Down Home Murder (#1)

Next: Dead Ringer

In the first in Toni L. P. Kelner’s smart, witty mystery series, amateur sleuth Laura Fleming finds her trip going South—in lethal ways…

They say you can’t go home again, and Laura Burnette Fleming thinks they may have a point. Moving to Boston has made her a bona fide Yankee in the eyes of her Byerly, North Carolina family. Yet Laura—forever Laurie Anne to her kin—still rushes back to see her ailing grandpa.

Paw is in a bad way, rousing just long enough to tell Laura he didn’t fall—he was attacked—before passing away. Why would anyone harm the beloved Burnette patriarch? True, the family has its share of issues lately, from Aunt Nellie’s doomed get-rich-quick schemes to Aunt Edna’s fixation with the local pastor. But surely not even the grasping cousins slyly sizing up Paw’s possessions could commit murder.

With the aid of her Shakespearean scholar husband, Richard, and her indomitable great-aunt Maggie, Laura confronts a slew of family secrets. Turns out Paw may have seen something that a killer is determined to keep quiet. And Laura will have to untangle the truth, before this homecoming leads to another homicide…


“You’ll need a road map to keep track of Fleming’s relatives (I counted two dozen), but they speak and behave authentically.”

The Charlotte Observer

“A tightly woven tale of family quarrels, jealousies, secrets, and loyalties. Laura Fleming is interesting, likable, and a delight to read.”

The Armchair Detective

“DOWN HOME MURDER […] is a marvelous slice of working class North Carolina. Even if it weren’t a mystery, it would be worth reading as a Southern novel.”

Mysteriously Yours

“A wonderful book, a terrific character driven story telling triumph. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”

I Love A Mystery

Awards & Accolades