Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont

Wrenn Grayson Mystery Series Book 1

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
294 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Connie Chappell is a bestselling author of both literary fiction and the Wrenn Grayson Mystery series. The series titles are Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont, Designs on Ivy’s Locket, and most recently released, Lily White Lie. Designs on Ivy's Locket is the Silver Medalist in the Readers' Favorite 2018 International Book Awards Contest for Fiction-Mystery-General.

Wrenn Grayson is a historian-for-hire in her hometown of Havens, Ohio. Best Thrillers claims Wrenn’s one-of-a-kind investigative process will have readers flipping pages in her fast-paced mysteries. Chappell take readers into the world of small-town Ohio with its unique combination of local charm and unexpected intrigue. Blending history and modern-day sleuthing, these novels provide a delightfully witty cast of new and returning characters.

Chappell and her widely read novel, Wild Raspberries, received the 2016 Maxy Award for Best Literary Fiction and the Readers' Favorite Book Award for Women's Fiction. Proper Goodbye, the long-awaited companion book to Wild Raspberries, was released and immediately touted as the novel that “needs to be on all the lists of bests.” These deeply emotional family dramas tell stories of love, loss, and second chances. They have touched the hearts of readers all over the country.

Whether literary or mystery, Chappell’s characters are bound to captivate readers till the very end.

Her novels are published by 4am Books and are standalone books that may be read in any order.

A lifelong resident of Springfield, Ohio, she devotes as much free time as possible to anything out-of-doors.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Wow! Just, Wow! That's exactly what I thought when I finished reading Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont: A Wrenn Grayson Mystery by author Connie Chappell. It's not often that a prolific reader like myself finds a mystery that pops off the shelf as truly unique in this incredibly popular genre, but this story is definitely one that fits the bill. Follow the story of historian Wrenn Grayson as she gets involved in investigating both a murder and the theft of Egyptian artifacts from Eastwood University, where her love serves as the department chair. If that crime isn't solved, his career will be ruined. And if Wrenn gets involved any deeper in the investigation of two crimes that might not be as separate as once thought, her very life might be at risk. Will the crimes be solved? You'll have to read this great book to find out.

I loved Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont: A Wrenn Grayson Mystery. Loved. It. How's that for a review? Well, it's absolutely how I felt about this fantastic new read. I was sucked in from the very first page, and obsessively read through the whole thing in pretty much one sitting, that's just how intriguing it was. Author Connie Chappell has done a great job in creating a protagonist that her readers will relate to, connect with and care about. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. It's hard to believe that this is her first foray into the genre of mystery; she writes like a true master of the craft. I very highly recommend Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont: A Wrenn Grayson Mystery, and I look forward to reading more from the extremely promising author, Connie Chappell, as soon as I possibly can.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Connie Chappell’s Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont is a tale of mystery drenched in history. Wrenn Grayson is a twenty-nine-year-old historian who lives in Havens, Ohio. She writes historical articles for the local newspaper, works for the Mayor, and lives with her boyfriend, Gideon. Wrenn is a busy lady with way too much on her plate. Everyone and everything has a past, a history, times wished to be forgotten. Yet, somehow these memories manage to creep back in, shining relevance onto the present. Early one morning she meets her good friend, Clayton Addison, at his newly acquired Rosemont estate. The Rosemont is run down, but full of historical value. Upon arrival, Wrenn notices a strange car parked in front of the house. Once Clay arrives, he and Wrenn enter the house and discover a dead body on the floor. Immediately, Clay, a retired police chief, investigates. The house is empty except for the body. No sign of a break-in. How did the killer get in and out of the house? Wrenn recognizes the body as “Trey” Bentley Westchester Rosemont III. After disappearing twenty-five years earlier, Trey was declared dead. Why did he return now? Who wanted him dead? The historian in Wrenn must learn the truth behind the murder so she begins her own investigation. Making it personal, Wrenn takes a path through the past, convinced that the history of the Rosemont estate holds the key.

Connie Chappell plants a garden of varying themes within her murder mystery, Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont. History, abandonment, weeding, and the theater are all intermingled in the plot. It took me a while to get into the author’s writing rhythm. In the beginning chapters, Chappell pens long metaphorical descriptions that set the stage for dramatic events. The action of the plot is held at bay until about a third of the way through the novel. For me, the action takes off during the car race home between Wrenn and her boyfriend, Gideon. At this point the plot thickens and begins to rise in action.

