"Murky Murder" by Hazel Smith: Review/Giveaway

Review by Tracy Condie

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

This is my first time reading a Maid Ivy Cozy Mystery and I was so happy to discover that recipes are included. If you too are unfamiliar with this series head to the back of the book first, make the simple but savory Buffalo Chicken dip and enjoy while you read Murky Murder. This is a the fourth book in a series, and while it builds on the foundation from the last two, it was not difficult to keep up with who was who.

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Ivy Stone is such a lovely character with a (p)awesome rescue dog named Monty. I have a soft spot for big dogs and you dont get much bigger than a Great Dane. In addition to her overall goodness and faith she has such an endearing way about her. You do not need to read the series starter to know that she is a simple Midwest kind of girl who is not used to the finer things, like Gucci dresses and fancy restaurants. I found it humorous that she thinks of Mr. Humphrey as, well, Mr. Humphrey instead of thinking of him as Max. They are dating after all. That is to say that they went on their first date and it is blatantly apparent that they are both smitten. Everything was going great that evening with one oddity during dessert. A cloaked man was running through the restaurant towards their secluded table wielding a knife and then tripped on the carpet and ran out the back door. A most unusual way to end a date, but Ivy needed to get home for a good nights sleep since a business convention was starting the next day and the hotel would be hopping.

One participant of the convention is the victim, Gregory Knight, who did not seem like a pleasant person. We dont really see that many interactions between him and the other characters because he is found dead shortly after the conference begins. It is death by gas poisoning. We do learn that Gregory had a history with the Hotel LaFontaine and its owner, Mr. Humphrey. He also had a falling out with former business partner Oliver Hughes, another conference attendee. In addition to the murder, mysterious letters arrive, threatening and cryptic, aimed at both Mr. Humphrey - I mean Max - and Ivy.  Someone is watching and they have a familiarity with the layout of Hotel LaFontaine that smacks of insider knowledge.

The only ones who are not on the suspect list in addition to Inspector Clayburn and Maxs cousin Branahan, who is head of hotel security, are Ivys close knit group of friends who help her by keeping their eyes and ears open. Moira, the cook, has the dining area and kitchen. Kat, with her maintenance and tech savvy research skills, is a font of knowledge about almost any part of the hotel. √Člise, the receptionist, sees much from her spot at the front desk/guest registration. Ivy needs to rely on their assistance because of her recent promotion to head maid and all of the administrative tasks that will now complicate and take up much of her usual sleuthing time. A typical day for Ivy requires balancing schedules, ordering supplies, cleaning rooms, checking Monty out of the Hotels doggie day care for walks, enjoying girl time, enjoying Max time, knitting projects, and avoiding red herrings. I am tired just from listing out her activities. This was a very sweet cozy that delivers on all cozy aspects.

To enter to win an ebook copy of  Murky Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "murky,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 20, 2024. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter.  If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors!

You can click here to purchase this book.


Tracy Condie is a paralegal by day and cozy armchair sleuth by night. When she is not working or reading, she enjoys preparing the recipes found in culinary cozies or researching recipes of meal items described therein and sharing reviews of both books and food on Instagram and on KRL. She lives in Corona, California with her husband and dog Zoolie, and looks forward to visiting with their grown sons when their time permits.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This is a fun series! Thanks for the chance to win this book! Lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I want to read! faithfully93@yahoo.com

  3. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  4. This book sounds like just what I love reading. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway. Luis@ole.travel


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