Drawn To Murder

A Gabriella Alegré Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
175 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Drawn to Murder is a gripping murder mystery novella by Bob Seay. Gabriella Alegré believes she has found her calling in Boulder, Colorado, drawing caricature portraits and Conte crayon paintings of tourists on Pearl Street. But her blissful artistic endeavor takes a hit when one of her fellow street artists, a flute player named Pello Panagiotopoulos, is murdered. Turns out Pello used to be a famous classical flutist who abandoned a life of fame and money to pursue a quiet life as a busker. When Pello's best friend and caretaker, John, is mistakenly held as the prime suspect and taken into custody, Gabriella decides to put her keen observational skills into use and solve the case herself. With an incompetent lawyer handling John's defense, Gabriella is running out of time to catch the killer and free John.

If you're a fan of whodunnit murder mysteries, you will have an absolute blast reading Drawn to Murder. Author Bob Seay weaves a compelling yarn full of twists and turns that hook you in from the get-go and keep you guessing until the last few pages. The plot is entirely unpredictable, with multiple believable suspects who have realistic motives. You find yourself trying to figure out the mystery, only for Seay to pull the rug from under your feet repeatedly. The characters are colorful and brimming with personality. I especially loved the dynamic and friendship between Gabriella and Amara. Seay's witty dialogue and smooth prose make the narrative a breeze to go through. I thoroughly enjoyed Drawn to Murder and recommend it to anyone itching for a well-written murder mystery.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Drawn to Murder by Bob Seay features Pearl Street, a favorite haunt for the buskers, i.e., the street artists. Gabriella Alegré paints portraits of her customers, while her friend, Amara, performs as a living statue. John, the guitarist, and Pello, the flute player, are the main attractions, occupying the prime spots. One day, Gabriella and Amara find John clutching a wounded Pello near the sidewalk. Despite everyone’s conviction that John is involved in the murder, Gabriella stubbornly insists on his innocence. If not John, then who murdered Pello? What made Pello so afraid of his fans? What secrets did Eos, the fortune-teller, hide from everyone? Can Gabriella put the puzzle together and exonerate John before it is too late?

Unlike most sleuthing stories I have read so far, this one was entirely unpredictable. Seay created a complicated puzzle with his motley cast of characters, each with shady pasts and private agendas. Secrets hidden in plain sight threw me off the track and kept me guessing. With so many variables, I could not even begin to foresee the direction this story might take! In addition, Seay created a charming yet strong heroine with keen perception. I loved how Gabriella’s character was sketched to highlight her determination and perseverance. Seay sprinkled just enough of a budding romance that made me root for her even more. The entire story was also an ode to street-performers everywhere, carefully showcasing their creativity and utter devotion to artwork. I would recommend Drawn to Murder to readers appreciating cozy mysteries and sleuth stories.

Samantha Gregory

Drawn To Murder: A Gabriella Alegré Mystery by Bob Seay is a cozy mystery book featuring Gabriella, a young woman who makes her money drawing portraits for people on Pearl Street. A talented artist, she takes pride in her work. She is not the only creative working in the area. There are several other street performers and when one of them is found dead, Gabriella uses her skills to help solve the murder. Pello played the flute and his expensive flute is taken during the murder. Was that the motive? Or did someone have a grudge against the man? Gabriella is determined to find out and will do whatever she can to bring the killer to justice.

Bob Seay has written an intriguing tale with Drawn To Murder. This story is well-written and entertaining throughout. It stands out from a lot of cozy mysteries, which typically feature characters who own cupcake stores or are amateur detectives. The author seems to have done his research when it comes to Gabriella's artwork or he might work in the medium himself. The little details really helped flesh out the story and added a personal touch to it. Gabriella is only drawn into the case because she knew the victim and wants to help out. The story moved at a good pace and there is a twist at the end which made the story even more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it. Fans of cozy mysteries will love this book and series.

Jamie Michele

Drawn To Murder by Bob Seay is a cozy mystery and part of the Gabriella Alegré Mystery series, which revolves around a street artist in Boulder, Colorado. Gabriella rents a stall as a licensed busker on Boulder's famed Pearl Street, selling personalized portraits she makes of passers-by, either in person or from a photograph. Also on the street's stretch is a musician named Pello who had been wildly famous, falling from the public eye until he ends up murdered. His friend John is the primary suspect but Gabriella isn't convinced and decides to do some digging herself. As she begins to peel back layers, readers meet other Pearl Street performers in a wonderfully creative community whodunnit. “My best friend is dead and I’m stuck in here while someone else is probably trying to sell the only thing that meant anything to him.”

I fell in love with Gabriella Alegré in chapter two of Drawn To Murder, and a novella I picked up out of curiosity was swallowed whole in a few blissful hours. Bob Seay sure knows how to craft a story and he fills it with some excellent red herring twists. Chapter one is a slow start but from the moment Gabriella meets Mr. Bruce Carlin, Attorney at Law, it is full steam ahead. This is definitely a character-driven story and while the plot might have a fortune-teller named Eos, literally a character who is driving, the kind I'm referring to is a nod to a diverse cast of personalities that Seay incorporates and fleshes out with deliciously witty dialogue and a cupcake shop that “Sounds like radiation.” I honestly had no clue who was stealing flutes by way of murder and it's rare for me not to have at least an inkling from the midway point. Overall, this is an intelligent piece of fiction that I have no doubt lovers of cozy mysteries will adore.