Murder at Harbor Village

Murder at Harbor Village

by G.P. Gardner

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Young retiree Cleo Mack is trading in academia for a second act in Harbor Village, a community for active seniors in coastal Alabama. But someone in this picture-perfect coastal town is burning the candle at both ends . . .  
It’s love at first sight when Cleo arrives in Fairhope, Alabama, after taking early retirement from her longtime position as professor of social work. Touted as “the nicest town in the world,” Fairhope is home to an eclectic community of retirees. Harbor Village boasts classes in painting, pottery, and photography, not to mention being a buyer’s market for husbands. It seems an ideal place to make new friends and rediscover life. Until a dead body is found in the pool.
When the victim turns out to be the unpopular director of senior living, Cleo is named acting director. Now she must rely on her well-honed people skills to uncover a killer in a place where short-term memory isn’t what it used to be, and age is just a number. And if Cleo keeps snooping around, her number may soon be up . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781516108992
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Series: A Cleo Mack Mystery , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 6,026
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits, but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at

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Murder at Harbor Village 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting since I live in “Homestead Village” in Fairhope. Bring on the next book!
Anonymous 10 months ago
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Murder at Harbor Village is a light cozy mystery with friendly characters and a striking town. Cleo is looking forward to this new phase of her life when a murder disrupts her plans. She is suddenly thrust into an administrative roll (there goes the retirement) with a host of problems. She is shocked when she learns the victim is Travis’ new wife (makes him a good suspect). Cleo soon learns that murder is not the only mystery at Harbor Village. We are taken through Cleo’s daily tasks as she learns her new role which she handles with grace considering she has no clue what she is doing (practical knowledge goes a long way). We are introduced to numerous characters and learn the complexities of running a retirement village. I liked the author’s relaxed writing style which makes the book easy to read. The mysteries were complex and multifaceted. The suspects are limited, but I believe readers will find it challenging to identify the killer. I like how she bounces ideas off Nita, Jim, Dolly and Riley (her new circle of friends) and works with Chief Ray Boozer on solving the whodunit. The resolution relies on speculation instead of firm facts and there was an unanswered piece of the puzzle. I enjoyed reading the refreshing Murder at Harbor Village and I look forward to reading the next A Down by the Bay Mystery.
4GranJan More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Retirement Village This is a fun and cozy mystery with a retirement community as the backdrop. The plot is great with lots of suspects and strange happenings. All of the characters could be people from your hometown. I think that this will be a great series. I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. The story flowed very well and was very enjoyable. This book will keep you reading long into the night and you will not want to put this book down until you finish. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading other books by this great author.
jwilhoite211 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the setting of this book being at a retirement community and that the newest resident, Cleo, ends up being the person who gets involved in solving the mystery. This was well-written with a spunky main character and the minor characters seems to fill in the traits missing in her own character, definitely a plus on the author's end - the character's seems to fit together wonderfully. It's a small world, but even smaller in the cozy genre - Cleo is debating on early retirement, but comes to Fairhope and falls in love with the town and the people. She decides to move and accepts (reluctantly) a part-time working in the community in which she now resides,known as Harbor Village. Her daughter tells Cleo about her father, Travis (Cleo's ex-husband) getting married and guess who the murder victim ends up being? None other than Travis' new bride and owner of Harbor Village! Cleo has to set out and prove that Travis isn't the killer, but in this community people are not all what they seem. 4 stars. I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley. #netgalley, #harborvillage #GPGardner
VWilliams More than 1 year ago
Cleo Mack is weighing possibilities of an early retirement when she discovers Fairhope, a beautiful iconic Alabama coastal town, and is almost immediately drawn in by friendly local Nita Bergen, a resident at Harbor Village. The same fact-finding day she runs into Jaime, also of the senior community, who offers her a part-time position as Resident Services Manager along with an apartment. Cleo is sold, quickly clears her desk at the university where she formerly taught and accepts Apartment No. 8 keys at Harbor Village. Before she can fully settle into her cozy little apartment, however, the corporate bigwig, Lee, whom she met only briefly, is discovered in the pool--dead--and is determined to have been murdered. Jaime is immediately "kicked upstairs," off to another complex, leaving Cleo thrust into the unlikely position of Executive Administrator in Jaime's place. It doesn't take long before Cleo begins to discover there are a lot of problems just under the surface of what appeared an idyllic situation. Along with realizing the enormity of her employment situation, she has inherited the resident cat, a calico, who decided it was time he came home to inspect the new occupant. Cleo is further shocked that her ex, Travis McKenzie, is part owner of the complex and Lee was his new bride. There is a whole host of interesting and colorful support characters, and I loved the author's sense of humor in naming them...Patti (Wagon), Police Chief Boozer. The quest to discover the name of the feline provided a sweet sub-plot as well. The logistical plan for fact-finding worked seamlessly into the subtle search for the antagonist and the conclusion weaved in a restrained and delicate delivery. I received this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. This is a first in the series and sets a promising stage for some delightful retirement community adventures. I'm interested in seeing these characters grow (particularly Patti). Recommended for those who enjoy a cozy mystery, beautiful geographic setting, and cantankerous and quirky characters. 3.5/5
