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Pen & Ink Mysteries #1

Color Me Murder

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Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There's plenty of inspiration in her new apartment--a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie's boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition--she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor's nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It's not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery--there's a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn't so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

289 pages, Paperback

First published February 27, 2018

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About the author

Krista Davis

36 books2,168 followers
Krista Davis lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she writes three mystery series. She lived in Northern Virginia for many years and resided for a time in Old Town Alexandria where her Domestic Diva Mysteries take place.

Krista also writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries, which debuted with MURDER, SHE BARKED. They are set in a resort town that caters to people who want to vacation with their dogs and cats. Alas, charming Wagtail Mountain, Virginia, where dogs and cats are welcome everywhere is fictional.

Her newest series, the Pen & Ink Mysteries, features covers that can be colored! Read the book and have fun coloring the cover.

She likes to cook and bake (okay, what she really likes is eating) so it was only natural for her to include recipes in her mysteries.

Her dogs and cats have inspired the animal characters in her books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 396 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,159 reviews1,517 followers
February 23, 2018
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is the first book in the new cozy Pen & Ink Mysteries series. Before even starting to talk about the story in this book I’d just like to say what a creative and wonderful idea for book to be printed with a cover that you can color yourself. Adult coloring books are the newest fad so why haven’t I seen this done before now I have no idea but even having read the story I’m ready to buy a copy for my own collection.

Now as you can imagine the author has created a tale within the pages of the creative cover to match by introducing readers to Florrie Fox who is an artist that creates adult coloring books herself and if that wasn’t enough to gain your curiosity about Florrie she also works by day in the Color Me Read bookstore owned by Professor John Maxwell.

The professor knows that Florrie has been searching for a place to live closer to the bookstore so when his sister insists that his nephew be able to move into the carriage house behind the professor’s mansion he offers it free of charge to Florrie as long as she can quickly move in and make it look like she’s been there all along.

However, after moving in to the carriage house Florrie finds that the nephew, Delbert, isn’t the greatest of men and feels a bit unsafe being around him. But little did Florrie expect to find Delbert’s dead body hidden in the bookstore. Before Florrie knows it she has a murderer to find to help save the beloved professor whom police are certain committed the crime.

I’m sure if everyone wonders after my opening to this review if I gave this book five stars simply because I loved the cover, no thankfully that isn’t the case. I have to admit I had high hopes for the plot too and was a bit nervous the story wouldn’t live up to my cover love on this one but I’m glad to say I really enjoyed reading the book too.

This one is full of all of the things that I love with a cozy mystery, unique and likable characters, a nice setting, some cute and cuddly critters to make me aww and plenty of suspects and clues to form a very solid mystery to solve while enjoying everything else. And on top of all of that there are also recipes at the back for the foodies out there to enjoy too. After this opening I’ll be sure to be looking out for the next book in this series to see what happens with these characters in the future.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,345 reviews4,863 followers
December 20, 2021

This is the first book in Krista Davis's new 'Pen and Ink' cozy mystery series.


Twentysomething Florrie Fox is the manager of the 'Color Me Read' bookstore in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. This is the perfect job for Florrie, because she loves to read mysteries AND she creates her own line of adult coloring books.

Florrie is trying to find an apartment closer to work when her boss, peripatetic Professor John Maxwell, offers her the carriage house on his nearby estate.....rent-free.

Maxwell's only caveat is that Florrie has to move in immediately because his sister, Liddy Woodley, wants her good-for-nothing son Delbert to occupy the premises.

It seems that Delbert - who scams/steals from everyone he meets - has been thrown out by his roommates and needs a new place to live. Florrie gets her things into the carriage house in the nick of time, just before Liddle and Delbert come snooping around.

When Florrie comes across Delbert in the bookstore the next day, he nastily tells her that he's going to inherit his uncle's estate and her job will be toast. Professor Maxwell tells Florrie not to worry, that he'll take care of Delbert. A day or so later Delbert's dead body is found in an old bootlegger's hidey-hole in the bookstore, with an ornamental spear in his back.

The police are called, and Florrie is immediately taken with Sergeant Eric Jonquille, a hunky beat cop who has 'delphinium blue eyes and auburn curls.'

