Killing the Story by Joan Livingston

I have enjoyed each of the novels by Joan Livingston that I have read and Killing the Story, the fourth in her Isabel Long series of crime mysteries is no exception.

The Blurb

An accidental death that was no accident…

For the record, Estelle Crane, the gutsy editor of The Observer newspaper, died after a hard fall on ice. But years later, her son discovers a cryptic note hinting her death might not have been an accident after all.

Was Estelle pursuing a big story that put her life in danger?

That’s what Isabel Long — along with her 93-year-old mother, Maria, her ‘Watson’ — agrees to investigate in Dillard, a town whose best days are in the past.

A former journalist, Isabel follows leads and interviews sources, new and familiar. She quickly finds a formidable threat in Police Chief James Hawthorne, who makes it clear Isabel is not welcome in his town — and who warns her against poking her nose into Estelle’s death.

Of course, that’s after Isabel has discovered the chief’s questionable policing and a troubled history with Estelle that goes way back.

Killing the Story means dropping it because there aren’t enough facts to back it up. But Isabel won’t make that mistake. She’ll see this one through to the very end.

Can she uncover the plot that led to Estelle’s murder?

Killing the Story is the fourth in the popular Isabel Long Mystery Series.

The Review

Although Killing the Story is the fourth book in Livingston’s series, each of the novels works perfectly well as a stand alone story.

This book starts with when Isabel encounters law enforcement officers from a neighbouring town. Her interest in them increases when the owner of the town’s newspaper, Emerson Crane, asks her to investigate his mother’s death. The death was classed as an accident, but the man doubts that.

Isabel takes on the case and the reader is soon engrossed in her life with her mother, Maria, her love, Jack and the ‘old farts’ she bounces ideas off in the back room of the local store.

I especially enjoyed this book because the reader is allowed to learn more about the depth of Isabel and Jack’s feelings for one another. The readers is also privy to more information about the ‘old farts’ and Maria’s love of diner food results in some amusing interludes.

Killing the Story is an excellent novels that drops subtle clues to the conclusion of Isabel’s investigations. Her assistance comes from an unexpected source and that results in a particularly satisfying ending to the story. As I have said, I enjoy all the novels by Joan Livingston the I have read, but Killing the Story is a particularly engrossing story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

The Author

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Chasing the Case, Redneck’s Revenge, Checking the Traps, and Killing the Story, published by Darkstroke Books, are the first four books in her Isabel Long Mystery Series, featuring a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. solving cold cases in rural New England.

She draws upon her own experience as a longtime journalist in Massachusetts and New Mexico to create Isabel Long, a sassy, savvy widow who uses the skills she acquired in the business to solve what appears to be impossible cases. She also relies on her deep knowledge of rural Western Massachusetts, where she lives, to create realistic characters and settings — from country bars (where Isabel works part-time) to a general store’s backroom where gossipy old men meet.

She credits her mother, Algerina — the inspiration for Maria, Isabel Long’s ‘Watson’ — for instilling in her a love of reading and the power of the written word.

For more, visit her website: Follow her on Twitter @joanlivingston and Instagram @JoanLivingston_Author. Her author page on Facebook is:


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