Book Talk looks at two mystery series by Green author Kathryn Long

Many authors use pen names, some to conceal their identities entirely; others to build separate audiences for different genres or publishers.

Such is the case with Green author Kathryn Long, who uses the name Bailee Abbott for the new Paint by Murder mystery series. “A Brush with Murder” is set in a touristy town on Lake Chautauqua, with gift shops, bakeries, an aromatherapy parlor and a place that sells hand-painted kites.

Chloe Abbington, having broken up with her workaholic boyfriend, leaves her unsatisfying art career in New York and returns to help her sister Izzie run her painting party studio, one of those half-instruction, half social event places where groups of girlfriends drink wine while painting pictures of their dogs.

When Izzie takes Chloe to see the studio, they see an altercation between a candle shop owner and Fiona Gimble, a local newspaper columnist, whose malicious hit jobs are directed at every businessperson in town. Despite Fiona’s venom, Izzie invites her to the next evening’s private event for those same businesspeople, hoping for good press.

After the event is over, Chloe hauls a trash bag into the back alley, where she finds Fiona dead, stabbed with a painting knife.

With several of the shop owners having secret legal or financial difficulties and Izzie, too, disappearing without explanation, there is no shortage of suspects.


‘Snow Under Murder’

Kathryn Long also writes the Sierra Pines B&B mystery series; the second book is “Snowed Under Murder.” In Book One, Alexis Winston comes to help out her aunt de ella, who runs a bed-and-breakfast in a ski resort area but arrives to the horrible news that her aunt has died. Julia was in good health but was 93, so she is presumed to be of natural causes, but Julia’s best friend thinks there was something suspicious about it. An independent movie is shooting in town so there are lots of colorful suspects.

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