In a story written in first person narrative, the reader gets to walk in the heroine’s shoes, romp through her scattered, emotionally charged rabbit trail of thoughts, and experience the sights, smells and sounds she does. It is an enlightening journey of understanding, pertaining to what goes on in the mind of a woman. With regards to the villain, Chappell explores the Shakespearean quote, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Keeping with one of themes embedded in the narrative, the weeds of adversity are plucked from the plot, which cultivate a promising future for the blossoming heroine, harvesting a charming ending.

Melinda Hills

Expecting a paycheck and a look at her friend Clay’s new home, a historic landmark in Havens, Wrenn is surprised to join Clay in finding a dead body in the foyer in Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont: A Wrenn Grayson Mystery by Connie Chappell. Little does Wrenn suspect that even more intrigue is to follow as she is drawn into a winding investigation that encompasses an antiquities theft and the involvement of a surprising array of townspeople. When the body turns out to be none other than the actual heir of the Rosemont estate, Clay is immediately suspected of the crime. Knowing that her friend is innocent, Wrenn sets out to find the truth using her position as aide to the Mayor and part time newspaper feature writer to gain access where she should probably not go. Trying to clear Clay’s name and solve the theft that puts her partner Gideon’s career at risk, Wrenn discovers that she may be too smart for her own good. Will her luck hold out and the pieces fall together so that the others can follow her lead before it is too late?

For fast-paced action that keeps you turning the pages, Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont: A Wrenn Grayson Mystery by Connie Chappell is certainly a great choice. A wide range of well-developed characters populate this small Ohio town and provide plenty of intrigue and emotion as they work through their own issues and try to solve two major crimes. Chappell provides a great glimpse of small town life and big-hearted friendship with some historical overtones and modern criminal endeavors in this exciting story that is hard to put down. Wonderful story! It kept my interest from page one right through to the (relatively) surprising end. Great sleuthing!

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Wrenn never wanted to be part of a criminal investigation, but when a simple payday request turns into finding a dead body related to her investigation ... that’s exactly where she finds herself. It’s going to be up to her to help the police clear Clay of a murder she knows he couldn’t have committed. But if he didn’t do it, then who did kill Trey Rosemont? And why did he just happen to come out of hiding when his estate finally sells? And could it possibly have something to do with the theft at the college in Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont by Connie Chappell?

This book was one that I really enjoyed. It was interesting and it was full of great characters. I really wanted to learn even more about Wrenn and everything that was going on in her life. I thought she was a great main character and she really got involved in the events, so even though you followed one character you knew what was going on all the time. This is a great plot and a great development at the same time, so definitely a book I would recommend. I really hope there will be more because I would love to learn more about the characters and what’s going on in the town. Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont by Connie Chappell is a great book for anyone who really loves mystery, and even those who love a little bit of romance, because there is something for everyone in this book.

Katelyn Hensel

Connie Chappell's Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont seems to be the start of an excellent new mystery series. Wrenn Grayson, historian and kick-butt mystery-solver extraordinaire, has just opened her own business. It's her life's dream to make a living as a historian, and her very first client spins her headfirst into the sordid affairs and mysteries behind the Rosemont estate. Trey Rosemont, presumed dead for nearly 25 years, is newly confirmed as being deceased...primarily because Wrenn and her client Clay stumble upon his fresh corpse. Now Clay's the main suspect and it's up to Wrenn to save him from Lieutenant Elmore, who seems determined to put Clay away for the murder.

Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont brought to mind one of the detective, murder-mystery stories from the '70s and '80s. The structure was really well built and there were clues strung throughout the chapters that both led you in the right direction, but also led you astray so I felt as though I wasn't really sure who I was suspecting. Wrenn Grayson is a strong, independent woman who readers will really care about. She isn't at all silly or too severe, and I loved that she is clearly intelligent and driven. The story was compelling and unique, and provided just the right amount of twists and turns to satisfy and delight. Connie Chappell has made a convert of me, as I tend to stick with sci-fi or fantasy, but this straight forward, intelligent, and detailed mystery is a real winner!

Susan M.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The plot kept me guessing as to how it would all come together. I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this book and this author.

LaDaonna L.

A fresh, new cozy mystery series that introduces us to the charming and resourceful female protagonist, Wrenn Grayson. Murder and a major theft are the events in a small Ohio town that propel historian Wrenn into danger and mystery-solving to help her friends. She is surrounded by interesting and convincing local characters that support a fast-paced hometown atmosphere. There is murder, mystery, romance, and humor, all wrapped up in a great entertaining story. Highly recommended.

