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The Murder Motif: An Austin, Texas Art Mystery

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Could you fall in love with a murderer? When Shell Hodge moves to Austin, she is ready to start a new life as a single woman with her focus squarely on her art career. After renting a house from her best friend's older brother, Dean, Shell believes life will be as uncomplicated as moving in and getting back to her painting. But Dean is distractingly handsome, and he Could you fall in love with a murderer? When Shell Hodge moves to Austin, she is ready to start a new life as a single woman with her focus squarely on her art career. After renting a house from her best friend's older brother, Dean, Shell believes life will be as uncomplicated as moving in and getting back to her painting. But Dean is distractingly handsome, and he has a charming dog that wins her heart. More importantly, a murder charge is looming over him, and the police seem to be investigating in all the wrong places. Who killed Dean's estranged wife, and why is someone watching Shell? This is Book 2 of the Michelle Hodge Series, but it reads perfectly as a standalone.


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Could you fall in love with a murderer? When Shell Hodge moves to Austin, she is ready to start a new life as a single woman with her focus squarely on her art career. After renting a house from her best friend's older brother, Dean, Shell believes life will be as uncomplicated as moving in and getting back to her painting. But Dean is distractingly handsome, and he Could you fall in love with a murderer? When Shell Hodge moves to Austin, she is ready to start a new life as a single woman with her focus squarely on her art career. After renting a house from her best friend's older brother, Dean, Shell believes life will be as uncomplicated as moving in and getting back to her painting. But Dean is distractingly handsome, and he has a charming dog that wins her heart. More importantly, a murder charge is looming over him, and the police seem to be investigating in all the wrong places. Who killed Dean's estranged wife, and why is someone watching Shell? This is Book 2 of the Michelle Hodge Series, but it reads perfectly as a standalone.

30 review for The Murder Motif: An Austin, Texas Art Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Reads A-Lot

    Michelle Hodge needed a change in her life. She left her job and boyfriend, packed up her car, and headed straight for Austin, where she would work in an art gallery—a perfect place for an artist. Meanwhile, Dean discovers that his mean, greedy, soon-to-be-ex-wife had been shot and killed. For the first night in town, Michelle stays with her old college friend, Margie, who recommended her half-brother’s (Dean) sublet for rent. Neither had realized that Dean would be a prime suspect in his ex-wife’ Michelle Hodge needed a change in her life. She left her job and boyfriend, packed up her car, and headed straight for Austin, where she would work in an art gallery—a perfect place for an artist. Meanwhile, Dean discovers that his mean, greedy, soon-to-be-ex-wife had been shot and killed. For the first night in town, Michelle stays with her old college friend, Margie, who recommended her half-brother’s (Dean) sublet for rent. Neither had realized that Dean would be a prime suspect in his ex-wife’s murder. Michelle felt bad for the torment and anguish this murder was causing. If only she could help. I liked how you just get into these flawed and relatable characters. I liked how this started, opening up to the case at hand; however, it had a consistent lag. I think there was too much time spent on getting Michelle settled into her new house and all the other everyday banalities of life. There wasn’t that much on the mystery itself. This was an okay read, but not as riveting as I first thought.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    The first book in a series set in Austin, Texas, Shell has moved back down to Austin from Dallas after a failed relationship. Margie, her best friend from her college days takes her in and arranges for her to live in a house owned by her brother Dean (next door to his own house). Soon thereafter Dean's ex-wife is murdered, and he is the prime suspect. Sure that the police are not looking at anyone else, Shell and her friend start their own investigation, despite pleas by Dean and Margie's husban The first book in a series set in Austin, Texas, Shell has moved back down to Austin from Dallas after a failed relationship. Margie, her best friend from her college days takes her in and arranges for her to live in a house owned by her brother Dean (next door to his own house). Soon thereafter Dean's ex-wife is murdered, and he is the prime suspect. Sure that the police are not looking at anyone else, Shell and her friend start their own investigation, despite pleas by Dean and Margie's husband that they not put themselves in harms way. A fun mystery with likable characters (except the villains of course).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kay (Brigidsmomma) Compton

    This was excellent! Book 2 in this series, and I hope there are more to come! In this one, one of Shell's partners in the new art gallery she is a part of in Austin, has been murdered in his home, while investigating a painting that he suspects is a forgery. Who killed him and why? There are a number of suspects, and several different motives, and it is up to Shell and her boyfriend, Dean to come up with the right answers before the killer strikes again... this time at Shell herself! Just awesom This was excellent! Book 2 in this series, and I hope there are more to come! In this one, one of Shell's partners in the new art gallery she is a part of in Austin, has been murdered in his home, while investigating a painting that he suspects is a forgery. Who killed him and why? There are a number of suspects, and several different motives, and it is up to Shell and her boyfriend, Dean to come up with the right answers before the killer strikes again... this time at Shell herself! Just awesome!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carlin

    I've now finished the 3 books in the series about Michelle Hodge ("Shell"), out of order but that didn't detract from my enjoyment. This book (#1) is really a 4.5 rating. Book 0 (the prequel) was a 4 and book 2 was a 5-star. The writing, while all good, definitely got better. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. I hope she will place more emphasis on the art angle in future books. I've now finished the 3 books in the series about Michelle Hodge ("Shell"), out of order but that didn't detract from my enjoyment. This book (#1) is really a 4.5 rating. Book 0 (the prequel) was a 4 and book 2 was a 5-star. The writing, while all good, definitely got better. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. I hope she will place more emphasis on the art angle in future books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Binegar-Foster

    Even better than the prequel. I am really enjoying this series. This one had me stumped. I thought for sure I had figured out who the killer was. I was totally off base. I love how the characters relationships are evolving. I was up until 2:30 am trying to finish it but just couldn't stay awake any longer. I finished after dinner and it was certainly with the wait. Can't wait to see what happens in book 2. Even better than the prequel. I am really enjoying this series. This one had me stumped. I thought for sure I had figured out who the killer was. I was totally off base. I love how the characters relationships are evolving. I was up until 2:30 am trying to finish it but just couldn't stay awake any longer. I finished after dinner and it was certainly with the wait. Can't wait to see what happens in book 2.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Who Killed Amanda Dean Maxwell's estranged wife, Amanda, is murdered. She was not a good person which Dean realized a little after they were married. Materialistic and selfish like her brother, Danny Lopez, Amanda only wanted money. Upon her death, everyone realizes the people involved in the murder, are looking for something. Interesting story with nefarious characters. Who Killed Amanda Dean Maxwell's estranged wife, Amanda, is murdered. She was not a good person which Dean realized a little after they were married. Materialistic and selfish like her brother, Danny Lopez, Amanda only wanted money. Upon her death, everyone realizes the people involved in the murder, are looking for something. Interesting story with nefarious characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christine Woinich

    This was an interesting mystery and kept me guessing as I read. Shell and Dean made a great couple. I recommend this story for readers of mysteries as well as romance. I received this story in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Kirkland

    Very well written, very entertaining and fast paced. This series hooked me with the titles, and the stories themselves reeled me into binge reading books one and two! Will be getting book three shortly! Grab them for your own reading pleasure and find out whodunit!

  9. 5 out of 5

    SylviaV

    Free ebook on amazon.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Good the book is one that is about two women who are close friends and since neither have sisters have chosen each other.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn Zamrzycki

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Bange

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katherine I. Naef

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Hashem

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne Wilson

  17. 5 out of 5

    j.jeffers

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary Longo

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pat Scifres

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beckie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pat Plummer

    Great beginning for a series. Have started the 2nd one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Powers

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary E. Harshman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Lemen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paula Morgan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Thompson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Doris

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