After a very minimal investigation (this only happens in cozies), Professor Maxwell is arrested by hard-headed Detective-Sergeant Guy Zielony - who won't consider any other suspects.

As Maxwell is being led away in handcuffs he tells Florrie to use her little gray cells and artistic skills to find the real killer. So - employing the detective smarts she's gleaned from mysteries and the clues she doodles in her sketchpad - Florrie investigates.

Before long strange things start to happen. Professor Maxwell's mansion is ransacked and his butler/houseman Mr. Dubois is seriously injured; someone tries to break into the carriage house; a woman is badly hurt by an electrical mishap; mysterious noises are heard; and so on. With all this going on, guards are brought in to protect Maxwell's estate, and Jonquille becomes Florrie's 'bodyguard.'

During Florrie's inquiries, she collects clues, speaks to people who knew Delbert (most of whom he's wronged), and cogitates about the peculiar things that have been happening. In the end, Florrie identifies the culprit - who I didn't guess.....and who doesn't quite ring true IMO.

Florrie is a short, amiable young woman who dresses nicely and likes to bake delicious pastries - like blueberry buns and strawberry tortes.

She has a kitty named Peaches and - for safety purposes - borrows her parents' dog Frodo - who everyone loves.

In short, Florrie is a charming girl who's considerate of the bookstore's employees; gets along well with Professor Maxwell's eccentric erudite friends; and always brings breakfast to Jim - a homeless man who sits on a bench near the bookstore every morning. Florrie's not too hip though, and - when she has to check out a nightclub for clues - Florrie's tall blonde sister Veronica has to advise her to wear ripped jeans, a short glittery shirt, and high heels.

In addition to the central mystery in the book (Who killed Delbert?), there are lots of other things going on. Professor Maxwell's ex-wife goes missing; a writer whose books were plagiarized by Delbert gives a talk at the bookstore; a family friend named Norman pursues Florrie romantically....and Florrie's white lie about 'another boyfriend' leads to amusing trouble; people accuse Florrie of sleeping with Professor Maxwell; Florrie has to deal with her kind but intrusive parents; Florrie's sister Veronica has a new boyfriend; and so on.

The book has a lot of secondary characters, which gets confusing, but they'll presumably make good fodder for future books in the series.

This is an entertaining cozy mystery that I'd recommend to fans of the genre. I listened to the audiobook version on Hoopla, but I understand the front and back covers are colorable....so that's an added treat. :)

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Juli.
1,879 reviews474 followers
February 21, 2018
I was already a big fan of cozy mysteries by Krista Davis. Her Paws & Claws series is one of my favorites. After reading this first book in her new series, I know the Pen & Ink Mysteries are also going to be on my favorites list!

Florrie Fox works at a bookshop, Color Me Read, in Georgetown. Professor John Maxwell owns the shop. He's a bit of an eccentric and known for dashing off to exotic places on all sorts of adventures (what can you expect from someone who has the Indiana Jones theme as the ringtone on their cellphone). Professor Maxwell's family is well known in Georgetown and quite wealthy. He offers Florrie his carriage house to live in, rent free. He has a craptastic nephew and wants to prevent him from thinking he can move into the carriage house. It's a win-win situation -- Florrie gets a place in Georgetown two blocks from work without a huge rent, and Professor Maxwell doesn't get his horrid nephew Delbert living in his backyard. It all goes to plan....but Florrie is barely moved in before the nephew is showing his true colors, stating he will inherit the shop and the house soon enough and Florrie will be out a place to live and lose her job. And then someone tries to break into the carriage house! Florrie is sure it was Delbert. What a jerk! She tells Professor Maxwell, and he promises that he will take care of the problem. Imagine Florrie's surprise when a hidden trapdoor is found in the bookshop the next day....and inside.....Delbert's dead body. She knows the Professor would never murder anyone -- even his horrible nephew. The detective on the case is a jerk....so she starts looking into the case herself to help the Professor. Many people probably wanted to kill Delbert.....or had at least thought about it.....but who was it that stuck a spear through his chest and dumped his body into the tiny space under that trapdoor?

I loved this book!! Florrie is an artist and publishes adult coloring books. When she's thinking through a problem or gathering clues she draws in her sketchbook. As a main character she is intelligent, strong and resilient. Add in some interesting and quirky side characters, a bit of romance and a bookshop......great start to a new cozy series!!

