Death in a Difficult Position (Mantra for Murder, #4) By Diana Killian

At Sacred Balance yoga studio, owner A.J. Alexander tries to help her clients feel heavenly. But a seriously inflexible preacher claims she's sending them straight to hell...until he ends up dead, and A.J. has to stretch her sleuthing skills to the limit. Death in a Difficult Position (Mantra for Murder, #4)

A.J. is baffled: since when did Yoga became a mortal sin?! Granted, those newfangled TV churches will say anything for a good rating. So as any logical adult she sets up for a negotiation with the charming reverend Goode (oh the irony!) of the New Dawn Church. Not quite unexpectedly, the preacher is quite firm in his position, and rather unexpectedly handsy in his approach... is that a religious thing?

What does come unexpectedly is Lily Martin, A.J.'s archnemesis in all things yoga, asking for help in hiring a P.I. to unmask the infamous reverend. Turns out, that Goode doesn't just have it out for the Sacred Ballance yoga studio... and then he dies a rather gruesome death, by the prickle of a pen. As marketing schemes go, offing enemies does not do the Yoga Meridian any good, and its manager (Lily) is now prime suspect. A.J. would rather keep her nose clean this time around, but Lily has specifically asked for help, and A.J's mother's meddling is of course unstoppable.

The author of Evangelism Theology doesn't think so.

After the 3rd installment of the series I had more or less decided to drop it. The murder mystery investigations were OKAY, but the romantic aspects of the story left much to be desired. We get a LOOOT of teasing, and close to no rewards.

For those of you who manage to avoid storms in teacups, you may have missed that the author of this novel also writes crime novels of the M/M romantic persuasion, under the pseudonym Josh Lanyon; one of my absolute favorite writers. Which is of course my entire motivation for picking up this series in the first place. The writing style once again rose up to my expectation, with plenty of snarky/funny one-liners to choose from. See my status updates for examples, I can't be bothered to look for new ones.

The romantic subplot however... was lukewarm at best, and even there I'm being mightily generous. I felt zero tingles in my throat, the butterflies in my stomach were deeply asleep, and all the characters' teasing about Jake proposing to A.J. led nowhere. Not that there is anything wrong with a marriage-less relationship if that's what both (all?) participants wish for. The problem is that both Jake AND A.J. wanted more... but were too busy pussyfooting around the subject to do anything about it.

Just to double check, I reread The Dark Tide, and yes, it still delivered plenty of fangirl squeals from me, inspite of the number of rereads. So it's not the author in general, but this series in particular. *pouts*

Score: 2.3/5 stars

In the end, the resolution of the murder mystery was disappointing, the romantic subplot flopped big time... and after checking the publication years, I couldn't even blame inexperience. The last book from the Adrien English series was published 3 years before this one. And I know it was not a one off series.

I'm hoping the reason for the lack of any conclusion in the romance department was that another book was planned, and then dropped due to poor sales or something. Be as it may, I'm done with these modern cosy mysteries. It's back to Miss Marple for me.

Review of book 1: Corpse Pose
Review of book 2: Dial Om for Murder
Review of book 3: Murder on the Eightfold Path Paperback Good, interesting book. I enjoyed the mystery and the characters. I totally agree with AJ about camping, especially in November. Fun story. #readforkimberly Paperback In Stillbrook, New Jersey, A. J. Alexander runs a yoga studio, Sacred Balance, that she inherited from her favorite aunt, Diantha. Lily Martin, formerly A.J.'s studio manager is now running a rival studio called Yoga Meridian. Lily gets all fired up when she hears about the new Reverend David Goode in town. Apparently, he thinks yoga is derived from demonic practices and he tries to convince his parishoners that they will go to hell if they practice at any of the yoga studios. The Reverend wants to shut them all down and he is vehemently vocal about it.

The hot-tempered Lily begs A.J. to try to talk to the fire and brimstone spewing Goode into thinking differently about yoga but that is like talking to a brick wall. Funny how it turns out the righteous Reverend is not quite so good himself. It seems he has a few skeletons in his closet, so, it's no surprise one morning he is found dead and it's obviously murder.

Since Lily was so vocal about her condemnation of Reverend Goode, the police think she could be the killer. Lily wants A.J. to use her sleuthing skills to try to find the real killer. That sure puts A.J. in a difficult position! She ends up having to do a lot of digging into Goode's past and what she finds is mindblowing! Reverend Goode has been quite the bad boy for some time and not just locally.

Killian presents a great mystery with this one. First, I thought the killer was one person and then another. She had me stumped! A.J.s mother was a character I really liked. She and her Golden Gumshoe friends added a lot of spice and humor to the book. 4****

Although this is # 4 in the Mantra for Murder series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Paperback I think this is the best of the series so far. The characters are maturing and fleshing out nicely. The yoga is integrated but not preachy. New situations other than the murders keep cropping up, just like in real life.

I particularly identified with this book as I know just how easy it can be for even extremely intelligent people to get sucked into the horse and pony show of a charismatic preacher and have it ruin their life and relationships.

I also liked the story developing of how AJ has started to mentor a young lady who is troubled and in need of a good role model, as that was one of her Aunt Diandra's major legacies. If there are more of these books in the works, I hope that more of this type of storyline pops up. I also hope there's a wedding soon!!! Paperback This final book in series tackled the common misconception that Yoga is a Religion. (It is not. It is a science, that exercises the body, mind, and soul). Small town minister accusing yoga teachers of being on the side of the devil worked as part of the plot. It was a decent cosy mystery. Angry 'yoga' teacher throughout the series bugs me. No one doing that much yoga would be that ugly acting. Yes yogi's are like anyone we have our good days and bad. But to be perpetually rude and obnoxious? No. Paperback


Diana Killian à 0 Summary

Probably my favourite in the series so far. Much less angst on the part of the main character, interesting story line and good character development. The two characters I found most annoying, her mother and Lily, were more subdued, I think. Overall, a great addition and I hope to continue seeing books in this series. Paperback This grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go. For the cozy mystery genre this was an excellent read. I finished it in one night. Believable murder and kept me guessing. Paperback Best book of the series so far. Finally a real cozy-mystery. I liked the first book alright but second and third were too much chick-flick as cozy-mystery. The crimes were there but only in the backround so to speak.
This time you've got all. The murder, the mystery till the end and my least favorite characters as backround noices.
Paperback I hope there will be more! Paperback I love A.J. and her mom. Paperback