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Murder at Harbor Village is the debut of a new series set in the small town of Fairhope, Alabama. Cleo Mack is considering taking retirement after being offered an incentive, but she is still too young to retire and is not sure if she can handle it financially. She is a social worker, but has recently been teaching at the University. She is in town looking to see if she wants to move to the small town, close to her daughter and her family. Shortly after arriving in town, Cleo meets a resident of the retirement community, Harbor Village. As well, she meets the director of the village at a coffee shop. After a conversation, she is offered a part-time position as resident director at Harbor Village and an apartment in the complex. When the Director of the facility is found floating in the pool dead, a strange set of circumstances is set into motion. It's also a shock for Cleo to learn that the unlikable lady is also the current wife of her estranged ex husband. Cleo is named Acting Director and works with the police to help solve the murder. Cleo soon discovers that things inside the idyllic community are not what they seem. This was a fun and interesting cozy with a couple of mysteries that tie together in the end. There was a lot of questionable circumstances, especially surrounding how Cleo got her job, but it is fiction. The culprit was pretty easy to figure out, but it was finding the evidence and being able to determine who was involved that kept the story going. I enjoyed most of the characters, but especially Patti. It will be nice to see her continue to develop in future books. This was a good start to a new series, and I am looking forward to seeing where G.P. Garner goes with these characters in her next book. The publisher, Lyrical Underground, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
cozy-mystery, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, embezzling, murder, law-enforcement, retirement-community After being encouraged to take early retirement, Social Work professor Cleo discovers a lovely small town on Alabama's gulf coast, meets some kind and interesting people, and makes fortuitous decisions. Despite Harbor Village's label as being for *old folks*, she decides to live there and work there part time. Good thing, too! There are some oddities which turn out to be a lot more than they seem once her job changes after a murder is discovered. There's a lot more to the story and a whole cast of real characters, but that would get into the spoiler thing. I totally enjoyed reading it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you! Disclaimers--I am a retired RN and have worked in a similar setting, I was disturbed that the drug theft was not given suitable attention since it was included in the story; my daughter is an LMSW; and I dislike cats because of allergies.
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you come across a light and fun mystery that is both charming and a breath of fresh air in the genre. Murder at Harbor Village is one of those books. Cleo relocates to Fairhope, Alabama upon taking an early retirement from her job at a university. She takes a live-in part-time position at Fair Harbor, a 55+ community where there are plenty of fun things to do and pleasant people to meet. But Cleo soon discovers that all is not as idyllic as it seems on the surface when the Director of Senior Living is found lifeless in the pool and foul play is suspected. Cleo is thrust into the vacated position and soon finds out that the former director had a few things in common with Cleo’s own past.
Nancy0708 More than 1 year ago
Cleo Mack is an almost early retiree who by chance finds herself with a new home and job but it turns out if wasn't all by chance. By the time she starts her new job one employee has been murdered and two have left leaving Cleo with a promotion and on her own to figure out her new position. What she finds out entails a lot more than just job facts. At first this story seemed a little disjointed but it soon become clear it was all relevant information and it came together nicely. This is the first book in a new series and I look forward to reading the next one to see how the characters develop.
diane92345 More than 1 year ago
When there is a Murder at Harbor Village, everyone is a suspect in this new cozy mystery series. Cleo Mack is offered a golden parachute to retire early from her Social Work professorship at an Atlanta university. She decides to move to Fairhope Alabama, recognized as one of the best retirement towns. Cleo quickly gets a job and apartment in Harbor Village, a retirement community. The weekend before starting her new job the little-seen corporate bigwig, Lee, is found dead of an apparent drowning in the resident’s indoor pool. Cleo is surprised to learn that her long ago ex-husband, Travis, married Lee a month earlier. When Lee’s sister, Jamie, leaves her Director job the day after the murder, Cleo is made acting Director. Police Chief Boozer soon discovers that Lee was bludgeoned to death. As the one to benefit the most by inheriting his wife’s considerable wealth, Travis is suspect number one. Cleo decides to investigate to clear Travis’ name. The characters in Murder at Harbor Village were genuine. Cleo would make a good friend—helpful and intelligent. However, I found it difficult to get over the many unbelievably coincidences in the novel. Cleo kept meeting random strangers in Fairhope that all had a connection to Harbor Village. Her new boss married her ex only a month earlier? Still, I liked the characters enough to read the next in the series, Murder at Royale Court, coming out in June 2019. 3 stars. Thanks to the publisher, Lyrical Underground, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Murder at Harbor Village was a lovely cozy mystery that captivated me from the first chapter. I enjoyed meeting Cleo Mack and the other residents of Harbor Village in Fairhope, AL. Cleo has recently retired from her position at a university and fell in love with Fairhope while visiting. She knew that she was too "young" to retire; but the retirement offer was too good to pass up. Then a chance meeting led to a job offer and her decision was made. No sooner had she moved in than the murder occurred and Cleo's adventure began. There were several twists, both personally and professionally for Cleo, in this quickly paced plot. Other residents that live in Harbor Village are diverse and some are quirky but all seem to be likable. I look forward to visiting again and hope the next book is released soon. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Underground via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.