Caution Death At Work by Rhys Dylan

Caution Death At Work by Rhys Dylan
Publisher: Wyrmwood Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A dark past casts a deep shadow.

Evan Warlow is back in the saddle as a DCI, though he isn’t yet sure he deserves to be, and there are others who share his doubts.

When a brutal attack on two mountain bikers in the vast solitude of the Brechfa forest leaves one dead and the other badly injured, the hunt is on for the killer. And though the evidence points firmly in one direction, an open and shut case soon becomes murky and unclear.

It’s not the first time bad things have happened in these woods. Things that some have tried desperately to forget. But for the killer, it’s more a matter of unfinished business.

Unless Evan and the team can outwit a vengeful and clever murderer, someone else is going to die.

When two friends are brutally attacked while they camp in the woods overnight one manages to escape, but help comes for his friend too late. DCI Evan Warlow is back in the saddle, but still has a weight over him, wondering if it’s the right decision. But he can’t back out now, he and his team need to sort out the reason behind the savage attack and try to correct some wrongs that stem back to many years ago.

This is the second book in this Welsh series, and I am finding that I enjoy them. In many respects this is a standard British police procedural and highly enjoyable. I do like the small Welsh touches though – the occasional Welsh word thrown into casual conversation with a brief explanation or the slightly darker than usual feel to the story and setting. I enjoy the way this team works together and am getting used to their characters – as well as a new addition to the team. I feel they are meshing very well together and learning about each other’s working styles as we the reader come to know them all.

I definitely feel this book can be read as a standalone. As only the second in the series not much has been missed and there isn’t that massive amount of history and/or backstory that you often get deeper within a series. I feel readers who enjoy British police procedural style mysteries or crime novels should absolutely feel at home with this and enjoy the slightly different flavour the Wales setting gives the story as a whole.

I also really enjoyed the plot. What seemed quite straightforward in the beginning had some layers to it that the investigation unearthed and while not incredibly complicated I did enjoy that it wasn’t as simple as I had assumed at first. I also liked there were a few mild twists to the story that kept me interested and eagerly turning the pages.

An atmospheric and slightly creepy Welsh read – this was a great mystery book and a series I am quickly becoming addicted to. A good read and one I can recommend.

A Soupçon of Poison by Jennifer Ashley

A Soupçon of Poison by Jennifer Ashley
Publisher: Self-published, Amazon Kindle
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Rating: 3 stars
Review by: Fern

London, 1880
Kat Holloway, highly sought-after young cook to the wealthy of London, finds herself embroiled in murder when she’s accused of poisoning her employer, the loathsome Sir Lionel Leigh-Bradbury. Her only help as she works to clear her name comes from the mysterious Daniel McAdam, a handsome man-of-all-work who seems to know everyone and always happens to be in the right place at the right time.

Kat and Daniel investigate the crime, but the mystery of Daniel’s background might be just as elusive and dangerous as the poisoner bent on framing Kat for murder. Prequel to the Kat Holloway Below Stairs Mysteries.

Kat Holloway might be young for her position as Chef of Sir Lionel Leigh-Bradbury’s household, but she knows her way around a kitchen and has spent years honing her skills. After strongly knocking back Sir Lionel’s amorous advances, she finds his requests for outlandish meals with only a few hours warning growing increasingly difficult – to the point where she turns to a little known friend – Daniel McAdams for help. At her wit’s end, Kat is determined to have it out with Sir Lionel and she is almost ready to leave, only to be woken in the middle of the night by the maid to find Sir Lionel has been murdered – and Kat is the prime suspect as murderess. Can Kat and Daniel uncover what really went on that fateful evening?

I picked up this short story on a whim and by the second chapter found myself engrossed in both the setting and characters. I enjoyed that Kat was a strong and fairly independent young woman and there was quite the mystery surrounding Daniel as well. There was clear chemistry between the two characters but I was also glad this didn’t turn into more of a romance novel but rather kept it’s main focus on the murder mystery and unraveling this aspect to the plot.

