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Book Review: Murder at the UFO Festival, by Kaja Fivecrows

I picked up a copy of Murder at the UFO Festival by Kaja Fivecrows as an Amazon freebie.

murder at the ufo festival cover

“Having only one husband? In this economy?”

34-year-old Alexandria Bellecourt runs her small-town Oregon bed & breakfast like a well-oiled machine, with her severe, harsh husband Grayson in charge of finances and her warm, friendly husband Greg in charge of promotions.

But all this organization goes down the toilet during the annual UFO Festival. Alexandria doesn’t realize that hidden among the psychics, aura readers, and alien abductees, one of her guests is an abrasive skeptic with a lot of enemies. After he threatens to expose her other guests as frauds, he gets stabbed in the back, seriously disrupting brunch.

Her bed & breakfast is suddenly plunged headlong into a murder investigation, and Alexandria has a lot on her plate already, like why isn’t the guillotine working for her husband Greg’s amateur play and why does her husband Grayson have a suspicious amount of combat skills for an accountant?

When the rest of her guests start getting targeted one by one, Alexandria is going to have to go undercover at the UFO Festival to find out who the culprit is. Can she and her husbands discover who the murderer is before getting targeted themselves or, even worse, getting a bad guest review?

my review

This was OK. I enjoyed it well enough. I did, however, find the characterization shallow. The reader is not given anywhere near enough background on the characters or their situation to feel satisfied. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them, Grayson especially. But they are cardboard cutouts more than fleshed-out characters.

While the mystery was entertaining, I rather suspect the story of how Grey, Grayson, and Alexandria met and evolved into the throuple we meet here would be a more interesting story than what the reader is offered in this book, which would be fine if that book existed. But as far as I can see, it doesn’t, which means the reader feels its lack. Further, I quibble that this doesn’t qualify as Why Choose as there is no choosing involved. The throuple is established and comfortably married before the book even starts. Maybe that’s just me, though.

Lastly, the merging of cozy mystery and an attempt at spice didn’t really work. The sex scenes felt shoehorned in and often out of place. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover this was written as a cozy mystery and the author later went back and added the sex scenes to try and catch a broader audience. All in all, I’d read another, but it isn’t topping a favorites list.
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