Book Reviews

Book Review: Prospect for Murder by Jean Burrows-Johnson

This book was reviewed for San Francisco Book Review


Burrows-Johnson’s cozy mystery Prospect for Murder is set in the Hawai’ian Islands, proving that even Paradise has its dark side. We begin with the odd occurrence of our protagonist having a psychic vision. Both she and her brother have unique gifts, different yet complementary. Sadly, Natalie’s vision is one of gruesome death, one with personal ties to Natalie herself. The victim is her niece, who’s fallen from the fourth storey of an apartment building where she had gone to look at a possible rental.


The death is first considered accidental, possibly suicidal. Natalie doesn’t buy this, and using the skills of a researcher, and the gifts of a psychic, she sets out to prove murder, or at the least, a true motive for the death. She finds suspects in the landlady who was going to let the apartment, Natalie’s mysterious roommate, who had not shown to view the place, and the maintenance man for the complex (her niece fell on his priceless, customised car). During all of this, she is also doing historical research for a friend named Keoni.


I am picky about reading cozy mysteries. It’s a bias about the word ‘cozy’, which makes it seem to me that the story would be trivial. This has never actually been the case, and I am really glad that I gave this story a chance. I live in CA, and have a hope to one day visit Hawai’i. I enjoyed reading about Natalie’s research work as much as the murder plot.


The story is well-written, though there were a few places where pacing slowed down a bit. Natalie reminds me somewhat of Fletcher, from Murder She Wrote, with a bit of the X-Files added thanks to the psychic thread. However, she also reminded me a great deal of my forensic anthropology professor, and that’s the person Natalie ‘looked like’ to me as I read. I’d love to read more of Natalie’s adventures in the future!
?????Highly recommended for the mystery lover.

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