Murder at Harbor Village (Cleo Mack #1)
Young retiree Cleo Mack is trading in academia for a second act in Harbor Village, a community for active seniors in coastal Alabama. But someone in this picture-perfect coastal town is burning the candle at both ends . . .     It’s love at first sight when Cleo arrives in Fairhope, Alabama, after taking early retirement from her longtime position as professor of social work. Touted as “the nicest town in the world,” Fairhope is home to an eclectic community of retirees. Harbor Village boasts classes in painting, pottery, and photography, not to mention being a buyer’s market for husbands. It seems an ideal place to make new friends and rediscover life. Until a dead body is found in the pool.   When the victim turns out to be the unpopular director of senior living, Cleo is named acting director. Now she must rely on her well-honed people skills to uncover a killer in a place where short-term memory isn’t what it used to be, and age is just a number. And if Cleo keeps snooping around, her number may soon be up . . .

Murder at Harbor Village (Cleo Mack #1) Details

TitleMurder at Harbor Village (Cleo Mack #1)
Author
ReleaseNov 13th, 2018
PublisherLyrical Underground
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

Murder at Harbor Village (Cleo Mack #1) Review

  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    As Cleo Mack is debating over taking an early retirement opportunity from her job as a professor of social work she decides to take a few days to stay in Fairhope, Alabama. As Cleo is exploring the small town and it's charm she meets a few residents that direct her over to the retirement community which Cleo immediately adores. Looking into becoming a resident even though she's not quite of age yet Cleo ends up meeting with the director who offers her a part time job thus eliminating another of As Cleo Mack is debating over taking an early retirement opportunity from her job as a professor of social work she decides to take a few days to stay in Fairhope, Alabama. As Cleo is exploring the small town and it's charm she meets a few residents that direct her over to the retirement community which Cleo immediately adores. Looking into becoming a resident even though she's not quite of age yet Cleo ends up meeting with the director who offers her a part time job thus eliminating another of Cleo's worries. Before Cleo even settles in though a murder takes place and she finds herself handed the reigns of the whole facility with a murder to solve on top of the new duties. Murder at Harbor Village by G.P. Gardner is the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring an older protagonist. This one so far has a lot of glowing reviews but I find myself with a few doubts when done with this one. One big thing for me as a reader is this one wasn't the over the top quirky/comical I enjoy the most but that is simply a matter of taste. However, what I did find in this book that was a bit over the top was the believability factor of Cleo's story. We have a character arriving in a random town to think about retiring suddenly being handed a job she did not look or apply for along with a place to stay. Then to go even further she's handed the director position and running the whole establishment within days instead of becoming a suspect when it's found that by total coincidence her ex is married to the victim. Really? Of all the towns in all the world.... So needless to say the set up of how Cleo comes to the community didn't sit quite right with me although I did like her as a character. I also did enjoy the idea behind why the murder happened and think that was the more believable side of the story although it might have also benefited from a few more suspects. In the end though I think this setting and character have potential if the coincidences are toned back in the future and I'd rate this one at 3.5 stars for now.  I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
    more
  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo Mack hadn’t expected to retire just yet, but when she is pushed into early retirement, she accepts. Cleo visits the town of Fairhope in Alabama and immediately chooses that town to call her new home.The people of Fairhope are super nice, especially those living in the Harbor Village retirement community. Her retirement seems to be short-lived when she is offered a position in Harbor Village and she jumps at the chance. Things, however, take a nasty turn when she discovers a dead body in the Cleo Mack hadn’t expected to retire just yet, but when she is pushed into early retirement, she accepts. Cleo visits the town of Fairhope in Alabama and immediately chooses that town to call her new home.The people of Fairhope are super nice, especially those living in the Harbor Village retirement community. Her retirement seems to be short-lived when she is offered a position in Harbor Village and she jumps at the chance. Things, however, take a nasty turn when she discovers a dead body in the pool. It turns out to be her new boss and the director of the community. Cleo is made acting director until the murderer can be found.This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. The first part of the book felt like an introduction into the series and characters. It took some time for me to get into, but about halfway through, the murder mystery picked up.Things came a bit too easy for Cleo as she makes friends immediately and gets a good job without even looking for one. It’s a case of “ if it looks too good to be true, it usually is”. In this case, she has to deal with murder and a retirement community with huge problems. Not exactly how I would want to spend my retirement. LOLOverall, I liked the characters. Cleo is a strong character and she meets a few quirky residents of Harbor Village that can be fun. I didn’t particularly like Cleo’s adult daughter. She seemed to want to take over Cleo’s life. Cleo isn’t even fifty yet and is perfectly capable of making her own decisions. The mystery is a puzzle with Cleo trying to figure out how it all fit together. I tried to help her, but I was all over the place with theories :) Besides the murder, there is obviously quite a bit of mystery surrounding the retirement community and its staff. Cleo needs to sort through all of it and get everything into place. She has her work cut out for her to right this ship.This series has the potential to be a good one. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series.FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
    more
  • Shelly
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you come across a light and fun mystery that is both charming and a breath of fresh air in the genre. Murder at Harbor Village is one of those books. Cleo relocates to Fairhope, Alabama upon taking an early retirement from her job at a university. She takes a live-in part-time position at Fair Harbor, a 55+ community where there are plenty of fun things to do and pleasant people to meet. But Cleo soon discovers that all is not as idyllic as it seems on the surface when the Director of Sometimes you come across a light and fun mystery that is both charming and a breath of fresh air in the genre. Murder at Harbor Village is one of those books. Cleo relocates to Fairhope, Alabama upon taking an early retirement from her job at a university. She takes a live-in part-time position at Fair Harbor, a 55+ community where there are plenty of fun things to do and pleasant people to meet. But Cleo soon discovers that all is not as idyllic as it seems on the surface when the Director of Senior Living is found lifeless in the pool and foul play is suspected. Cleo is thrust into the vacated position and soon finds out that the former director had a few things in common with Cleo’s own past.
