 24.  But she (and the author) hit some chords that struck home with me.  This is a college reunion, and Laura finds herself pondering, especially in the beginning of the trip, how quickly time flew by since graduating.  She also thinks back on what she thought her life would be like when she was young, and how far from that it ended up being.  That said, she wasn't complaining about her life.  She was just reflecting on how we change as people.  Yet we're always still that person from 40 years before..

It made me think a lot about my life.  I'm only going to be 25 and I feel panicked (heh, I know, I'm so young!).  I don't really know what I want to do with my life.  I know I have time to think about it.  But yeah, this book made me reflect on a lot of things.  Basically, I want to live life my way, but if some things don't turn out how I wanted them to, maybe it's not so bad.  Maybe I'll be like Laura someday looking back on everything, and thinking that the life I ended up living was actually pretty great.

So anyway, that's it with the sentimentality.  Sorry about the tangent!

This was a fun book to read.  I didn't have to get super invested in the characters.  I just relaxed and enjoyed.  I definitely would like to give more cozy mysteries a chance.  I'd love your recommendations.

Have you read this book?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Title: Reunion with Death
Author: Sheila Connolly
Date of Publication: 2013
Number of Pages: 212
Genre: Cozy mystery
Source: Netgalley

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