Sunday, 27 May 2012
Murder on the Eightfold Path by Diana Killian
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Mantra for Murder Mystery #3
Type: Adult Cozy Mystery
AJ Alexander inherited her aunt's yoga studio, moved to small town New Jersey and started a relatively quiet life...with the exception of reluctantly solving a few murders. But when AJ literally trips over the body of her mother's current beau Dicky right outside Elysia's house, AJ finds herself drawn into her most important case yet. This time AJ is fighting to prove her mother's innocence but with business and relationship problems as well as a back injury, AJ could be biting off more than she can chew.
This is the third book in the Mantra for Murder Mysteries (after Corpse Pose and Dial Om for Murder) and deals with the death of Dicky who was briefly introduced in the last book. The plot is cleverly written and packed with false leads but for some reason I found it really hard to keep my interest on the book and so I kept picking it up and putting it down. I think my attention kept getting distracted as there is so much storyline aside from the murder.
AJ spends a lot of time away from Sacred Balance and can't do yoga because of a back injury, so it's a little ironic that this book contains quite a lot about both yoga and the studio. Since the beginning of the series Sacred Balance has played a key role and in this installment the friction between AJ and her co-manager Lily finally comes to a head with some dramatic scenes. AJ's relationship with Jake Oberlin is also on rocky ground with a new character stirring up trouble and AJ doubting whether the relationship has a future.
Elysia's life and her old friends also get a lot of page time as this time the case is all about Elysia. It's been great watching her and AJ grow closer over the previous books, and this continues that helping AJ see that her mother is no longer the drunk from her childhood. There is also some resolution to the bitter relationship between Elysia and AJ's neighbour Stella. This also means that a lot of the supporting cast are older which adds a different dimension to the book.
At the end there is a guide to two back-strengthening yoga exercises (Happy Baby Pose and Cat Stretch) and two recipes for Barley Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Chicken Walnut Salad.
All in all this was a fair read and I'm looking forward to Death in a Difficult Position.