    more
  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    A new author for me and the first in a new series. Cleo Mack has taken early retirement and moved to in Fairhope, Alabama. The town is friendly as most are newcomers. There is a retirement village called Harbor Village. Cleo excepted a part-time position in the area as activity director. While moving into an apartment Cleo learns that her ex-husband is the CEO of the corporation who owns the community. His current wife, Lee is the director. Cleo hadn't met or talk to him in over 20 years. He is A new author for me and the first in a new series. Cleo Mack has taken early retirement and moved to in Fairhope, Alabama. The town is friendly as most are newcomers. There is a retirement village called Harbor Village. Cleo excepted a part-time position in the area as activity director. While moving into an apartment Cleo learns that her ex-husband is the CEO of the corporation who owns the community. His current wife, Lee is the director. Cleo hadn't met or talk to him in over 20 years. He is the father of her daughter and delightful grandson. She adopt s a cat that was left by a previous renter and spends a lot of time looking for its names. A neighbor has a dog. The dislike director, Lee is found in the Village pool. It is determined later that she was murdered. Cleo is named acting director and she is not given any directions of how to run the department. Her first step is to become familiar with the community and she began to find something wrong but must spend the time to look It for the problem. What is her cat's name? How do the dos play into the tale? One of the employees has a litter of kittens and Cleo okays bringing the cats to the assist living building where they are a big hit. What is wrong at the Village? I highly recommend the book.Disclosure: Many thanks to Lyrical Underground through NetGalley for a review copy. The opinions expressed are my own.
    more
  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama. Cleo Mack is considering taking retirement after being offered an incentive, but she is still too young to retire and is not sure if she can handle it financially. She is a social worker, but has recently been teaching at the University. She is in town looking to see if she wants to move to the small town, close to her daughter and her family. Shortly after arriving in town, Cleo meets a resident of Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama. Cleo Mack is considering taking retirement after being offered an incentive, but she is still too young to retire and is not sure if she can handle it financially. She is a social worker, but has recently been teaching at the University. She is in town looking to see if she wants to move to the small town, close to her daughter and her family. Shortly after arriving in town, Cleo meets a resident of the retirement community, Harbor Village. As well, she meets the director of the village at a coffee shop. After a conversation, she is offered a part-time position as resident director at Harbor Village and an apartment in the complex. When the Director of the facility is found floating in the pool dead, a strange set of circumstances is set into motion. It's also a shock for Cleo to learn that the unlikable lady is also the current wife of her estranged ex husband. Cleo is named Acting Director and works with the police to help solve the murder. Cleo soon discovers that things inside the idyllic community are not what they seem.This was a fun and interesting cozy with a couple of mysteries that tie together in the end. There was a lot of questionable circumstances, especially surrounding how Cleo got her job, but it is fiction. The culprit was pretty easy to figure out, but it was finding the evidence and being able to determine who was involved that kept the story going. I enjoyed most of the characters, but especially Patti. It will be nice to see her continue to develop in future books. This was a good start to a new series, and I am looking forward to seeing where G.P. Garner goes with these characters in her next book. The publisher, Lyrical Underground, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
    more
  • JoAn
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village was a lovely cozy mystery that captivated me from the first chapter.I enjoyed meeting Cleo Mack and the other residents of Harbor Village in Fairhope, AL. Cleo has recently retired from her position at a university and fell in love with Fairhope while visiting. She knew that she was too "young" to retire; but the retirement offer was too good to pass up. Then a chance meeting led to a job offer and her decision was made. No sooner had she moved in than the murder occurre Murder at Harbor Village was a lovely cozy mystery that captivated me from the first chapter.I enjoyed meeting Cleo Mack and the other residents of Harbor Village in Fairhope, AL. Cleo has recently retired from her position at a university and fell in love with Fairhope while visiting. She knew that she was too "young" to retire; but the retirement offer was too good to pass up. Then a chance meeting led to a job offer and her decision was made. No sooner had she moved in than the murder occurred and Cleo's adventure began. There were several twists, both personally and professionally for Cleo, in this quickly paced plot. Other residents that live in Harbor Village are diverse and some are quirky but all seem to be likable. I look forward to visiting again and hope the next book is released soon.I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Underground via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
    more
  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village by G.P. Gardner is the debut novel in A Down by the Bay Mystery series. Cleo Mack has been offered a chance at early retirement from the university where she is department chair and teaches social work. Cleo decides to visit Fairhope, Alabama while trying to decide about her future. She falls in love with the picturesque town and a chance encounter with Nita Bergen helps the final pieces fall into place. Nita introduces her to Harbor Village, a retirement community, wher Murder at Harbor Village by G.P. Gardner is the debut novel in A Down by the Bay Mystery series. Cleo Mack has been offered a chance at early retirement from the university where she is department chair and teaches social work. Cleo decides to visit Fairhope, Alabama while trying to decide about her future. She falls in love with the picturesque town and a chance encounter with Nita Bergen helps the final pieces fall into place. Nita introduces her to Harbor Village, a retirement community, where she lives with her husband, and her circle of friends who welcome Cleo. Cleo is contacted by Jamie Barnes, Director of Assisted Living at Harbor Village, who offers her a part-time job handling resident services and Cleo works an apartment into the deal. A month later, Cleo