I do admit this was a fairly light book – readers looking for deep intrigue or a vastly complex plot might not find this fits the bill, but readers more interested in a light mystery with a strong historical context and a strong female lead character should enjoy this as much as I did. I was glad this book is definitely a stand alone style of novel. There is a whole series based around Kat and Daniel but that appears to be completely separate from this short story so readers should definitely feel able to just pick this up on a whim – as I did – and delve right in. I admit that I enjoyed it enough I plan to purchase the second short story – which appears in a similar vein as this one and to stand equally well alone – and I am also eyeing off the connected seven book series with these characters as the main protagonists as well.

This book ticks a number of boxes for me being a historical novel with strongly written characters as well as a good murder mystery at its heart and just a flutter of romantic chemistry, I feel it should appeal to a wider range of readers and I’m eager to try more by this author around these characters. Enjoyable.

Someone to Watch Over Me by Ace Atkins

Someone to Watch Over Me by Ace Atkins
Publisher: G. P. Putman’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

In the latest thriller featuring the legendary Boston PI, Spenser and his young protégé Mattie Sullivan take on billionaire money manager running a network of underaged girls for his rich and powerful clients.

Ten years ago, Spenser helped a teenage girl named Mattie Sullivan find her mother’s killer and take down an infamous Southie crime boss. Now Mattie–a college student with a side job working for the tough but tender private eye–dreams of being an investigator herself. Her first big case involves a fifteen-year-old girl assaulted by a much older man at one of Boston’s most prestigious private clubs. The girl, Chloe Turner, only wants the safe return of her laptop and backpack. But like her mentor and boss, Mattie has a knack for asking the right questions of the wrong people.

Soon Spenser and Mattie find ties between the exploitation of dozens of other girls from working class families to an eccentric billionaire and his sadistic henchwoman with a mansion on Commonwealth Avenue. The mystery man’s wealth, power and connections extend well beyond Massachusetts – maybe even beyond the United States. Spenser and trusted ally Hawk must again watch out for Mattie as she unravels a massive sex-trafficking ring that will take them from Boston to Boca Raton to the Bahamas, crossing paths with local toughs, a highly-trained security company, and an old enemy of Spenser’s–the Gray Man–for a final epic showdown.

Mattie Sullivan is approached to help a teenaged friend to recover the backpack and laptop that she left when she fled a “massage” appointment that turned into more than the kid expected. After being escorted off the premises by security and realizing she was in over her head, Mattie turns to Spenser for a hand in recovering her friend’s property. What began as a creep hiring teenage girls to massage him quickly snowballs into sex trafficking and some real heavyweights putting pressure on Spenser, Mattie, and those whom they hold dear.

In many ways this reminds me of the much earlier Spenser novels. A seemingly straight forward case and an interesting set of characters looking to Spenser for some help. The case gets deeper and more complicated, but Spenser manages to rise above it all and keep plugging away. This is the heart of soul of the Spenser novels that I absolutely adore and thoroughly enjoy.

While I understand many readers lost a lot of the appeal when Ace Atkins took over, I have to admit this is one of my favourite Spenser novels – particularly out of the last half dozen or so. I admit quite a bit of reality needs to be suspended – Spenser first appeared around 1973 so he’d be seriously past his prime now in the mid 2020s, yet Spenser has not aged very much at all in the book world. Add on the fact he’s just got Pearl the third in puppy form – another factor in just how much time has progressed – yet Spenser seemingly hasn’t aged very much either with his physical stamina or with his mental sharpness. All this needs to be carefully overlooked and not thought about. But I have to admit with such an interesting plot and a really good pace I still found myself highly enjoying this book.

Readers who are new to this series don’t really need to read much – if any – of the previous books to my mind. While yes there are a number of recurring characters, I feel the author does a good job of highlighting the friendships and camaraderie between them and I feel the book can be thoroughly enjoyed just by itself and not in conjunction with any of the previous stories.

Readers looking for an American style hardboiled detective story with a fair bit of lighthearted banter and a solid plot should find this a good read.