Enas Reviews

Life turns topsy-turvy for historian Wrenn Grayson when she gets to Rosemont Mansion, expecting her payment from the new owner of the mansion, her friend and retired police chief, Clay Addison, but discovers the dead body of Trey Rosemont (who had been missing for decades and was assumed to be dead), lying drenched in blood on the mansion’s foyer floor.

Before Wrenn Grayson can try to find a solution to save Clay Addison, suspected of this mysterious murder, Professor Gideon Douglas, Wrenn’s longtime love, gets into trouble due to the theft of Egyptian artifacts stolen from the history department, adding misery to Wrenn's situation.

Author Connie Chappell leaves no stone unturned in making her novel, Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont, an intriguing mystery-thriller by adding realistic descriptions to the crime setup and artistically describing the small town of Havens, Ohio. The intertwining mysteries are well-plotted, throwing challenges in protagonist Wrenn's life and keeping readers at the edge of their seats.

This novel definitely has a strong female protagonist dealing with the hurdles in her way, both with relationships and friendship. Highly recommended.

DelAnne for NetGalley (Th

As historian of her town Havens, Ohio, Wrenn Grayson sets of to the Rosemont Mansion to collect payment for her services of research of the history of the Rosemont family and the home Clay Addison purchased at auction the month before. Arriving at the ungodly appointed time of 6:30 a.m. surprised to find Clay has not yet arrived. Just as Wren steps out her car Clay comes roaring into the parking area nearly hitting Wren's car trying to avoid the one parked carelessly. Not knowing who could have left the car, they enter the mansion only to find a body lying in the entryway in a pool of blood. Upon inspection, Wrenn realizes it is Trey Rosemont the heir of the late previous owners of Rosemont who disappeared 25 years before and had been declared legally dead by the courts so that the estate could be sold at auction. Why was he back? Where had he been for 25 years? How did he get into the mansion with all the locks changed? Who killed him and why? Lieutenant Frank Elmore has his sights set on Clay as the killer and is willing to bully and intimidate anyone who tries to tell him otherwise.
As Clay and Wrenn deal with the obnoxious Lieutenant, Wrenn's longtime boyfriend Professor Gideon Douglas is also involved in a police matter. Someone has broken into the vault and stolen some valuable Egyptian artifacts. If Gideon doesn't find out who stole them and get them back soon, he will find himself fired and his reputation ruined. Wrenn begins to help him look into the matter and also try and clear Clay of murder charges. As she begins researching and asking questions someone decides she is getting too close. Danger stalks ever closer to Wrenn and those involved.
Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont is a cleverly written mystery with plenty of twist and turns. There are plenty of clues scattered throughout, but to be true I was still working out the killer’s identity until just before it was revealed. The characters are interesting, as are their interactions. I look forward to seeing where Chappell goes with this series next. A great new series for all to enjoy with an unusual heroine.

Penny Marks for NetGalley

Great start to a new series. Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont is full of twists and turns. It will have you gathering clues with every turn of the page. This is a nonstop suspense thriller with an amazing cast of characters. It is very well written especially the detail that she goes into describing the historical sites. Loved this!

Wrenn Grayson is a very head strong woman who has set up her own business called Wrenn Grayson, Historian. She even has her first paying customer, Clay Addison. He just bought the Rosemont estate and wanted all the historical information on the property. He is not only a friend but the retired Chief of Police for Havens, Ohio. She goes to the house to meet Clay to pick up her first paycheck and ends up getting more than she bargained. She and Clay went into the house only to find the body of Trey Rosemont a man that was already supposed to be dead? Things go downhill from there for Wrenn and Clay when Lieutenant Frank Elmore shows up with a chip on his shoulder and fire in his eyes. Long story! Now Clay becomes the prime suspect and Wrenn has to do something. Who would want to murder Trey Rosemont? Where has he been for 25 years? And why come back now?

To make life even more interesting and frustrating Wrenn's boyfriend, Professor Gideon Douglas is also dealing with the police. Uuuggghhhh! There has been a robbery at the University. Someone has broken into the vault and stolen an Egyptian death mask and jewelry that are priceless. This is going to be devastating not only for any further funding to the University but to Gideon's reputation. What is Wrenn to do??? Yep you guessed it she is going to do whatever it takes to clear Clay of murder and help her hunky boyfriend get the stolen goods back. But can she do all of this while a killer is targeting her??? I am excited for book two to see where the author takes the characters. There is some strong language and sexual innuendos. But it doesn't take away from the book.