The front and back covers of the book can be colored as well. I would have a hard time coloring on a book.....so mine would stay white....but the concept is so creative and cute! I think I would scan the front and back covers and color the copies! I can't bring myself to write in a book. :) There are also recipes in the back of the book.

I can't wait for the next book! :)

Krista Davis is also the author of the Domestic Diva and Paws & Claws cozy mystery series.

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
March 3, 2018
Wow, what a book! This novel had me hooked from the first few pages with the beautiful descriptions of the beautiful book store, Color Me Read. Of course as a reader, I am drawn to books that involve books and this book was not the exception! When I first received this ARC from Kensington, I was over the moon not only did the story sound captivating but the cover was amazing!!! Not only did it have a beautiful and intricate design wrapped around the cover, you could customize it by coloring it anyway you wanted!!! Woot!

I fell in love with the characters right away with this book! Florrie was such a relatable character. She loved others to a fault, was bookish, was open-minded and was an animal lover. Her passion and loyalty to her job as manager at Color Me Read, gave Florrie the drive to be a great amateur sleuth. I loved that her knowledge from detecting and figuring out what is what came strictly from her being a bookworm. I always knew reading too many mysteries could benefit me in a adventurous way. I loved Florrie’s interactions with the fellow customers, coworkers and a local homeless man, Jim. She always looked out for everyone else and tried to see the best in them.

The mystery of this story was well thought out. I thought for sure I had things figured out early on but of course I was wrong. The plot had great descriptions of the settings and the characterizations but still had a steady pace that was perfect for the outline of this story. Overall, this was hands down one of the best cozies I have read in awhile. This book was so much fun but it also had all the details that us bookworms love. I felt like I was in the middle of the book with Florrie and think I enjoyed her adventure and new home way too much! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good cozy and/or anyone who loves to read books that involve books. I thought it was a very unique take to have Coloring Book Artist/Book Store Manager as our amateur sleuth. This is the first book I have read by Krista Davis but it surely won’t be my last! 
You can find my full review @ http://touchmyspinebookreviews.com/20...
Profile Image for Tan Markovic.
338 reviews137 followers
March 4, 2018
4/5 stars!!

Florrie Fox works in her local bookstore, Color Me Read, and is a bookworm with a passion for crime novels, drawing and colouring books for adults. It turns out her passion for drawing comes in handy when trying to track down a real murderer and free one of her closest friends from prison.
I went into this book without having high expectations and I have to say that it genuinely surprised me! The premise of the book is nothing new, however the way that the author executed the plot, developed the characters and created mystery throughout really made for an exciting murder mystery!

Although it took me a while to get immersed in the story, mainly due to almost all characters having peculiar names, when I finally figured out who was who the story was so engaging and interesting. The author introduces characters in a way that makes them all suspicious and makes you question all their motives.

I loved Florrie's character; she was your average, somewhat awkward bookworm with a weird dating history and a strong passion when it came to her closest friends - she didn't once doubt her friend even when all the clues pointed at them. I found her developing romance in the book adorable and not overplayed which made it an enjoyable read.

This book is the first in the Pen and Ink Mysteries series and I would definitely pick up the next instalment!

I received an ARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank them, the publisher Kensington Publishing and the author Krista Davis for this opportunity.

Reviews can also be found at: https://booknerdtan.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,413 reviews272 followers
March 31, 2018
Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a unique cover idea. Adult coloring books are huge right now. I gave away quite a few to my family for Christmas with sets of colored pencils. This book brings two favorite things together, a fantastic cozy mystery and color-it-yourself cover art.

When you venture beyond the cover you do find a fantastic mystery. We meet Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. The cool thing, she doesn’t just sell adult coloring books in the store, she has also published several herself. Florrie is quite a doodler and the pictures she creates are truly art. Professor John Maxwell owns the store. He is a traveler, his adventures take him all around the world. His office is full of treasures from his travels. He lives on a huge estate with a butler, Mr. DuBois, who runs the household and keep his friend Maxwell on track. There is a guest house on the estate and Professor Maxwell offers the place to Florrie. She is unhappy in her small apartment and Maxwell would rather have her for a tenant than his unsavory nephew Delbert.

