Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi

Murder in the Arboretum

Murder in the Arboretum

Murder in the Arboretum

Another murder in small town Cold Creek has tensions rising. Clive Johnson, the groundskeeper at Cold Creek College, is a convenient scapegoat for a police chief. Convinced Chief Pfeiffe has it all wrong, Sheridan Hendley sets out to help prove Clive’s innocence. Not everyone is pleased by her enthusiastic search for the truth. Just as her life is looking up personally, it looks like she might be the next victim.

About the author

Christa Nardi is a new author of cozy mysteries. Murder at Cold Creek College is the first in what she hopes will be a series set in a small town in Virginia. She has a background in higher education and psychology, similar to the main character in the series, Sheridan Hendley.  Twitter   @ChristaN7777

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By Gram Tess on September 9, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

Murder In The Arboretum is the 2nd book in Christa’s Cold Creek series. Professor Sheridan Hendley has been a teacher at Cold Creek College for 4 years. Sheridan finds herself involved, and not in a good way, with Chief of Police Barney Pfeiffe when a murder occurs on college property. Chief Pfeiffe is annoyed at having to work with Sheridan, and it only gets worse when Sheridan’s boy friend,a detective with the Virginia state police is assigned to the case. What was once a murder of an unknown man turns into the buying and selling of drugs. Sheridan and Brett soon have a handle on the murder, along with Kim, Sheridan’s bff. I was surprised when I found out who the murderer is, in fact that person was last on my list of suspects. Christa does a great job of keeping us guessing. I hope to be able to read and review more books from Christa.

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


Format: Paperback

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book for review.

As the title so obviously suggests, MURDER IN THE ARBORETUM is a murder mystery novel in which the murder takes place in an arboretum. The arboretum in question is located on the small private campus of Cold Creek College, frightening students and staff alike, especially given that a faculty murder was murdered there the previous fall. (Apparently, this was the plot for the first book in this series, MURDER AT COLD CREEK COLLEGE.) After the groundskeeper who found the body, Clive Johnson, is arrested for the murder, psychology professor Sheriden Hendley and her colleague, Kim–who is apparently still upset after having been framed for the prior murder on campus–decide to help prove his innocence. Further assisting this crime-solving duo is Sheridan’s boyfriend, Brett, a state detective who she met on the last case and who has again been called in to assist, despite the resistance of the local chief of police.

Although this sounds like a fairly typical setup for a basic mystery plot (it definitely lacked the feeling of a “cozy” mystery to me, although it is being marketed this way), I had a lot of issues with this novel. First, author Christa Nardi’s writing simply wasn’t very sophisticated. She spends A LOT of time recounting Sheridan’s day-to-day activities–for example, every single day, she tells readers that Sheridan arrived on campus, gathered what she needed for class, and grabbed a cup of coffee, and every night, we hear that Sheridan and Brett watched some TV and then went to bed. In addition, Nardi makes basic errors, such as recounting the same meeting twice in three pages (e.g., Sheridan “fills in” Brett on a meeting with Clive’s lawyer, Marty, on p. 109 and again on p.Read more ›

By Xkoqueen on April 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi is a cozy mystery set on a small college campus in a small college town. Although Murder in the Arboretum is the second book in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Main character, Dr. Sheridan Hendley, and her best friend Kim, are psychologists and teachers at a small private college. Dr. Hendley’s boyfriend, Brett, is a state trooper who she met in book one. After the campus maintenance man, Clive, is accused of murder, the three of them, they relentlessly plod through the clues in the search for the true murderer.

The characters are well developed and intelligently presented, and the plot is well paced. The mystery is played out well with sufficient clues that readers can come up with a short list of likely suspects. There are no wild red herrings intentionally inserted to mislead readers. Murder in the Arboretum is a very enjoyable read that will be appreciated by fans of cozy mysteries and small town mysteries.

*Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official.

By CCSings on September 14, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

I liked this book a lot. It was nice to Sheridan back in this second book set in a college town. This book has some of the same characters as the first one, but you could easily read them out of order. I read a lot of cozy mysteries and although I do enjoy the antics of many “ditsy” heroines, Sheridan is definitely not ditsy. She is a college professor with her head on her shoulders, who wants make sure that the guilty person is the one charged with murder – and manages to put herself in danger in the process. The story line was not predicable, taking a few unexpected turns as the mystery unfolded. Definitely worth reading. I will be watching out for more books by this author.

By Kindle Customer on October 29, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

I just love how the characters draw you in. I really enjoy the extra detail Christa puts into her books. She also makes sure to include plenty of humor. I found myself laughing out loud more than once at some of the thoughts that the characters had along the way. I even found myself liking Max, even though I couldn’t stand him in the first book. I am glad we were shown another side of him. I just couldn’t put this one down I was hooked from the first chapter. I can’t wait for more books in this series and to see how the relationship between Sheridan and Brett grows. I received an ARC of this book which in no way influenced my review.
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