Book Review & Giveaway: Failure Is Fatal (Laura Murphy Mysteries Book 2)

book info

Title/Author: Failure Is Fatal (Laura Murphy Mysteries Book 2) / Lesley A. Diehl
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Creekside Publishing
Date of publish: January 2015
Pages: 324




Fatal_final_ebook_1Someone at Professor Laura Murphy’s college appears to be playing a joke on her by planting sexually explicit stories in her research results, but the joke turns deadly when one story details the recent stabbing murder of a coed. Laura’s close friend, Detective Derrick Pasquis from the local police, asks for her help in interviewing the prickly suspects who resist intervention from outside the campus community. Eager to search out clues, Laura ignores warning signs that playing amateur sleuth may jeopardize her newly developing romance with Guy. And of course her usual intrusive manner puts her at odds with everyone on campus—colleagues, the college administration, the head of campus security and fraternity members. Is there no one Laura can’t offend in her eagerness to find the truth? The closer she gets to solving the crime, the more it appears that the past—the coed’s, that of a prominent faculty member and Laura’s own—is the key to the murder. Caught in an early winter blizzard, Laura must choose between wandering the mountains and freezing to death or taking her chances with a killer clever enough to make murder look like the work of an innocent student.



Laura Murphy is back! Her sassy brand of investigation, shown so well in the first book of the series, Murder is Academic, is back in full force in Failure is Fatal.
~Back Porchervations

Filled with humor,and a cast of characters so well written you won’t want to stop reading this one.
~Shelley’s Book Case
This was a fun and enjoyable read. The plot was well woven and I was captivated after the first few pages.



My Review

Leo Review sm

Dr. Laura Murphy finds herself pulled into a murder investigation, when a coed is murdered. Her participation in the fact gathering is ostensibly to provide an in to the academic community for her good friend Detective Derrick “Der” Pasquis. When information about the murder along with other disturbing information turns up as part of Dr. Murphy’s long term research study, she jumps into the investigation full steam ahead, risking life and limb and even putting her romantic relationship in jeopardy.

Half way doesn’t seem to seem to be a term in Laura’s vocabulary. Restraint and circumspection are other words she might look up as well. She doggedly pursues the clues wherever they they tend lead. As a sleuth she is incomparable and as such she is her own worst enemy. I haven’t decided if her running headlong into trouble is a personality idiosyncrasy or a response to men in her life asking her to show restraint.

Laura does tend to disregard absolutely everyone in her life and I am not really sure if I like her. I do appreciate seeing the facets of her character. The story is packed full of interesting characters expertly written into the various layers of this story, not the least are Der and Laura’s boyfriend Guy, both of whom deserve medals for putting up with her impulsiveness.

I did enjoy the mystery as there were so many times the clue trail twisted back on itself moving from one puzzle to another, seemingly connected – then not, only to be tied together nicely at the end. I might have enjoyed a bit more discussion about the Why but it was definitely worth taking the time to read and Ms. Diehl is definitely an author worth checking out.

4 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review




LES-DIEHLLesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York.  In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.  Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse.  When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.
She is the author of a number of mystery series (Microbrewing Series, Big Lake Mystery Series, Eve Appel Mystery Series and the Laura Murphy Mysteries), a standalone mystery (Angel Sleuth) and numerous short stories.

Visit her: Webpage / Blog / Twitter / Facebook



other books


Books by Lesley A. Diehl


51EsWep3j4L._AC_US240_QL65_Murder Is Academic (Laura Murphy Mystery)

412apSOocML._AC_US240_QL65_A Secondhand Murder (An Eve Appel Mystery Book 1)

51DHSjOQbML._AC_US240_QL65_Poisoned Pairings (Hera Knightsbridge Microbrewing Mystery Series Book 2)

41v3oadzP4L._UY250_Grilled, Chilled and Killed (Big Lake Mysteries) (Volume 2)



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  1. Hey Lesley, the title alone get one’s interest going. Looking forward to the read. I will check out this blog again, I like the features

    Liked by 1 person

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