If the Sun Spares Us by Brenda Marie Smith

If the Sun Spares Us by Brenda Marie Smith
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: post-apocalyptic thriller
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Two years ago, a solar pulse destroyed modern life. Bea Crenshaw organized her starving, suburban neighbors into a farming community. But now Bea’s gone, and her grandchildren must carry her legacy forward.

In the post-apocalyptic pressure cooker of Austin, Texas, 19-year-old Keno and his younger cousins struggle to ensure their community’s survival even as they’re forced to relocate to safer grounds. Northern Lights that don’t belong this far south grow increasingly intense, making Keno fear what harm the sun will cause next.

Even worse, a marauding militia called the Raiders is closing in, led by a deranged woman who preys on teenage boys. Despite Keno’s debilitating flashbacks from a firefight, he and his wife have a new baby to protect. Though Bea is dead, her spirit desperately searches for ways to shield her grandkids. When Raiders target two neighborhood members, the only hope lies in the community’s strength, Keno’s ingenuity, and the family’s fierce love for one another.

This is the third book in the Braving the Light series and picks up after the death of Bea, the family’s grandmother and matriarch who so ably prepared her family for an apocalypse she is sure is coming, even though she does not know how or when. You can read our five-star review of the second book here.

This third, and final, book of the trilogy does not disappoint. Once again, Ms. Smith presents us with a multi-generational story, told from the POVs of Keno, Milo, Mazie, and Bea. They are trying to relocate to a safer location, a move which causes dissension in the original camp. Add to that, they run into a paramilitary group which calls itself Raiders and is run by a deranged woman with a special affinity for luring in teenage boys.

Once again, it’s the characters and their relationships that really make this book. The characters come across as real people, with all their faults and foibles. They are mostly people who would want to sit down and have a cup of tea with.

The situations, also, ring true and is a future I could see all too well coming our way. The whole range of human emotions and human reactions are seen in the books, both good and bad.

I really recommend this series.

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All the Little Truths by Debra Webb

All the Little Truths by Debra Webb
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Legal investigator Finley O’Sullivan has dealt with her share of shady characters, but the firm’s latest client has an even darker past than most. In fact, Nashville Metro Police seems to think he’s a murderer.

Finley isn’t so sure. Her investigation into Ray Johnson’s history focuses on the unsolved murder of a teenager who died thirteen years earlier. The case went cold, but questions remain. After the girl’s death, people close to her started disappearing—Ray’s brother first, then the girl’s mother. But why?

As Finley races to solve a decade-old murder, she uncovers new clues and long-buried secrets that could blow the case wide open. But whoever killed the girl all those years ago may still be a threat—and now the chase is on.

Secrets can be dangerous and even the smallest truths might make a difference if they are revealed.

This book had me engrossed from the first page. “All the Little Truths” follows Finley O’Sullivan with her unusual skill set for finding out the truth; it does not matter if her client’s innocence or guilt is discovered in the outcome. This is book three of the Finley O’Sullivan series and Finley is tasked with solving a high-profile cold case murder that happened thirteen years ago.

The book is part of a series however I was able to follow along and understand the events that took place in the previous book. How thoughtful of the author to give a refreshing overview of what happened in the series previously to those that read the earlier books. I am sure new readers will appreciate the recap as I did, it helped to give some insight into what happened to Finley previously. The tide bits about what happened to Finley’s husband piqued my interest, and now I want to go back to read the previous books in the series.

The author’s writing is always enjoyable to read and easy to follow. The plot is suspenseful although I did figure out early on who the killer was, finding out how all the other parts fit into the story kept me reading. The story did not lag at any point, however there were times when I felt the story was taking too long to get to its full truth. There was not a dull moment in this book, the multilayered plot made sure of that. Not only is Finley working on solving the Lucy Cagle murder, she is working to find out what happened to Ian Johnson, Finley is also mentally dealing with the aftermath of what happened to her and her husband. She discovered her neighbor Helen Roberts passed out in the backyard and takes the time to visit her in the hospital, and she makes the decision to run for District Attorney all the while a stalker is following her. See what I mean? A lot happening, but the author did not miss a beat in keeping each plot point moving with sufficient details and making sure all had closure. I could not even think of one question. Skillful writing and editing make for wonderful reading pleasure.

