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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
James J Cudney's Legally Blind Luck: Death Via Curse is a cozy mystery story set in Braxton, in scenic and secluded Wharton County, Pennsylvania. The principal character, Kellan Ayrwick, a professor at Braxton College, teaches film production, loves mysteries and drama, and is a talented amateur sleuth. Kellan and Wharton County Sheriff April Montague have worked together on past homicide cases. Kellan's uncle, Zach Danby, is killed in a rental car explosion at the Orlando airport. Zach, a veterinarian, was returning home after living two years in South Africa, working on an elephant protection program. He was suspected of having stolen a priceless 17th-century South African figurine, but the relic remains missing. Kellan and the Ayrwick family are devastated. On the opening day of a South African Art exhibition at Braxton College, Kellan finds a murder victim in the exhibition hall. Was Zach also murdered? Kellan and Sheriff April team up to investigate the two deaths, to find closure for the Ayrwick family.
A well-crafted cozy mystery, I greatly enjoyed reading James J Cudney's Legally Blind Luck with its remarkable sleuth, Kellan Ayrwick, and his investigation of a convoluted web of potential murderers. I liked the interweaving of Kellan's family members and the Braxton College administrators into the story. Their conversations, emotions, and sense of humor bring the characters vividly to life and reveal Kellan's caring and compassionate nature. I liked Sheriff April's rapport with Kellan as they work together on the homicide case and their growing personal relationship. The story twists and turns every which way, the action and suspense are continuous. I felt the story grew even more mysterious through the intricate threads of the (fictional) history of the South African missing figurine. I thought the final confrontation with and apprehension of the elusive murderer was fantastic! A very enjoyable and fascinating murder mystery story indeed!