Delbert shows up at the bookstore and Florrie dislikes him instantly. She understands why his uncle doesn’t want him around. When she arrives that next day a wrinkle in the carpet catches her attention, she discovers the carpeting in covering a trap door, but when she lifts it she is shocked to find a very dead Delbert. There is no way to color this picture any other way but tragic and gruesome.

I want to shout about this book from the rooftops!

Krista Davis is a great writer, but she has topped herself with this series debut!

The characters are so smart, engaging, witty, charming, interesting and fun. I love them already and want to know them better. Heck, I want to move into Professor Maxwell’s guest house so I can be a part of their lives every day.

I have only visited Washington D.C. once, but with the author’s descriptions of the area and the bookstore, I could transport myself so easily. All the little details were wonderful. I would love to get lost in all the Color Me Read bookstore has to offer.

The plot was rich and flowed at the perfect pace. I found myself so immersed in the story that I realized I didn’t highlight any parts or make any little notes like I do with most books to help me solve the mystery and write my reviews. I sat down and started reading and didn’t put it down until I reached the final word. Well written and well plotted this book has everything I look for in a story and more.

A charming and compelling read with an ending that surprised me. A perfect escape, no this one was a trip to Paradise. It deserves more than 5 stars!
Profile Image for Sabine.
593 reviews76 followers
February 7, 2018
5 sparkling stars!

I wish I could call Florrie my friend. She is very likeable, smart and loyal. That's not where the praise for this book ends though. There are so many unique and interesting characters, all well delveloped, that I can't name them all here. Even though there are a lot of them I never had a problem to remember who is who.

The mystery had me hooked right away and I couldn't figure out who the bad guy was until the reveal. I suspected almost everybody at one point or another. All those loose ends that never seemed to have anything to do with each other came wonderful together in the end and while reading the last pages I sat there with a big smile on my face. Can't wait for the next book in this series to be released. I hope we won't have to wait too long!

This is the start to a series that I hope will go on for a long time. Must reads for sure!

I didn't get a chance to give those recipes listed at the end of the book a chance yet but I will. They sound very delicious!

I requested this book from NetGalley and am thankful that Kensington and the author provided me with an advance copy.
Profile Image for Gloria.
820 reviews63 followers
February 6, 2018
Color Me Murder has everything that makes a great mystery--setting, plot with many layers, cast of suspects and of course a body. Color Me Read is a bookstore in the area of Georgetown in Washington, DC where artist and adult coloring book designer Florrie Fox is the manager and where the owner's nephew, Delbert, is found with a spear in his back. The shop is in an old building with a secret compartment in the staircase dating back to prohibition. The only reason that Florrie found the body is because the rug was not lying flat and when she pulled it back, she found a hidden door in the floor. When she opened the door, the body was in the compartment. Delbert was very cunning, devious and lived off the success of others and generally not liked. Lots of people could have wanted him dead but his uncle and bookstore owner, Professor John Maxwell, is the prime suspect. Florrie doesn't believe that Professor Maxwell killed Delbert and sets out to prove his innocence. Ms. Davis does a great job spinning a tale of twists and turns that involves many suspects with a reason to get rid of Delbert. I love the setting of a murder in a bookstore in Georgetown. Florrie is an interesting person with her artistic ability to draw people and things that she sees. She compiles them in a sketchbook of the crime that is helpful for an overview. The ending has a twist that I didn't see coming. I am hoping that this is a new series since there is a large cast of interesting and quirky characters that I could see needing their own story. And maybe a little romance with Florrie and a certain police officer that was a great help to her during this dangerous and tense time is in the future. This is my first book by Krista Davis but I want to go back and check out her other series.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tina.
398 reviews125 followers
February 27, 2018
Color me Murder was excellent for me. I'm an adult coloring book junkie. Florrie Fox is a coloring book artist. Also the amateur sleuth. She is enjoyable. Someone I would love to be myself. The book involves an interesting and different premise.  It's an entertaining story. For not entirely adult coloring book fans but for the die-hard mystery fan. I know this is a series I will read every book of. I can't wait to review the next book in the series.