returns to move into her new apartment and begins a new chapter of her life. The next morning, Lee Ferrell, the executive director, is found dead in the pool and Cleo finds herself in charge of Harbor Village. Travis McKenzie, Cleo’s ex-husband of twenty-three years, runs Harbor Health Services, needs fresh eyes on Harbor Village, and he feels Cleo is the right woman for the job. Something fishy is going on in this quiet community and Travis is relying on Cleo to ferret out the truth. How does is relate to Lee’s death? That is just what Cleo intends to find out.Murder at Harbor Village is a light cozy mystery with friendly characters and a striking town. Cleo is looking forward to this new phase of her life when a murder disrupts her plans. She is suddenly thrust into an administrative roll (there goes the retirement) with a host of problems. She is shocked when she learns the victim is Travis’ new wife (makes him a good suspect). Cleo soon learns that murder is not the only mystery at Harbor Village. We are taken through Cleo’s daily tasks as she learns her new role which she handles with grace considering she has no clue what she is doing (practical knowledge goes a long way). We are introduced to numerous characters and learn the complexities of running a retirement village. I liked the author’s relaxed writing style which makes the book easy to read. The mysteries were complex and multifaceted. The suspects are limited, but I believe readers will find it challenging to identify the killer. I like how she bounces ideas off Nita, Jim, Dolly and Riley (her new circle of friends) and works with Chief Ray Boozer on solving the whodunit. The resolution relies on speculation instead of firm facts and there was an unanswered piece of the puzzle. I enjoyed reading the refreshing Murder at Harbor Village and I look forward to reading the next A Down by the Bay Mystery.
    more
  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama and featuring recent retiree Cleo Mack. Having been prodded into early retirement from her position as a social worker, Cleo is looking for a new place to settle down and call home. On her way to visit her daughter, Cleo decides to spend a few nights in Fairhope.Shortly upon arrival, Cleo meets a resident of the retirement community, Harbor Village. In a weird twist of events, she is offered a part t Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama and featuring recent retiree Cleo Mack. Having been prodded into early retirement from her position as a social worker, Cleo is looking for a new place to settle down and call home. On her way to visit her daughter, Cleo decides to spend a few nights in Fairhope.Shortly upon arrival, Cleo meets a resident of the retirement community, Harbor Village. In a weird twist of events, she is offered a part time position and a full time apartment. Walking home from dinner with her visiting daughter and grandson, they see the Senior director sitting in the lobby, much to their surprise she is discovered floating in the pool the next morning. It's really a shock for Cleo to learn that the unlikable lady is also the current wife of her estranged ex husband.Named as Acting Director, Cleo sets out with the help of a few of the Senior residents and staff members to find out who hated the woman enough to kill her. Cleo soon discovers that things inside the idyllic community are a lot darker under the surface - someone is stealing drugs and medications from the residents, there are squatters living in some of the vacant apartments, someone is manipulating the financial reports, and a few of the Seniors exhibit very odd behavior.A fast paced plot that will keep your interest. The whodunit is easily identifiable, the circumstances surrounding Cleo's involvement in Harbor Village are a little unbelievable, and her immediate acceptance into the community is a little quick, so this cozy set in a retirement village might not be for everyone but I think there is a potential for many future adventures with Cleo and the residents of Harbor Village.I received an advanced copy of Murder at Harbor Village from NetGalley via Lyrical Underground, a division of Kensington Books. While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.
    more
  • Lisa Morin
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village is the first book I've read by this author.I was intrigued by the cover and the description, and once I began reading, the story drew me in and kept me there until the very end.Cleo Mack is a great character and I'm looking forward to get to know her.This story is full of twists and, a nasty murder and some shady dealings going on at an assisted living facility.The supporting characters are fun and colorful, adding excitement to the story.I'm looking forward to the next Murder at Harbor Village is the first book I've read by this author.I was intrigued by the cover and the description, and once I began reading, the story drew me in and kept me there until the very end.Cleo Mack is a great character and I'm looking forward to get to know her.This story is full of twists and, a nasty murder and some shady dealings going on at an assisted living facility.The supporting characters are fun and colorful, adding excitement to the story.I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
    more
  • Jessica Robbins
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.What a great start to this new cozy mystery series! We meet Cleo as she is offered early retirement so she goes on a trip to consider it. She comes back with a job and a new place to live in what sounds like the sweetest town. It is full of charm, wit, and a diverse range of characters that blend into one great story that I found hard to put down. Perfect for fans of the genre. I really liked it so I giv *I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.What a great start to this new cozy mystery series! We meet Cleo as she is offered early retirement so she goes on a trip to consider it. She comes back with a job and a new place to live in what sounds like the sweetest town. It is full of charm, wit, and a diverse range of characters that blend into one great story that I found hard to put down. Perfect for fans of the genre. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
    more
  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village is the 1st book in the Cleo Mack mystery series, and a very enjoyable book. Cleo Mack is offered early retirement from her position as a social work professor and travels to Fairhope, Alabama. When Cleo arrives to town, she falls in love with Fairhope and quickly makes friends, gets a job, and a place to live. When an unpopular director of the senior center is found dead in the pool, Cleo is offered the director's job, and she is determined to find out the truth. I reall Murder at Harbor Village is the 1st book in the Cleo Mack mystery series, and a very enjoyable book. Cleo Mack is offered early retirement from her position as a social work professor and travels to Fairhope, Alabama. When Cleo arrives to town, she falls in love with Fairhope and quickly makes friends, gets a job, and a place to live. When an unpopular director of the senior center is found dead in the pool, Cleo is offered the director's job, and she is determined to find out the truth. I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to the next book in the series. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
