Review -Dying to Keep It: It’s All About The Money by Donna Thompson

Synopsis: Breanna Dawson, is an orphan who grew up with a burning desire to be wealthy. She survived one foster family after another.  Her nightmare starts when Breanna and her live-in boyfriend, Ben Hatfield, buy a bed-&-breakfast on the rugged coast of Maine. Ben deserts her when Hollister House turns out to be a run-down mansion. Brea thinks her troubles are over when she finds the fortune rumored to be hidden there. Her contractor witnesses a violent argument between her and Ben, and soon after, his body is found floating in Keller Lake. Now the sheriff thinks she’s a murderer, the Mafia wants the money Ben borrowed for his half of the down payment plus interest and there are almost daily attempts on her life. Keeping the money is becoming dangerous. Will Brea survive this madness, mayhem, and murder, just to hold on to the money?

The very first scene when we meet Breanna and Ben shows how mismatched the couple is. She is mesmerized by the beauty of the location and he tells her “It’s just trees.” Brea is carrying around some emotional baggage that stops her from realizing just how bad her situation is with her boyfriend. That first scene also shows the sweetness of Brea’s personality and the harshness of Ben’s.  I was quickly drawn into the mystery as the attempts on her life begin shortly after she found the money. I think Brea went about the distribution of the money very smartly, not keeping it all in one place.

The author does a good job of weaving a cozy mystery with unexpected twists. I was immediately suspicious of Susan because she was uncomfortably frank about previously owning the Hollister place and her relationship with her uncle. Then I became suspicious  of John and Mike. The author definitely keeps you guessing. Just as warning for the meticulous reader, there are a few formatting, misspellings and misuse of quotation marks. The small errors do not detract at all from a very good story line. Overall, good read for anyone who loves a cozy mystery mixed with romance.




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