I received this book from the author for an honest review.
Profile Image for Chatting About Cozies.
1,164 reviews48 followers
February 6, 2018
I love that I have a fantastic new cozy series and new characters to love! The protagonist, Florrie Fox, manages the Color Me Read bookstore, sketches in her free time, and has her own adult coloring book line! How awesome is that! She moves into a gorgeous carriage house owned by her nice, wealthy employer, Professor John Maxwell, and becomes friends with his butler, Mr. DuBois, who has a flair for the dramatic! I chuckled at a lot of his scenes.

The story provides a compelling mystery which is all solved neatly at the end. I enjoyed all the secrets that come to light during the book. There’s humor, and a cute cat and dog to love. The book is a page-turner, and thrilling to lose yourself in, and I highly recommend this Debut to Cozy Mystery fans! The author includes delicious sounding recipes at the end.

Profile Image for Darinda.
8,169 reviews144 followers
April 7, 2018
Florrie Fox manages the Color Me Read bookshop. She has wanted to move closer to the bookshop, but hasn't been able to find anything she liked, or could afford. When her boss, Professor John Maxwell, offers his carriage house to her, she can't resist. Unfortunately, Maxwell's nephew Delbert had his eye on the carriage house. Delbert is not a likable guy, so when he goes missing nobody is too upset, but then Florrie discovers Delbert's body in a trap door area in the bookshop. Maxwell is the obvious suspect, but Florrie doesn't believe her boss to be capable of murder.

The first book in the Pen & Ink series. A cozy mystery with a likable cast of characters. I love the setting of the bookshop and carriage house in historic Georgetown, Washinton, D.C.

The story is told from Florrie's point of view as she looks into Delbert's demise. The mystery was light, as is normal in cozy mysteries. The police latch on to their main suspect, Maxwell, and Florrie goes around talking to people to find the real killer.

I read this book based on the cover. True story. Fortunately, I also really enjoyed it. A cozy mystery with humor and a little romance. I look forward to reading more of this series.

I received a digital copy of this book from Kensington and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,059 reviews152 followers
February 26, 2018
Florrie Fox is delighted when her boss offers his carriage house as a place for her to live. It’s only a few blocks from the bookstore she manages. Her boss, Professor Maxwell, doesn’t want his nephew, Delbert, to move in, so it is perfect. Florrie begins to have her doubt when she meets Delbert, but the last thing she expects to find is his dead body. With Professor Maxwell arrested for the crime, Florrie needs to work fast to prove his innocence.

This is a delightful start to a new series. Florrie is a strong main character, and I love her friends and family as well. I already can’t wait to visit them again. The plot is complex with multiple twists and turns that surprised me. I did feel the climax was a bit weak, but it certainly did explain everything that had happened. Florrie also designs adult coloring books, and as an added bonus, the physical book features a front and back cover ready to be colored.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for Fred.
953 reviews38 followers
February 26, 2018
Color Me Murder is the first book in the A Pen And Ink Mystery series.

This is a great start to a new series by Krista Davis. A well-plotted and told story with a developed and interesting cast of characters.

At 9:30 on a Saturday morning, Florrie Fox gets a frantic phone call from her boss Professor John Maxwell owner of Colored Me Read bookstore, asking her if she has found a different place to live yet. Florrie answers in the negative and Maxwell offer her the carriage house with the understanding that she can be done moving in by 6:00 PM. Maxwell’s sister, Liddy, wants the carriage house for her son, Delbert to have. Delbert is the ultimate “spoiled child” and has a history of being a con man and Maxwell wants nothing to do with him.

After getting moved in Florrie heads to Color Me Read to work until the store closes. Showing a gentleman upstairs for a book on Churchill she starts to head for downstairs but hears noise from the third floor. When she goes to investigate, she finds someone sitting at Maxwell’s desk. She informs him that this a private office. The person replies that when he owns the business, she will be toast. Florrie had just met the worthless Delbert. When she tells Maxwell of the encounter, he says he will have it handled by Monday.

On Sunday, as Florrie was heading to the rare book room to check on a couple books that a customer called about, she trips on the carpet of the landing going to the third floor. She didn’t remember the carpeting being like that yesterday and upon close examination, she finds that there is a trapdoor in the landing. Wondering if Professor Maxwell knows about this she proceeds to open the trapdoor and is shocked to find the lifeless body of Delbert, stabbed by a spear. Once the police learn of Maxwell’s comment about taking care of the problem, he is arrested for the murder of his nephew.