    more
  • Diane Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    When there is a Murder at Harbor Village, everyone is a suspect in this new cozy mystery series.Cleo Mack is offered a golden parachute to retire early from her Social Work professorship at an Atlanta university. She decides to move to Fairhope Alabama, recognized as one of the best retirement towns. Cleo quickly gets a job and apartment in Harbor Village, a retirement community. The weekend before starting her new job the little seen corporate bigwig, Lee, is found dead of apparent drowning in When there is a Murder at Harbor Village, everyone is a suspect in this new cozy mystery series.Cleo Mack is offered a golden parachute to retire early from her Social Work professorship at an Atlanta university. She decides to move to Fairhope Alabama, recognized as one of the best retirement towns. Cleo quickly gets a job and apartment in Harbor Village, a retirement community. The weekend before starting her new job the little seen corporate bigwig, Lee, is found dead of apparent drowning in the resident’s indoor pool. Cleo is surprised to learn that her long ago ex-husband, Travis, married Lee a month earlier. When Lee’s sister, Jamie, leaves her Director job the day after the murder, Cleo is made acting Director.Police Chief Boozer soon discovers that Lee was bludgened to death. As the one to benefit the most by inheriting his wife’s considerably wealth, Travis is suspect number one. Cleo decides to investigate to clear Travis’ name.The characters in Murder at Harbor Village were genuine. Cleo would make a good friend—helpful and intelligent. However, I found it difficult to get over the many unbelievably coincidences in the novel. Cleo kept meeting random strangers in Fairhope that all had a connection to Harbor Village. Her new boss married her ex only a month earlier? Still I liked the characters enough to read the next in the series, Murder at Royale Court, coming out in June 2019. 3 stars.Thanks to the publisher, Lyrical Underground, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Nessa
    January 1, 1970
    This first in a new series starting Cleo Mack, debating retirement in a coastal town of Fairhope, Alabama. She's visiting, debating what her next step is for herself and if she should relocate. She begins talking with the locals and before she knows it, she's got a job offer to work and live at a retirement property. Cleo barely gets through her first day and there's a dead body in the pool (and a couple of employees playing hooky or MIA).. Is it happenstance or homicide? And there's missing dru This first in a new series starting Cleo Mack, debating retirement in a coastal town of Fairhope, Alabama. She's visiting, debating what her next step is for herself and if she should relocate. She begins talking with the locals and before she knows it, she's got a job offer to work and live at a retirement property. Cleo barely gets through her first day and there's a dead body in the pool (and a couple of employees playing hooky or MIA).. Is it happenstance or homicide? And there's missing drugs in the nursing unit that needs to be investigated. Cleo finds herself stepping into the executive role, trying to keep things running while the police conduct their investigation.. Next, she finds the deceased is the new wife of her ex-husband. And it goes from there.I enjoyed this story because Cleo is so business focused and task cocused between her relocation and new job role, that I learned several things reading what she went through each of her days. She had to be in the rental/real estate aspect of it, resident services, assisted living, while still taking care of customers. Cleo handled it with grace under fire. I think there will be more adventures at Harbor Village that do not disappoint!Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my thoughts.
    more
  • Jerri Cachero
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo Mack is a younger than average retired professor who finds herself retired, employed (as an Executive Director of Harbor Village, a senior living neighborhood) and in the middle of a murder investigation within a week! It was wonderful to to read about a character who was my age. Cleo is intelligent, savvy when it comes to people, kind and doesn't rush headfirst into danger. Always a plus for me when reading a cozy mystery! The supporting characters, at Harbor Village, were independent, sma Cleo Mack is a younger than average retired professor who finds herself retired, employed (as an Executive Director of Harbor Village, a senior living neighborhood) and in the middle of a murder investigation within a week! It was wonderful to to read about a character who was my age. Cleo is intelligent, savvy when it comes to people, kind and doesn't rush headfirst into danger. Always a plus for me when reading a cozy mystery! The supporting characters, at Harbor Village, were independent, smart and ready to solve the mystery...especially Jim!I hated to finish the book! I'm looking forward to the second one!
    more
  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    This new series is off to a great start with this brand new cozy mystery by G. P. Gardner. The book is filled with characters I got to know and enjoyed reading about. The author definitely has the ability to bring life to the scenery and people in her story. I look forward to visiting Harbor Village again in future books. Cozy mystery lovers will be thrilled by the plot that is easy to follow and clues that narrow down the suspects a bit at a time. There are some surprises along the way as well This new series is off to a great start with this brand new cozy mystery by G. P. Gardner. The book is filled with characters I got to know and enjoyed reading about. The author definitely has the ability to bring life to the scenery and people in her story. I look forward to visiting Harbor Village again in future books. Cozy mystery lovers will be thrilled by the plot that is easy to follow and clues that narrow down the suspects a bit at a time. There are some surprises along the way as well as twists and turns that kept me on my toes. Not all the characters are nice, and not all of them are what they at first appear to be. Moreover, this cozy mystery will be valued by those of us who are tired of the profanity and sex scenes that are creeping into all fiction these days. I am thrilled to say the author didn’t feel the need to add anything of the sort. I highly recommend this book.
