Review: The Magnolia Murders (Sawyer and Royce: Matrimony and Mayhem #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Rating: 4.75🌈

The Magnolia Murders is the start of a second series that revolves around the romantic and professional lives of Sawyer Key and Royce Locke. At the beginning the couple is still partners at the MCU at Savannah’s PD but their unit has recently gotten a new chief. Up to now , every minute has been spent together. They live together, they work together, they love together. But fraternization rules work against them as partners.

So they knew their time together as partners on the job is about to end, as they knew it would.

Chief Mendoza decides to split the couple apart by having each head new divisions he’s creating within the Department. Sawyer to head the new Cold Case unit, and Royce to work with a new Unit for to engage with teenagers who want to work in law enforcement.

But first there’s a cold case murder that’s hitting close to home for both men. The murder of several beauty pageant queens from years past is echoed in a murder that happens now. Is it the same killer or a copycat?

Walker pulls out all the emotional baggage here for both men. It’s all family elements, the damage from Royce’s awful childhood and the pain it’s inflicted on his relationships with his sister and her children that’s in the spotlight here. Contrasted, of course, with the way Royce has been folded into Sawyer’s family and the feelings he still has of inadequacy because of Vic.

Sawyer, too, is waiting. He’s feeling insecure because of the scars left by the fire and the fact that he made a discovery that Royce hasn’t acted on.

In between complicated relationship dynamics and the fact they are experiencing being apart from each other at work, the long hours and devious criminals are confounding them.

This is an excellent murder investigation. I loved how the research and investigation slowly unraveled the truth behind the murders. So satisfying.

I have to say I was as frustrated as Sawyer over Royce’s inability to propose but I absolutely got why he was having such a bad time of it.

Walker gets us so totally inside these men that we understand them , feel their emotions, get their actions, and love it when they win! Both professionally and romantically.

So I really need that next book! It should be a wild roller coaster ride! I can’t wait!

I highly recommend this book and the series that precedes it. The Zero Hour Trilogy! That’s the series that tells how they met and fell in love over many murders. Don’t miss out on that either!

❤️Sawyer and Royce: Matrimony and Mayhem series:

✓ The Magnolia Murders #1

◦ Marriage is Murder #2 – coming April 19, 2022

◦ Killer Honeymoon #3 – July 1, 2022 › Magnoli…The Magnolia Murders (Sawyer and Royce: Matrimony and Mayhem Book 1) – Kindle …


Everything old is new again in love and murder.

Work together, live together, and play together is the name of the game for Royce Locke and Sawyer Key. But one of those things changes when Chief Mendoza taps Sawyer to lead the newly formed cold case unit. His first task: solve the Magnolia Murders that spanned three decades and suddenly stopped in 2000.

Chaos ensues when a fourth Magnolia Queen contender is murdered during a preliminary round. With the pageant’s one hundredth anniversary looming, the pressure is on to produce results. Royce and Sawyer, along with their new partners, have to team up to solve the Magnolia Murders—old and new.

As the investigation continues, a surprise visitor and an unexpected phone call force the men to face painful things from their pasts. The future Royce and Sawyer dream of is within their grasp, but first, they’ll need to uproot the seeds of discontent they’ve buried deep.

The Magnolia Murders is the first book in the Matrimony and Mayhem trilogy, the second story arc for Royce Locke and Sawyer Key. ** New readers should start with the Zero Hour trilogy before reading Matrimony and Mayhem. ** The Magnolia Murders is a continuation of Royce and Sawyer’s happily ever after as they move into the next phase of their lives—professionally and personally. Though some storylines span the trilogy, this book does not end in a cliffhanger. Heat, humor, heart, and homicide abound. You have been warned.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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