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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
A forensic auditor targets a town to expose one of their local businesses for fraudulent practices and encounters more than she bargains for in the sleuth mystery, Loblolly by Veronica Mixon. After her twin brother dies in a suspicious suicide, Joleen spends two years secretly investigating the rehabilitation center located in the small town of Loblolly, where he had received treatment. Taking a job as an auditor for the government, Joleen is thrilled when she discovers a minor discrepancy in Loblolly's finances. Granted a forensic audit of Loblolly's books, Joleen immediately rents a room at the local B&B and begins going through the city's financial records. When Joleen discovers some questionable accounts, her boss won't let her unlock them without permission, but for some reason, the City Clerk is avoiding her and giving her the runaround. In addition to the clerk's avoidance, a notorious gang member appears on the outskirts of town, and someone tampers with Joleen's car. Are all of these incidents connected? Is something sinister lurking in the peaceful community of Loblolly?
Set in an idyllic small town, the captivating novel, Loblolly by Veronica Mixon, is an intriguing mystery. Told in the first person from each of the protagonists' perspectives, it is an entertaining story with a nice curve. Although the shifting perspective slows the pace of the narrative down a bit, the plot is riveting, and the characters are engaging. With the elements of a delightful cozy mystery, this fascinating crime story contains a budding romance, an intimate close-knit community, and a feisty protagonist snooping outside the confines of the law. It is an enjoyable novel that will entertain and enchant sleuth mystery addicts from the ages of sixteen all the way to one hundred and two!