Finley’s drive and determination is evident, she holds true to only caring about finding out the truth even when it looks like her father may have some involvement in what happened to Lucy. Finley is juggling a lot, but she does it well. She is a character to be admired and one I want to read more about.

The novel’s end was very unexpected for me, this astonishing twist was unsettling and unusual. The author’s craft in mystery writing is intense and descriptive and it is evident that her goal is to keep the readers interested. That goal was achieved. The places and details mentioned show that she does her research into the structure of her novels. This is characteristic for a Debra Webb book, and her well-structured suspenseful plot will surely ignite enough curiosity to keep readers reading in one session. Recommended.

Hardback Homicide by S. E. Babin

Hardback Homicide by S. E. Babin
Publisher: S.E. Babin, Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

When a rare book order leads me right to a homicide, somehow I’m the one investigating…

I’m Dakota Adair, owner of Tattered Pages, a bookstore specializing in cool and quirky books. I inherited a grumpy Persian cat named Poppy who loves to make her displeasure known around the store … loudly. Things are good until I deliver a special order only to stumble over a body. Suddenly all eyes are on me. Now I have a handsome detective and an annoying reporter on my tail, hounding me about the case.

All I want to do is crack open my favorite paperback, grab a cup of coffee, and chill, but with a murderer out there and suspicion falling on me, I have to do a lot more than read. I have to find out whodunnit and quick before I become the next subject of a murder mystery…

Hardback Homicide is the 1st book in a series titled “Shelf Indulgence”. This was fun reading. Even the series name is fun. It had what I call all the “elements” of a cozy, a cute town name (Dewdrop Springs), an amateur sleuth, a handsome cop, a bookshop, books, a cat, and of course, a dead body.

I enjoyed this story, but the quirky characters of the town might be what clinched it. Dakota, the bookshop owner, and her assistant, Harper, sell books for all ages, but they also deal in rare books. This is where greed sets in, and it becomes awfully hard to tell who has their hands on the infamous book.

Lots of fun, easy reading, and good characters. What more can I say? I can say this series has 5 books so far, and I intend to read them all.

Sacrifice by Tim Svart

Sacrifice by Tim Svart
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A hidden scheme. Suspiciously pat answers. Can one untested leader navigate the thin line between professional and personal justice?
Essen, Germany. Chief Inspector “Karre” Karrenberg has no appetite for overseeing a homicide squad. Still grieving over his ex-wife’s fatal car crash that left his daughter in a coma, the veteran detective’s gut tells him to ignore all the evidence that it was an accident. But he’s forced to put his own needs aside when a poor young woman’s lakeside adventure transforms her into an unidentified body.

Willing to make risky trades for more information, Karre discovers the mysterious female was a high-class escort. But his attempts to find the dead girl’s client are stonewalled by tight-lipped suspects, iron-clad alibis… and a growing number of bodies.

Will Karre’s private tragedies blind him to clues that could prevent another murder?

Chief Inspector Karre Karrenberg is reluctant to be the acting head of his murder investigations team. With the recent tragic car accident killing his ex-wife and leaving his teenage daughter in a precarious coma, Karre has plenty on his mind already. But when an unidentified woman’s body is found near the lakeside, clearly murdered and there’s no one talking and everyone seeming to have a strong alibi Karre realizes he needs all his effort to try and find justice for this lady – as well as his own family.

I mainly purchased this book because I don’t believe I have ever read a police murder mystery based in Germany. I was strongly intrigued and am very pleased with this book. With a complex mystery that circles around nicely and has plenty of depth and questions, I was also easily dragged in by the small number of very strong secondary characters. Karre’s team-mates as well as a few key forensic characters made an excellent group and they all retained my attention. The fact this plot also clearly linked somehow to the car accident that recently killed Karre’s ex-wife and put his teen daughter into a coma also intrigued me – because at a first glance I assumed the two scenarios were not linked at all.