    more
  • JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
    January 1, 1970
    When she's offered a job at the facility the next day, she's surprised but accepts. Then someone is murdered and she's offered the job of Executive Director - which she agrees to take on a temporary basis only. Soon enough she finds out that there's more to the story, and as circumstances will have it, that there's also a very real reason she was offered the job...I honestly wanted to love this book. It's a mystery, which I love, and the cover was enticing. However, there were too many unnecessa When she's offered a job at the facility the next day, she's surprised but accepts. Then someone is murdered and she's offered the job of Executive Director - which she agrees to take on a temporary basis only. Soon enough she finds out that there's more to the story, and as circumstances will have it, that there's also a very real reason she was offered the job...I honestly wanted to love this book. It's a mystery, which I love, and the cover was enticing. However, there were too many unnecessary details, which seemed like the author only wanted to get her 'word count' up enough to get it published. Things like, "I added some chocolate covered almonds and put the snacks into a plastic bag from the grocery store." Do we really need to know it was a 'plastic bag from the grocery store'? Or about all the snacks? Then there were conversations (and thoughts in her head), things like asking where the detergent is, the bed linens, where to put the modem, etc. These are all superfluous and too much like the things we do in our ordinary life. We know they need to be done; we don't need to hear Every Single Detail. Even to putting the iron on the shelf in the laundry room. Did we think it would be on the coffee table instead? But then it explains why Cleo - in her 40's - would want to move into a retirement community and hang out with people in their 80's playing dominoes. Who would do that? Isn't that like a teenager wanting to hang around with people in their 40's? I can't see how anyone would think this was normal behavior. It's nice that she's friends with the residents; but they shouldn't be her only source of a social life if they think playing dominoes, eating sandwiches and going to bed at 8 pm is a fun night. (I also can't see someone owning two cats and just leaving one to fend for herself while taking the other with her. I'm a cat owner, and I would never do anything like this.)So while the first half of the book was really strange and didn't make any sense, the second half picked up a bit and it got interesting. I enjoyed reading about how Cleo was actually taking charge of everything and figuring out what was going on; it brought the book to a nice pace. The writing was done very well, and the descriptions of the harbor area were lovely; I do believe this author has potential. Although I never felt that Cleo was threatened in any way or in danger of any kind, and I felt the circumstances surrounding the murder was rather 'mild' to put it, it was still a decent start for a first book, and I hope to see this author hone her skills and improve over time. I'd like to see less mundane details and more teeth in the series. All in all, not a bad beginning for a new series and I will read the next.
    more
  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.Cleo Mack, after a longtime position as a professor, is taking an early retirement. She decides to take a trip to Fairhope, Alabama, which has been called the nicest town in the world. While there, she falls in love with everything about it and decides to make her trip a permanent one. After obtaining a job in a senior living facility, she feels pretty comfortable with her decision. That is, until the director of senior living is found I won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.Cleo Mack, after a longtime position as a professor, is taking an early retirement. She decides to take a trip to Fairhope, Alabama, which has been called the nicest town in the world. While there, she falls in love with everything about it and decides to make her trip a permanent one. After obtaining a job in a senior living facility, she feels pretty comfortable with her decision. That is, until the director of senior living is found dead and she's pretty sure it wasn't an accident.Oh, how I wish I could say I loved this book. The reviews are glowing and it's in my preferred genre. The kindle edition has an adorable cover and it had the makings of a great story. Sadly, I didn't care for it. Mostly because there are a few things that really bothered me. One of them is that someone the age of our protagonist (I'm guessing 40s range here, which is my age group) would want to live in a 55+ community and play dominoes every night. I mean, she actually seems dead set on the idea. This, all because she met some older woman that was friendly. Which brings me to bothersome issue number two. These people are friendly. I'm talking super friendly. They are so accepting of transplants that it's almost creepy. Now I'm not saying that small town people aren't nice. Of course they are. I've been to quite a few and have always had a pleasant experience....but they are also standoffish a bit when it comes to new people as they tend to be a very tight knit community. You aren't just going to walk in and be bff's with people like Cleo did. I've also never known anyone like Cleo, who just throws caution to the wind when meeting new people. She doesn't know any of them, yet she lets them lead her. Then there is the way she gets a job. One she never applied for. Offered by someone she met briefly one time. Everything just falls perfectly into her lap. This woman's life is so cherry, she should buy a lottery ticket. *sigh* I know....it's just a book. The problem is that it's just so unbelievable to me that I couldn't get past it. By the time the murder took place and the connection twist was revealed, I already lost interest in the story. Add that to the fact that the characters were one dimensional and I honestly didn't care for anyone, I finally put the book down after skimming to the end. I love cozy mysteries, but this one just wasn't for me.
