ARC Review: The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel (Oakwood Mystery #3)


TheAdviceColumnMurdersCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: What’s the couple next door really hiding? Vintage fashionista and amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter finds out in this engrossing cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders. In a small town like Oakwood, Ohio, everyone knows everyone else’s business—except for Charley Carpenter’s standoffish new neighbors, who tend to keep to themselves. But behind closed doors, Paxton Sharpe’s habit of screaming bloody murder at all hours of the day keeps Charley awake all night. Coupled with the stress of the increasingly delayed expansion of her shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, the insomnia is driving Charley crazy. Her only distraction? The local paper’s irreverent new advice column, “Ask Jackie.”Jackie’s biting commentary usually leaves Charley and her employees rolling on the floor, but her latest column is no laughing matter. An oddly phrased query hinting at a child in peril immediately puts Charley on high alert. After arriving home to a bloodcurdling scream next door, she follows the noise into the basement and makes a grisly discovery: the body of Judith Sharpe’s adult daughter.

With Detective Marcus Trenault off in Chicago, Charley decides to take matters into her own hands. Convinced that the murder is connected to the desperate plea for help in “Ask Jackie,” she embarks on a twisted investigation that has her keeping up with the Sharpes—before a killer strikes again.

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Setting: Modern day Oakwood, Ohio

***I received an eARC copy of The Advice Column Murders from the publisher, Alibi, via NetGalley***

*** this post contains affiliate links ***

Review: Another great entry in the Oakwood Mystery series, with this one striking a more serious tone than the previous entries. The Advice Column Murders was an enjoyable read for me. Our heroine, Charley Carpenter, is likable, clever, and a competent sleuth. I like her more and more with each entry in the Oakwood Mystery series, and I really enjoyed her in this one.

Charley stumbles across a dead body, that of her next door neighbor, and once again is on the case, trying to solve the crime. This particular crime, and the crimes that follow (there’s never just one murder in a cozy mystery!) had more of a serious meaning and message behind them. With themes of abuse, gender, and family drama coming into play here, this mystery felt far more serious than a typical cozy mystery. I liked this foray into a more serious nature, but at the same time missed that playfulness that the previous books had.

While Dmitri, Charley’s best friend and my favorite character, doesn’t get a lot of page time here, it does allow us to learn more about the other people in Charley’s life. We see more of Lawrence, friend and caregiver to Charley’s father, and his girlfriend, Afiya, and we also hear more from Bobby, Charley’s father, who is wheelchair bound after suffering a stroke. Handsome Marcus Trenault, Charley’s boyfriend, comes back into town as well, and he wasn’t given as much of a focus here, which I liked.

In terms of the mystery, I had absolutely no clue who the killer was, and enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery during the course of the book. I love it when I have no idea whodunit, but it still makes sense when all is revealed at the end.

Bottom Line: Another great entry in the Oakwood Mystery series!

LINKS ***the Amazon link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase***
Author Website
My Review of Book #1, The Book Club Murders
My Review of Book #2, The Antique House Murders


Does this sound like a great mystery series? Do you enjoy a mystery with a more serious tone, or do you enjoy more of a cozy style mystery?


8 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel (Oakwood Mystery #3)

  1. We know how much I love a cozy! I can’t believe I haven’t read any of Leslie Nagel’s. Will be looking for them. For the most part I like my cozy mysteries to free and breezy, except for murder and mayhem ,..( hmmm. That sounded as silly after I wrote it as when I thought it.) but I don’t mind delving 8nto a more serious subject now and then. Oh, dear. You do know what I mean, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I do understand what you mean! It’s one of the biggest reasons why I love cozy mysteries, but also get frustrated with them if I read too many too close together. I like the mystery, and the cooky characters/settings, but I don’t like them to be too graphic or dark.


    1. Ha ha! I see what you mean! They do have that sinister look to them. I’ve never read a Fear Street book – I’m far too much of a scaredy cat to read anything remotely resembling horror 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s