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Review of cozy mystery Dead as a Duck by Colleen J. Shogan

cover of Dead as a Duck by Colleen J. Shogan

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is looking forward to a much-deserved summer vacation in the Outer Banks. When the mayor of the beach town turns up dead, Kit and her friends need to put their fun and relaxation on hold to help solve the crime.

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“I don’t know if it was accident or something else, but there’s a dead body down there,” she said.

I felt my face become flush, and it wasn’t because of the jog.

How could this happen again?

“Maybe someone had one too many at the wine bar and fell over the railing,” I said.

Lisa shook her head. “I doubt it. This railing is too high. It was likely built to prevent that from happening. Unless someone was deliberately trying to climb over it, and I don’t know why that would be the case.”

She pulled out her cell phone from the arm band she wore when exercising. “None of these businesses along the water are open yet. I’m going to call 9-1-1.”

Lisa moved away from the railing and stepped to the side of the boardwalk. Curious walkers stared at us as they strolled by, but no one had stopped to ask what the fuss was about.

I moved over to the spot where Lisa and Murphy had discovered the body. I knew I shouldn’t look, but how could I not? Curiosity killed the cat. Wasn’t there another part of that old proverb? Satisfaction brought the cat back. Of course, I wasn’t a cat and I certainly didn’t have nine lives.

When the police arrived, we’d probably be stuck here for a while. No harm in sneaking a peek before the authorities walled off the area. I peered down into the marsh. The body of a man was floating on top of the reeds and vegetation. He was several feet away from the railing and his face was partially obscured. But I did recognize the clothes he was wearing: light brown linen pants and a dark blue blazer. Mayor Ronan Godfrey was a dead duck.

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I love me a good cozy, and this did not disappoint. This is book 7 in this series and my introduction to the series. Regardless, it took almost no time for me to get into the story and feel like I’d known the characters since book 1. The federal and local politics angles added to the story without overpowering it, which was nice.

The setting felt real, and for me, it had the added feeling of a quick trip into my past. I lived in Wilmington, NC for about 5 years, which isn’t too far from the Outer Banks. It was cool to experience the NC coastal life from afar. Now, “too far” by NC standards means you can make the drive in less than day if you’re dedicated, so it’s not like Wilmington and the Outer Banks are right next-door to one another, but this did remind me that I never did get around to ordering a Duck Donut, which is absolutely a shame. They look just as amazing in fiction as they did in real life.

Final thoughts: I’d absolutely read more from this series and author. The characters really pulled me in, both human and four-legged friends alike. Give this one a try.

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan, author

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She splits her time between Arlington, Virginia and Duck, NC in the Outer Banks with her husband Rob and beagle mutt Conan.

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