Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries #3) by James J. Cudney (Goodreads Author)
Amy Caudill‘s review
The third volume in this cozy mystery series features the male protagonist, Kellan, invested in a mission to help two of his bosses solve a mystery surrounding one’s past while being stalked by his wife whose family faked her death to save her from a rival mob family’s hit.
Kellan is a new professor of media studies at Braxton University, in Braxton, Pennsylvania, the small town where his family lives and is active in politics, and social organizations. Since his wife’s disappearance, he’s also a single father. None of these responsibilities prevent him from getting too involved in “assisting” the local sheriff in solving a murder mystery and possibly finding a new romance.
While he doesn’t necessarily go looking for trouble, Kellan can’t resist when his friends and coworkers need his help, and thus he’s drawn into one potentially dangerous situation after another. Whether it’s breaking into a crime scene, debating withholding evidence, or with the blessing of the police setting a trap for a murderer, Kellan will do what is necessary. If only someone could help him with his personal life…
The fact that the protagonist is male is unusual for a “cozy mystery” series, but the author does an excellent job with his characters and the plots are always deep, involved, and convoluted enough to intrigue mystery fans. As the series develops, we begin seeing more complicated twists in the relationships with supporting characters and the development of plots that are only hinted about in the first books.
Why is Kellan getting postcards from his wife, who is supposedly in hiding? When he has time to sit down and put them altogether, it leads to a cliffhanger that ends this book while also setting up the next in the series, Mistaken Identity Crisis.
I award this book four stars for originality and developing plots that were ongoing in the series, though I did struggle to remember their original introduction as background stories in the last book. Perhaps I should have refreshed my memory of the series before I started this novel. Anyway, this is a good solid mystery, but I would recommend reading the books in order for maximum comprehension.