So, with the help of Bob Turpin, an employee at Color Me Read, Florrie sets out to find who really murdered Delbert and clear Maxwell. Also helping Florrie are several of Maxwell’s professor friends and Jim, a homeless man, who is always sitting on a bench in front of Color Me Read.

I particularly enjoyed a most interesting cast of characters, the professors are all interesting and prove to be a great help to Florrie. I also liked the character of Jim. A man of few words, for the most part, but for being a shabby homeless fellow he is pretty much ignored which allows him to see a lot without being caught looking. I’m looking forward to seeing where the author will take this character.

Delicious sounding recipes are also included.

I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Karen.
503 reviews54 followers
January 30, 2018
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is a book you can not put down. It is engaging, and the perfect blend of cozy and mysterious and the tiniest sliver of romance. It was brilliant. Start to finish a readers delight. All the feels and warm feelings at the end. I cannot wait to read the next in series. There is something truly remarkable in the way that Krista Davis writes and just how much I love each and every character she creates. I felt so emotionally involved and invested. Instant book hangover. I loved it! The cover is amazingly reflective of the story and just so much fun. This book is out February 27th and is a Kensington release.
Profile Image for JoAn.
2,073 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2018
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is, I hope, the first in a long running new cozy series. I enjoyed reading every page of this book.

Florrie Fox is the manager of the Color Me Read bookstore and a coloring book artist. I found her to be likable, efficient in her management of the bookstore and a little naive about life. Ms. Davis' descriptive writing made me feel like I was in the bookstore or in her carriage house on Professor Maxwell's estate with Florrie. The secondary characters were quirky and fun to meet or diabolical and sad. The characters are developing nicely and I hope to know them better as the series progresses (hopefully). The plot was quickly paced and the twists kept me guessing until the reveal. Simply, I was happy reading this book from start to finish and felt like I had found a new "home" to spend time in.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lisa Ks Book Reviews.
843 reviews108 followers
Want to read
June 5, 2018
What a creative idea for a series! The Pen & Ink mysteries come with covers you can color! But it isn't all about the fun on the outside of the book. COLOR ME MURDER was a clever mystery that had me guessing the whole way through! I'm eagerly awaiting the new installment of this colorful series!
Profile Image for Ann.
5,196 reviews59 followers
March 25, 2018
Krista Davis has several cozy series available but this is by far my favorite. Set in a bookstore in Georgetown, Washington DC , run by manager Florrie Fox , this cozy has lots of great characters. Florrie has been taken under the wind of Professor John Maxwell the owner of Color Me Read. He asks her to move into his carriage home to prevent his nephew from becoming a resident. Said nephew turns up dead at the bookstore and of course Max is the main suspect. I especially liked the homeless character, Jim and his backstory. I can't wait for book two in this new series. I received a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Meg.
600 reviews
February 4, 2019
A fine start to a nearly new series. Loved bookstore and carriage house settings. A couple of things confused me but otherwise a good, light, easy read. Can't color the book cover on Kindle 😆 but love that cover, anyway.
Profile Image for Patrizia.
1,479 reviews31 followers
February 20, 2019
Ho deciso di dare 5 stelle perché il mistero era così complicato che non sono riuscita a mettere insieme tutti gli indizi in una maniera comprensibile.
Per quanto riguarda la protagonista la invidio due volte: una prima volta perché sa disegnare mentre le mie capacità artistiche sono tali che un bambino dell'asilo è più bravo di me; la seconda perché vorrei vivere anch'io in una casa come la carriage house. Beh, a pensarci bene c'è anche una terza ragione, visto che sembra trovare anche l'uomo ideale....
Profile Image for Shawn.
52 reviews
September 8, 2022
I loved Florrie Fox, the manager of Color Me Read. She delves into trying to find out who the real killer of the Owners Professor John Maxwell's nephew really is. I actually got choked up at the end in a good way. I am looking forward to reading the Coloring Crook.
2,719 reviews31 followers
March 3, 2019
Florrie manages bookstore by day and drawings for coloring books for adults at night. Her boss,Maxwell, lives in a mansion and offers her the carriage house to live in if she agrees to move in right away so his nephew can’t live there.Everything is fine until she finds a trap door in the floor with his nephew dead inside. She knows Maxwell can’t be guilty but he is put in jail. Interesting story with tunnels, many suspects and details of her family life.
363 reviews2 followers
February 23, 2018
**I voluntarily read this ARC**

