Skip to main content

The Camera Never Lies: Hometown Mysteries


The Camera Never Lies: Hometown Mysteries

Polly Perkins is a portrait photographer who is hired to take pictures of her friend’s wedding. The ceremony will take place at beautiful Caldera National Park in Oregon, which happens to be only 30 miles from where her mother lives, so Polly invites her mom to join her for the special weekend event. Once at the lodge, Polly encounters a blast from the past when she runs into Alec Gordon, who she still blames for an accident that killed her best friend back in high school. Feelings of resentment immediately rise to the surface. Polly remains cordial, but high-tails it away from Alec as swiftly as possible before she says anything she regrets.

A little while later, Polly hears a scream coming from the room next to hers. She rushes over and sees the shaken housekeeper pointing at the closet. Polly steps closer and finds a dead body inside. She’s stunned to see it’s none other than Alec Gordon. Despite her shock, Polly can’t help herself from snapping a few photos of the crime scene. She decides to try her hand at sleuthing, thinking that finding the killer and solving this case may somehow make up for her earlier reaction to Alec and the fact that she didn’t extend forgiveness to him when she had the chance.

It quickly becomes evident that Alec had made many enemies over the years who very well may have wanted him dead. This includes Polly’s mother, whom Alec recently swindled out of several thousand dollars. To Polly’s dismay, the clues start to stack up against her emotionally unstable, pill-popping, sleepwalking mom. But there are plenty of other suspects to consider, including the housekeeper who discovered the body, a lodge groundskeeper, a tour guide, and an odd/mysterious woman Polly keeps bumping into.

One more suspect to add to the list is another blast from the past who Polly didn’t expect to see this weekend: the Best Man and her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Bradford III, who she dated years ago and has never quite gotten over. When she tells him about the murder, he confesses that he confronted Alec about his intentions after seeing her talking to him that morning. Spencer then offers to help Polly in her amateur sleuthing efforts, and she cautiously accepts. Although she can’t believe Spencer could kill someone, she remembers his hot temper and can’t help wondering if he had snapped.

With so many suspects with just as many motives, Polly has her work cut out for her. As she begins to follow the clues, people start whispering about “that photographer who keeps asking questions.” And it soon becomes clear that someone isn’t too happy that Polly is poking around. When she realizes that she may have actually caught the killer --- or at least a clue or two --- on camera, things really get interesting.

THE CAMERA NEVER LIES is a delightful first-person story with all the elements that make up a good cozy mystery. There’s certainly no shortage of quirky characters, most notably Polly’s mother, who’s good for several chuckles along the way. The clues to the murder are set nicely in place, taking the reader on a puzzling journey, with lots of twists and surprises throughout. Just when you think you have it figured out, you’re thrown another curveball. The romantic suspense between Polly and Spencer is enjoyable and doesn’t overpower the mystery. The banter between them is light and fun, yet provides enough romantic tension for the avid romance novel fan.

The spiritual element is also there. Polly continually prays for God’s guidance, and the implication is that it’s because of His guidance that the killer is caught.

Author Elizabeth Goddard is known for writing romance novels and anthology novellas. This seems to be her first attempt at a mystery, but you’d never know it. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, then THE CAMERA NEVER LIES shouldn’t disappoint.

Reviewed by Lynda Schab on December 1, 2010

The Camera Never Lies: Hometown Mysteries
by Elizabeth Goddard

  • Publication Date: December 1, 2010
  • Genres: Christian
  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 1602606277
  • ISBN-13: 9781602606272