After a grueling schedule of writing and teaching, famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher is looking forward to nothing but rest and relaxation in the Hamptons. But she's barely been there for twenty-four hours before someone dies right in front of her! While indulging in her secret passion for art, the model -by all appearances, a healthy young woman- in Jessica's class silently passes away from an apparent heart attack while modeling. Compounding the mystery is that a year ago a promising young artist also died of a heart attack. Two identical deaths in two years is strange, but as Jessica discovers more about the circumstances, could she have uncovered some murders?
A Palette for Murder, first published in the mid-90s, has a quaint datedness about it. Jessica is worried about the media getting a hold of the information that she is participating in art classes with - gasp! - nude models. Would that be shocking these days? I can see it maybe appearing on something like TMZ, but then it would be quickly overtaken with an actual sex scandal or something. Also, she disguises herself with sunglasses and a turban, and in the days before camera phones, it kind of works. Anyway, the actual story was pretty enjoyable. Unlike other MSW novels, the murder takes place fairly quickly, so there are lots of pages for the twists and turns to fall out. And when Jessica is making an indignant speech on the first page, you know there will be more where that came from.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Murder She Wrote: You Bet Your Life by Donald Bain
Murder She Wrote: The Highland Fling Murders by Donald Bain
Murder She Wrote: Destination Murder by Donald Bain
Murder She Wrote: Provence - To Die For by Donald Bain
Murder She Wrote: The Fine Art of Murder by Donald Bain