My creative side absolutely adored this book. The idea of Florrie sketching out clues and ideas was simply amazing. I wish that the carriage house really existed - it sounds absolutely stunning. The mystery was great with a nice amount of humor in it.
Profile Image for Silvia Kay.
137 reviews21 followers
February 28, 2018
Color Me Murder was very pleasant to read, but not particularly outstanding compared to other cozy mysteries I have had the opportunity to read lately. I liked the fact that the main character Florrie was a coloring book author. I also appreciated all the mouth-watering descriptions of Florrie's baking, not to mention her quaint living quarters.

To be honest, I find it hard to put a finger on what it was exactly that relegated this book to the three-star territory. Something about it fell slightly off, though. There were times where I couldn't help thinking that it was too saccharine for my taste. Also, I didn't like the author's way of transitioning between chapters. The chapter divisions felt extremely artificial, as though they were only there for the sake of it. For the most part, there was no pause between the action happening at the end of each chapter and the one that followed at the beginning of a new chapter, which made the chapter divisions feel rather pointless.

However, this was by no means a bad book. I don't regret reading it, although to tell the truth I'm not entirely sure if I want to continue with the series.
Profile Image for Heidi Prockish.
443 reviews12 followers
September 20, 2022
**Just finished it for the second time and I love it even more than I did the first time.

Such a great book! I could not put it down and I am really looking forward to the next one. I have recently discovered the books by Krista Davis and I am totally hooked! She is now one of my favorite authors.
Profile Image for Lisa Currier.
1,717 reviews49 followers
February 11, 2018
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is an incredible first in a new series.
I didn't want it to end. I kept puttering around the house, trying to keep my hands off my kindle.
It didn't work, I kept hearing Florrie calling me, teasing me, taunting me.
I caved in and finished it. I was so sad it ended but so excited to find this beautiful gem of a story, between the gorgeous covers of coloring pages!

The story is brilliant, well crafted and well told. I immediately fell in love with Florrie. Everyone needs a Florrie in their life.

As manager of Color Me Read, Florrie loves her life, surrounded by books, friends and her own published adult coloring books. The artist in her is always active, sketching on anything she has handy, including an envelope and a napkin.
The only thing missing is a place to live in Georgetown, something affordable that is.
When her boss, Mr. Maxwell makes her an offer, she hesitates, thinking it's too good to be true. Little does she know that by moving into his carriage house, she soon becomes the target in a crime so unbelievable, it will leave you speechless.
There are so many colorful characters in this story, I wish I knew them all.

I have to admit that Norman cracked me up, poor Florrie couldn't escape from him. Florrie's kindness to Jim was so sweet, I was so happy that he became a huge part of the story.

Fans of cozy mysteries will fall in love with Color Me Murder. The setting, the characters and the story line all meld together to create a wonderful story.
Readers be warned, make yourself comfortable when you open this book, because once you step inside, you won't want to leave.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Color Me Murder which was provided by NetGalley and the publisher.
Profile Image for Daniele.
1,040 reviews29 followers
March 7, 2018
Florrie Fox loves her job as a bookstore manager, her new home in coveted Georgetown, her “after hours” gig as an adult coloring book artist, and her boss Professor Maxwell. When Florrie finds Maxwell’s scheming nephew Delbert’s body, obviously murdered, in the bookstore, Maxwell quickly becomes the prime suspect. Before he is carted away to jail, he implores Florrie to find the real killer by using her gray cells and her artist’s eye (a fun nod to Christie’s Poiroit). This leads her down a dangerous path, hitting too close to home for comfort.

I am a big fan of Krista Davis’s books and was over-the-moon to see this new series. COLOR ME MURDER is fantastic.

The adult coloring book craze is still going strong, but I think the Pen and Ink series has the potential longevity to live on far beyond the trend (if the trend ever wanes). Florrie’s art helps her think through the mystery, and it makes perfect sense. This is not some kitschy theme.