    more
  • RO G'ma
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village is the first book in what I hope will become a new series written by G. P. Gardner. The author has provided great background information for the venue, the storyline is well plotted, and the diverse cast of characters is well developed. This quick-paced whodunit is an easy to read cozy with an interesting murder mystery, some colorful and quirky characters, lots of potential suspects, and twists and turns to keep readers engaged. I’m looking forward to reading future boo Murder at Harbor Village is the first book in what I hope will become a new series written by G. P. Gardner. The author has provided great background information for the venue, the storyline is well plotted, and the diverse cast of characters is well developed. This quick-paced whodunit is an easy to read cozy with an interesting murder mystery, some colorful and quirky characters, lots of potential suspects, and twists and turns to keep readers engaged. I’m looking forward to reading future books by this author.Cleo Mack is a widow and a professor at an Atlanta university. She has a close relationship with her daughter, Stephanie, who lives in Birmingham with her husband, Boyd, and their young son, Barry, but is estranged from her ex-husband, Travis McKenzie. While on her way to visit her daughter, Cleo plans to spend a few days in Fairhope, Alabama while she contemplates accepting the early retirement package the university recently offered her. Cleo meets Nita Bergen, a resident of Harbor Village Retirement Center, in Fairhope. She quickly becomes friends with Nita, her husband, Jim, Dolly Webb, and Riley Meddors. Things move rather quickly, and Cleo accepts a part-time position handling resident services at Harbor Village and rents an apartment in one of their buildings. When Lee Ferrell, Harbor Village’s Executive Director, is found lifeless in the outdoor swimming pool, foul play is suspected. Chief Boozer, and one of his officers, Mary Montgomery, begin their investigation, and it turns out that Cleo has some surprising connections to some of the players that she was unaware of. Cleo becomes the retirement community’s Acting Executive Director and, with little or no direction, she familiarizes herself with the community, staff members, and residents and dives in to identify and fix the various problems she discovers. Most of the staff is receptive to her presence and the changes she wants to incorporate at Harbor Village. She’s also determined to find out what happened to Lee, and with the help of some staff members and residents, adds the title of amateur sleuth to her resume.I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
    more
  • Stanley McShane
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo Mack is weighing possibilities of an early retirement when she discovers Fairhope, a beautiful iconic Alabama coastal town, and is almost immediately drawn in by friendly local Nita Bergen, a resident at Harbor Village. The same fact-finding day she runs into Jaime, also of the senior community, who offers her a part-time position as Resident Services Manager along with an apartment. Cleo is sold, quickly clears her desk at the university where she formerly taught and accepts Apartment No. Cleo Mack is weighing possibilities of an early retirement when she discovers Fairhope, a beautiful iconic Alabama coastal town, and is almost immediately drawn in by friendly local Nita Bergen, a resident at Harbor Village. The same fact-finding day she runs into Jaime, also of the senior community, who offers her a part-time position as Resident Services Manager along with an apartment. Cleo is sold, quickly clears her desk at the university where she formerly taught and accepts Apartment No. 8 keys at Harbor Village. Before she can fully settle into her cozy little apartment, however, the corporate bigwig, Lee, whom she met only briefly, is discovered in the pool--dead--and is determined to have been murdered. Jaime is immediately "kicked upstairs," off to another complex, leaving Cleo thrust into the unlikely position of Executive Administrator in Jaime's place. It doesn't take long before Cleo begins to discover there are a lot of problems just under the surface of what appeared an idyllic situation. Along with realizing the enormity of her employment situation, she has inherited the resident cat, a calico, who decided it was time he came home to inspect the new occupant. Cleo is further shocked that her ex, Travis McKenzie, is part owner of the complex and Lee was his new bride. There is a whole host of interesting and colorful support characters, and I loved the author's sense of humor in naming them...Patti (Wagon), Police Chief Boozer. The quest to discover the name of the feline provided a sweet sub-plot as well.The logistical plan for fact-finding worked seamlessly into the subtle search for the antagonist and the conclusion weaved in a restrained and delicate delivery. I received this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. This is a first in the series and sets a promising stage for some delightful retirement community adventures. I'm interested in seeing these characters grow (particularly Patti). Recommended for those who enjoy a cozy mystery, beautiful geographic setting, and cantankerous and quirky characters. 3.5/5See my full review at https://rosepointpublishing.com/2018/...
    more
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo Mack isn't yet 55 but her teaching position (social work) has come to a cross roads for her. Does she stay on or take a very generous offer at early retirement? She has just one month to decide. On her way to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grandson, she decides to stop for three days in the charming coastal town of Fairhope. Her first impression is "It's St. Mary Mead come to life". Little does she know that, just like St. Mary Mead, homicide is part of the "village" fiber. She makes a Cleo Mack isn't yet 55 but her teaching position (social work) has come to a cross roads for her. Does she stay on or take a very generous offer at early retirement? She has just one month to decide. On her way to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grandson, she decides to stop for three days in the charming coastal town of Fairhope. Her first impression is "It's St. Mary Mead come to life". Little does she know that, just like St. Mary Mead, homicide is part of the "village" fiber. She makes a friend the day she arrives and one thing leads to another, more friends are added and, before she knows it, she has retired and moved into Harbor Village. They make her a deal that will allow her to work 20 hours and it comes with an apartment. Unfortunately a dead body in the pool becomes part of the deal and, in a major coincidence, the dead woman was the current wife of Cleo's very long ago ex husband. The last thing Cleo needs is that complication because now she is doing the job that had been held by the dead woman. There are strange things going on in Harbor Village and, with the help of her new friends, she investigates. I loved the setting and I had no trouble believing that Cleo would feel the urge to stay. Sometimes you just know when something is right. The friends she makes are well developed and quirky. Yes, it is a bit of a stretch that the ex-husband is front and center in her life after a 20 year gap but, hey, this is fiction and it's allowed. The mystery worked, too and I have added this new series to my to be read list. Cleo will return for another mystery June 4, 2019 - Murder at Royal Court.My thanks to the publisher Lyrical Underground and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Cozy Cat Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    This is a delightful debut of a brand new cozy series that I hope will become a long running series as this first in series is already one of my favorite new cozy series of 2018. The author has all the right elements for the perfect cozy series. I was thrilled that the author wrote of a retirement age protagonist as that is not often found in cozy series and so appreciated by us "older readers". Right away I found so much to like about this series ! The setting, charcters and sleuth are enjoyabl This is a delightful debut of a brand new cozy series that I hope will become a long running series as this first in series is already one of my favorite new cozy series of 2018. The author has all the right elements for the perfect cozy series. I was thrilled that the author wrote of a retirement age protagonist as that is not often found in cozy series and so appreciated by us "older readers". Right away I found so much to like about this series ! The setting, charcters and sleuth are enjoyable, believable and fun to read about. Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama. Cleo Mack is a retired social worker, just getting settled into her new town and looking for a position she enjoys for fun. Cleo is offered a part-time position as director at Harbor Village Retirement village and an apartment in the complex. However life is far from idyllic as her ex husbands wife is found dead in the complex . Soon Cleo is on the case working with the local police and proving to be a excellent investigator. She soon is finding clues with the help of the community and even making friends. as she finds she enjoys life in her new town and being part of a retirement community. This was a fun and well crafted cozy with a great sleuth and lots of evidence for clues for the reader. This was a good start to a new series. Thank you to the publisher and author for the advance review copy . I highly recommend this book for all cozy readers who enjoy a smart savvy protagonist that is skilled at solving a murder. The opinion is my own.