Foreword Clarion Review b

Connie Chappell’s Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont is an enjoyable, cozy murder mystery in which the death of a prodigal heir has major implications.
Wrenn Grayson—historian, city recorder, and mayor’s assistant—is on the scene when Trey Rosemont’s body is discovered in his family’s derelict mansion, a once-beautiful dwelling being restored by Wrenn’s friend, Clayton Addison, who also happens to be the retired police chief.
The victim, Trey, disappeared decades ago. Presuming him dead, Clayton purchased the mansion from his estate, and now he becomes a suspect. More trouble arrives when it is discovered that a rare Theban funeral mask and priceless gold Egyptian jewelry have been stolen from a local exhibition. Mystery buffs won’t take long to suspect the two cases are related.
The two narratives are neatly, believably woven together, with Wrenn set up as both a likely and likable hero, the go-get-‘em type who wants to solve both cases, though she must also deal with mundane city business at the same time. Wrenn’s involvement in the cases is logically detailed, and old scores are drawn in believable ways.
Secondary characters are well realized. The rotund mayor is the sort of small-town, congenial fellow that everyone has encountered a variation of. More nuanced is reformed thief Wilkey Summer, who can’t seem to do anything to better himself and yet is willing to risk incarceration in order to help Wrenn. The blandest of the supporting cast is Wrenn’s long-term boyfriend, Dr. Gideon Douglas, a history professor supposedly watching over the stolen relics. The villain is generally believable, but seems to lack edginess until the conclusion.
Dialogue rolls off the page conversationally, and descriptions are succinct but evocative, whether they focus on a ramshackle old Cutlass car or the funeral mask of Egypt’s Theban dynasty. The prose contains many interesting turns of phrase, as when Wrenn describes her own nervous energy: “I chugged at a rough idle.”
The setting of Havens, Ohio, is well-detailed, certain to strike those with small-town backgrounds as familiar, and is the perfect backdrop for the mysterious events of the novel: part everyone-knows-each-other small town, part progressive city. The mysteries themselves are centered on believable crimes, with solid motives established for each. The story’s pace works as well, with logical steps used to build tension, right up until the novel’s surprising and violent conclusion.
There’s nothing noir about Chappell’s work, and fans of mysteries with minimal gore and PG romance or Murder, She Wrote will find an easy-to-cheer-for heroine in Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont, and the sort of whodunit with which to while away a weekend.

Foreword Clarion Review

Connie Chappell’s Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont is an enjoyable, cozy murder mystery in which the death of a prodigal heir has major implications.
Wrenn Grayson—historian, city recorder, and mayor’s assistant—is on the scene when Trey Rosemont’s body is discovered in his family’s derelict mansion, a once-beautiful dwelling being restored by Wrenn’s friend, Clayton Addison, who also happens to be the retired police chief.
The victim, Trey, disappeared decades ago. Presuming him dead, Clayton purchased the mansion from his estate, and now he becomes a suspect. More trouble arrives when it is discovered that a rare Theban funeral mask and priceless gold Egyptian jewelry have been stolen from a local exhibition. Mystery buffs won’t take long to suspect the two cases are related.
The two narratives are neatly, believably woven together, with Wrenn set up as both a likely and likable hero, the go-get-‘em type who wants to solve both cases, though she must also deal with mundane city business at the same time. Wrenn’s involvement in the cases is logically detailed, and old scores are drawn in believable ways.
Secondary characters are well realized. The rotund mayor is the sort of small-town, congenial fellow that everyone has encountered a variation of. More nuanced is reformed thief Wilkey Summer, who can’t seem to do anything to better himself and yet is willing to risk incarceration in order to help Wrenn. The blandest of the supporting cast is Wrenn’s long-term boyfriend, Dr. Gideon Douglas, a history professor supposedly watching over the stolen relics. The villain is generally believable, but seems to lack edginess until the conclusion.
Dialogue rolls off the page conversationally, and descriptions are succinct but evocative, whether they focus on a ramshackle old Cutlass car or the funeral mask of Egypt’s Theban dynasty. The prose contains many interesting turns of phrase, as when Wrenn describes her own nervous energy: “I chugged at a rough idle.”
The setting of Havens, Ohio, is well-detailed, certain to strike those with small-town backgrounds as familiar, and is the perfect backdrop for the mysterious events of the novel: part everyone-knows-each-other small town, part progressive city. The mysteries themselves are centered on believable crimes, with solid motives established for each. The story’s pace works as well, with logical steps used to build tension, right up until the novel’s surprising and violent conclusion.
There’s nothing noir about Chappell’s work, and fans of mysteries with minimal gore and PG romance or Murder, She Wrote will find an easy-to-cheer-for heroine in Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont, and the sort of whodunit with which to while away a weekend. (Reviewed by Gary Presley)