I really like Florrie. She is relatable and personable. I admire her loyalty, honesty, and dependability. I think we could be friends. I also greatly enjoyed butler Mr. Dubois, Professor Maxwell, love interest Jonquille, and homeless man Jim. Florrie’s parents are a hoot, and her relationship with her sister Veronica rings true. Truthfully, there are not any characters that are not well developed and interesting, even the most unpleasant of the bunch. There are even a lovable cat and an adorable dog thrown in. I cannot wait to get to know them all better in forthcoming books, of which I hope there are many.

The mystery surrounding Delbert’s death makes for compelling reading. COLOR ME MURDER was hard to put down. I felt invested in the characters and their plight. Davis’s writing is descriptive and conversational, the pace steady and quick. I was blown away by the killer’s identity and loved how all of the pieces fit together neatly at the end. I impatiently await the next book in the series. I cannot get enough.

Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
Profile Image for Emmalynn.
1,296 reviews14 followers
February 12, 2023
Surprisingly good. This has been on my TBR pile for a while and finally got to it. It was a good start to the series. The characters are not to dumb, the mystery is a good one, the main character doesn’t have a ton of TSTL moments and there is a lot of gamy and relational building. Florrie is determined to clear her boss of the murder of his nephew, between trying to run the bookstore, investigate the murder and find out where his second wife disappeared to, Florrie, has to deal with unwanted advances from Norman, a younger sister, Veronica who is always in love, a surly employee Helen, feed Jim the homeless man, and look after the butler.
Profile Image for Kristina.
3,442 reviews60 followers
February 22, 2018
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is the first book in the new A Pen & Ink Mystery series. Florrie Fox is the manager of Color Me Read in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. At night she uses her artistic skills to create adult coloring books. When Florrie arrives at work, Professor John Maxwell (her boss) asks if she is still looking for an apartment. Florrie wishes to move closer to work to cut down on her commute. Professor Maxwell offers Florrie his carriage house (rent free) on the condition that she move in that day. Liddy Woodley, Professor Maxwell’s sister, wants her son, Delbert to live in the carriage house. The last thing Professor Maxwell wants is his odious nephew living on the property. After meeting Delbert, Florrie can understand Professor Maxwell’s feelings. That night someone tries to break into the carriage house. The next morning Florrie stumbles on the third-floor landing. The carpet was not lying flat. Upon investigation, she finds a trap door which opens to reveal a hidden compartment. Inside is Delbert with a spear sticking out of his back. Professor Maxwell is arrested for Delbert’s murder, and he is relying on Florrie to solve the crime. There are many people who disliked Delbert due to his various schemes. Florrie, with the aid of her friends and her sketches, works to cover a killer and free Professor Maxwell.

Color Me Murder was an entertaining cozy mystery. The story drew me in right away. I thought Color Me Murder was well-written and had a steady pace (and good flow) which made it easy to read. Krista Davis has an appealing writing style. Florrie Fox is a delightful character. She works at the bookstore and designs adult coloring books which I found unique. While working on solving the murder, she uses sketches (instead of notes). Florrie interprets what she is told into visual images which aid her in solving the crime. Florrie is creative, intelligent, loyal, likeable and she rolls with the punches. There are a couple of quirky characters in the story. Mr. DuBois, the butler, is a hoot. Professors Rosca, Goldblum and Bankhouse are friends of Professor Maxwell’s and are helpful in gathering intel for Florrie. I do hope we get to see more of Professor Maxwell in the next installment (he is a lively gentleman). The author provided lovely descriptions of Georgetown where the bookshop is located and Florrie’s new residence. The mystery is well-constructed and clever. Many readers will be surprised by the culprit’s identity. All the loose ends tie together and are wrapped up neatly at the end of the book. I appreciated that the focus of the book was on the mystery. There is a touch of romance, two adorable animals (a cat and a dog), a beautiful old home with some hidden secrets, an unwanted admirer, humor, a gorgeous necklace and an unexpected ally for Florrie in Color Me Murder. The cover of Color Me Murder (for those that purchase a hard copy) can be colored which ties into the story. There are recipes at the end of the book. I finished Color Me Murder with a grin on my face (no silly characters or inane antics in this story). My rating for Color Me Murder is 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). I am eager to read to the next A Pen & Ink Mystery.
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