I have read a number of British police procedural mysteries, as well as a few Scandinavian police mysteries and I would place the tone and voice of this German offering somewhere in between the two. I felt this wasn’t as cosy or rural as I find British police procedural books tend to be. This definitely had more of a city feel to it with a somewhat darker or gritter turn than many British mystery’s feel to me. That said I didn’t feel this was as bleak or dark as many Scandinavian mysteries appear to me. There was still a fair bit of emotion and hope to this book – whereas I often find the Scandi crime novels to be quite terse and often bleak.

I very much enjoyed both the setting, pace and tone of this book. I was easily hooked on the characters and found the mystery complex enough to retain my attention all through the book and I am definitely interested in purchasing the second book in this series. A good first novel and a set of characters I hope to explore further as I work my way through the series.

Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz

Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Jove/Berkley New York
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer’s head has garnered him a reputation in some circles–and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family’s hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas’s foster sons, starting with Jack.

Jack Lancaster is a renown FBI consultant with a particular talent for hunting down cold cases related to fire. His true interest lie, however, in tracking down Quinton Zane – the charismatic cult leader responsible for murdering Jack’s mother and burning their retreat down and nearly killing the many women and children residing there. Winter Meadows is a therapist assisting Jack with some of her talents. When Winter is threatened and Jack fears it’s linked to his own past can they work together and each survive the fiery path ahead of them?

I am a pretty long-term fan of Krentz’s having enjoyed her romantic thrillers for many years now. While this trilogy hasn’t been one of my favourites of hers, you can always be guaranteed of a solid and enjoyable read from her and this book is no exception. Vibrant, layered and interesting characters, coupled with some steamy chemistry and a well-woven and solid plot this book has a lot going for it. As the final book in the trilogy I have to admit at least a passing understanding of the history and bigger picture will probably give a reader far more enjoyment with this story. The author does an exceptional job in filling in the backstory but it might feel a bit too much for a reader fresh to this storyline to catch up on.

That said I greatly enjoyed a number of the small links to previous books and series, especially the cameo from Arizona Snow – and feel this really added some depth and texture to the story as a whole. In the beginning there was a fair bit of backstory – to Jack as well as Winter – that needed to be laid down and while I feel this slowed the pace of the story as a whole I have to admit it fleshed out the characters wonderfully for me. I was really invested in both Jack and Winter and don’t feel I would have been so connected to them had this attention and detail been given near the start of the book.

Once the plot and action began, this book was a live-wire. The pace became exceptional and the suspense and plot really grabbed my focus to the point I got annoyed when I had to put it down for real life stuff. This – for me, at least – is the hallmark of reading a Krentz novel. They all usually grab me to some degree and don’t let go. This book was no exception. I felt the speed and pace of the story after it gained momentum was exciting and I felt the chemistry between Winter and Jack was believable and steamy. I thought the author balanced these two aspects of the story well too – with neither the plot nor the romance crowding the other out.

Readers who enjoy a steamy and well plotted romantic suspense probably already are well versed with this author. She has tons of books out and this was another excellent read. I’d probably suggest readers go back and read the two previous books in this trilogy – but it’s not strictly necessary to enjoy this book itself. I felt this was strong and entertaining read and a weekend well spent.

Walk The Wire by David Baldacci

Walk The Wire by David Baldacci
Publisher: Pan Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution—and now murder.

Decker and Jamison are ordered to investigate the death of a young woman named Irene Cramer, whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open—which is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. As Decker and Jamison dig into Irene’s life, they are shocked to discover that the woman who walked the streets by night as a prostitute was a teacher for a local religious sect by day—a sect operating on land once owned by a mysterious government facility that looms over the entire community.

London is a town replete with ruthless business owners, shady government officials, and religious outsiders, all determined to keep their secrets from coming out. When other murders occur, Decker will need all of his extraordinary memory and detective skills, and the assistance of a surprising ally, to root out a killer and the forces behind Cramer’s death . . . before the boom town explodes.

Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are in a remote fracking mining town in North Dakota for reasons they’re not quite certain of. A highly unusual murder of a school teacher set off alarms within the FBI hierarchy and Decker and Jamison were sent to investigate – without the request of the local police force nor a reasonable explanation for them being sent out for a singular murder. Decker and Jamison quickly realise all is not as it seems in the small community and they both will need to keep their wits about them if they are to survive.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was particularly pleased that there were a number of plots interweaving together with a strong enough complexity it took me quite a while to separate out what was linked together and what was not related. Baldacci did an excellent job to my mind of interlacing a number of plotlines together and it was complicated enough that I could gauge that a number of things were happening simultaneously and it wasn’t a simple matter unraveling everything.

I was also thrilled that a few characters from a different series written by Baldacci were very strong secondary characters (and not just cameos but quite integral to the plotline as well) and it was utterly wonderful for me to read about these much loved characters and see how they were going. I also quite enjoyed the cross over – seeing how Decker and Jamison interacted with them and it was a true joy for me to read this.

While I absolutely feel readers can pick this book up as a stand alone and enjoy the intricate plot and well written FBI mystery/suspense story I think fans who have read previous books in this series and in particular who are at least passingly knowledgeable about a few other series written by Mr. Baldacci should find this an excellent book with a few deeper layers that non-fans might not fully appreciate.

I feel readers who enjoy a well woven, complicated and interesting murder/mystery/suspense style FBI book should thoroughly enjoy this book and characters and I can strongly recommend it and the others in this series.

The Plague Maiden by Kate Ellis

The Plague Maiden by Kate Ellis
Publisher: Piatkus
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A stir is caused in Tradmouth when a letter arrives at the police station claiming that the man convicted of murdering the Vicar of Belsham is innocent. DI Wesley Peterson already has his hands full with threats made to local supermarket chain, Huntings – the last thing he needs is an alleged miscarriage of justice to investigate.

Meanwhile, Wesley’s friend, archaeologist Neil Watson, uncovers a medieval plague pit at a site near Belsham church earmarked for Huntings’ new superstore. As Wesley’s investigations continue, he begins to suspect that the vicar’s murder, the disappearance of a woman and the threats to the supermarket may be linked in some way.

Dr Neil Watson and his archaeology team uncover what they believe to be a plague pit in an open field earmarked as the site for a new local supermarket. Despite the growing number of bodies, DI Wesley Peterson is relieved, since the bones are clearly mediaeval and solving their deaths is not his problem. Wesley’s plate is already quite full, with his wife due to deliver their second child any day now, new evidence found that clearly shows an innocent man has been in jail for a decade for the murder of a vicar he can’t have committed, and an unknown person leaving infected products at the local Huntings supermarkets which has killed a number of people. When Wesley begins to find more and more connections between all these cases he will need every talent he can draw on to uncover what’s really going on.

This is another book in the DI Wesley Peterson series and I have been really enjoying them so far. Many of the books are primarily a British police procedural style with a good hit of history/archaeology running through the plots and this book is no exception. While some of the connections between the team members and Neil with the various other characters does have plenty of history from the previous books, I strongly feel this story can be picked up easily by itself and really enjoyed. The plot and central focus of the investigations are well contained in this story.

Readers looking for something very heavily historical might not find this quite suits their purposes. While Neil’s archaeology dig and investigations does indeed create quite a strong sub-plot there are a number of modern mysteries and police investigations that take up the main aspect to the plot in my mind. I feel the author has given a good balance between the past mystery and the current problems facing Wesley and his team but readers wanting something more historical might feel this balance isn’t quite right. I also could appreciate there were a number of cases that interwove here and that took some exceptional writing both to make it believable but also to knit it all together. In such a small town it makes sense that seemingly unconnected events actually could have cross over in parts since with such a small pool of people, the interactions and connectedness really would make sense to cross over into all aspects of the town’s life.

I found this to be a well written and strongly plotted police procedural with a number of interesting plots and a strong and equally interesting historical aspect too. I’m very much enjoying this series and am eager to get to the next book.