    more
  • Cris (The Biblio Blonde)
    January 1, 1970
    Having never read anything by this author, I was eager to check out Murder at Harbor Village. In this book, college professor Cleo decides to accept an early retirement offer after visiting, and opting to move to, the resort town of Fairhope. Through a series of events she quickly finds an apartment and a job... along with a mystery. In her new senior living community, a woman is found dead, a boatload of business problems have been discovered, and Cleo must learn who she can trust to get everyt Having never read anything by this author, I was eager to check out Murder at Harbor Village. In this book, college professor Cleo decides to accept an early retirement offer after visiting, and opting to move to, the resort town of Fairhope. Through a series of events she quickly finds an apartment and a job... along with a mystery. In her new senior living community, a woman is found dead, a boatload of business problems have been discovered, and Cleo must learn who she can trust to get everything going in the right direction again.I really enjoyed this book. The heroine that Gardner has created is strong and mature. Cleo has a good head on her shoulders, and easily connects with others. I appreciated the fact that while she was brave and willing to step out of her comfort zone, she didn't take all manner of unnecessary risk as do some amateur sleuths I've encountered, and didn't need her law enforcement love interest to come rescue her at the last moment! She seemed like the kind of woman you would love to befriend.The story was interesting and had enough characters that you were kept guessing as to just what had happened. The final reveal seemed to be less a point of focus, with the narrative centering more around relationships. I hope that the series continues, and I'd certainly like to learn more about Cleo and her friends and see what adventures come next.Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for a complimentary review copy of this title.
    more
  • Laura Hundley
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Villiage by G. P. Gardner has it all. This little cozy thriller was very well written and is perfect with a cup of coffee or beverage of choice while reading before going to bed. Gardner threw in some interesting characters as well. We meet Cleo Mack who has decided that she no longer wants to teach social work as a professor and decides to move to a quaint little town called Fairhope Alabama. The senior living community is called Harbor Village and it boasts of different activi Murder at Harbor Villiage by G. P. Gardner has it all. This little cozy thriller was very well written and is perfect with a cup of coffee or beverage of choice while reading before going to bed. Gardner threw in some interesting characters as well. We meet Cleo Mack who has decided that she no longer wants to teach social work as a professor and decides to move to a quaint little town called Fairhope Alabama. The senior living community is called Harbor Village and it boasts of different activities for seniors such as art classes, painting and pottery. It is also a great place to meet your next husband. Throw in a murder and some nosey neighbors and you have the perfect combination. A body is found dead in a pool and the dead man is the director of the senior living facility. So now we have Cleo as the acting director and she must find out what happens and quick before memories fade or she is next. Can she find th killer? You need to read the book to find out. You will be amazed at how things turn out. I highly recommend this book and hope that you enjoy it as well as I did. I won this book from goodreads giveaways and would like to thank the author by giving my honest and unbiased review.
    more
  • Jessica Wilhoite
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the setting of this book being at a retirement community and that the newest resident, Cleo, ends up being the person who gets involved in solving the mystery. This was well-written with a spunky main character and the minor characters seems to fill in the traits missing in her own character, definitely a plus on the author's end - the character's seems to fit together wonderfully. It's a small world, but even smaller in the cozy genre - Cleo is debating on early retirement, but I really enjoyed the setting of this book being at a retirement community and that the newest resident, Cleo, ends up being the person who gets involved in solving the mystery. This was well-written with a spunky main character and the minor characters seems to fill in the traits missing in her own character, definitely a plus on the author's end - the character's seems to fit together wonderfully. It's a small world, but even smaller in the cozy genre - Cleo is debating on early retirement, but comes to Fairhope and falls in love with the town and the people. She decides to move and accepts (reluctantly) a part-time working in the community in which she now resides,known as Harbor Village. Her daughter tells Cleo about her father, Travis (Cleo's ex-husband) getting married and guess who the murder victim ends up being? None other than Travis' new bride and owner of Harbor Village! Cleo has to set out and prove that Travis isn't the killer, but in this community people are not all what they seem. 4 stars. I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley. #netgalley, #harborvillage #GPGardner
    more
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Murder at Harbor Village by GP Gardner is a debut novel in a new mystery series and it definitely shows promise.When Cleo decided to retire she goes on a vacation to the little picturesque town where she is introduced to a retirement community and few lovely people that she takes to immediately. Having been offered a job has sealed the deal. Unfortunately, as soon as she moves in unthinkable happens and someone ends up murdered.When her ex husband asks her to help, she decides to give it a go, c Murder at Harbor Village by GP Gardner is a debut novel in a new mystery series and it definitely shows promise.When Cleo decided to retire she goes on a vacation to the little picturesque town where she is introduced to a retirement community and few lovely people that she takes to immediately. Having been offered a job has sealed the deal. Unfortunately, as soon as she moves in unthinkable happens and someone ends up murdered.When her ex husband asks her to help, she decides to give it a go, cooperating with the local police.I really enjoyed reading about Cleo"s adventures although I felt that at moments things seems slightly too pat.I liked that she discussed the case with her new friends, that there were enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.Style of writing in uncomplicated making it easy to read and enjoy.All in all a very good start of a new series.I received advanced copy from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.
