3 out of 4 stars
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Velma Atkins checked into the Springville Manor Retirement Home after she fell and broke her hip. Megan was Velma’s granddaughter. She worked as a volunteer in the manor. It wasn’t long before they became aware of the mysterious events at the manor. An unusual number of healthy residents began dying of heart attacks. Drugs went missing from the pharmacy making the residents and the police suspicious. Velma kept her eyes and ears open so she could gather information to give to Megan. The FBI began to investigate the missing drugs and the deaths. Dan worked with Megan at the nursing home. He hired a private detective to look into the case. Is Megan’s grandmother in danger? Will Velma be the next resident to have a sudden heart attack?
Murder by Definition by Lynn G. Armstrong is a mystery set in a home for the elderly in a small town in Mississippi. Many readers will relate to this setting and the vulnerability of the nursing home residents. Velma was a spunky grandmother who used her sleuthing abilities to uncover clues at the nursing home. Megan fell in love with Dan as they worked together to solve the mystery. I liked how the author would switch from the narration of the story to the characters’ thoughts. Readers see into the minds of the victims, the killer, the detectives, and the nurses. These inner conversations segued into believable interchanges between the characters. I also appreciated the detailed information provided about the antagonist.
There were a few things that disappointed me about the story. The spelling of two names changed during the story. The first was the name of the nursing home, and the second was the name of one of the characters. The book contained numerous grammatical errors. Most of these were incorrect punctuation with just one or two misspelled words. Some of the characters did use profanity. Several romantic scenes alluded to intimate relationships without getting too explicit.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The author wrote about a situation that many readers with parents or grandparents in nursing homes would relate to as they read the novel. The mystery keeps readers guessing about the antagonist’s motives. All the storylines were tied up, and the romantic themes injected a lighter side to the story. The misspelled names and grammar issues led me to lower the score.
I recommend this story to readers who enjoy mysteries with a touch of romance. Mature readers would be the preferred audience for this book as it does have some violent scenes and the death of elderly characters. People who work in health care might find this story stimulating.
Murder by Definition
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