    more
  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    After being encouraged to take early retirement, Social Work professor Cleo discovers a lovely small town on Alabama's gulf coast, meets some kind and interesting people, and makes fortuitous decisions. Despite Harbor Village's label as being for *old folks*, she decides to live there and work there part time. Good thing, too! There are some oddities which turn out to be a lot more than they seem once her job changes after a murder is discovered. There's a lot more to the story and a whole cast After being encouraged to take early retirement, Social Work professor Cleo discovers a lovely small town on Alabama's gulf coast, meets some kind and interesting people, and makes fortuitous decisions. Despite Harbor Village's label as being for *old folks*, she decides to live there and work there part time. Good thing, too! There are some oddities which turn out to be a lot more than they seem once her job changes after a murder is discovered. There's a lot more to the story and a whole cast of real characters, but that would get into the spoiler thing. I totally enjoyed reading it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you! Disclaimers--I am a retired RN and have worked in a similar setting, I was disturbed that the drug theft was not given suitable attention since it was included in the story; my daughter is an LMSW; and I dislike cats because of allergies.
    more
  • Cthulhu Down My Chimney 2Night
    January 1, 1970
    .Review of MURDER AT HARBOR VILLAGENo moss grows on Cleo Mack, Professor and Department Chair at an Atlanta University. Inexplicably offered early retirement (she's not yet 50), impulsively she decides to take it, and sells her home, moving to a condo and an onsite job at a Seniors community in scenic Fairhope, Alabama. All is working out well, until somebody is murdered, marring the peace of the community and Fairhope's claim as “the nicest town in the world.” Now Cleo has an unexpected promoti .Review of MURDER AT HARBOR VILLAGENo moss grows on Cleo Mack, Professor and Department Chair at an Atlanta University. Inexplicably offered early retirement (she's not yet 50), impulsively she decides to take it, and sells her home, moving to a condo and an onsite job at a Seniors community in scenic Fairhope, Alabama. All is working out well, until somebody is murdered, marring the peace of the community and Fairhope's claim as “the nicest town in the world.” Now Cleo has an unexpected promotion, but she must be careful she won't be next to go.Author G. R. Gardner provides a clever and sparkly amateur sleuth and a heartwarming community.
    more
  • Nancy Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo Mack is an almost early retiree who by chance finds herself with a new home and job but it turns out if wasn't all by chance. By the time she starts her new job one employee has been murdered and two have left leaving Cleo with a promotion and on her own to figure out her new position. What she finds out entails a lot more than just job facts. At first this story seemed a little disjointed but it soon become clear it was all relevant information and it came together nicely. This is the firs Cleo Mack is an almost early retiree who by chance finds herself with a new home and job but it turns out if wasn't all by chance. By the time she starts her new job one employee has been murdered and two have left leaving Cleo with a promotion and on her own to figure out her new position. What she finds out entails a lot more than just job facts. At first this story seemed a little disjointed but it soon become clear it was all relevant information and it came together nicely. This is the first book in a new series and I look forward to reading the next one to see how the characters develop.
    more
  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    A nice start to a new series featuring, ahem, mature characters! The last thing Cleo expects when she moves to Harbor Village is to find her ex- husband's current wife Lee working there. AND< she really doesn't expect Lee to be found dead in the pool and to be offered her job. Every small town has it's secrets and the same is true here. People didn't like Lee but who wanted her dead? Hmmm. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is a nice set up- Cleo settles in and meets people (and gets a cat A nice start to a new series featuring, ahem, mature characters! The last thing Cleo expects when she moves to Harbor Village is to find her ex- husband's current wife Lee working there. AND< she really doesn't expect Lee to be found dead in the pool and to be offered her job. Every small town has it's secrets and the same is true here. People didn't like Lee but who wanted her dead? Hmmm. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is a nice set up- Cleo settles in and meets people (and gets a cat!)- and hopefully we'll see more of her.
    more
  • Anna Fox
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading this book. This is the first book I've read by this author. The characters are well developed and likable. Cleo is the main character is a nice strong, thinking character. The other characters are a good backup and I could picture running into people like them. The mystery was interesting and the tie into to Cleo's past life was a nice touch.All in all a very good cozy.I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. - I look forward to more by this aut I enjoyed reading this book. This is the first book I've read by this author. The characters are well developed and likable. Cleo is the main character is a nice strong, thinking character. The other characters are a good backup and I could picture running into people like them. The mystery was interesting and the tie into to Cleo's past life was a nice touch.All in all a very good cozy.I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. - I look forward to more by this author.
    more
Write a review