June Reads So Far

It is starting to be summer time, so I am hoping to do more reading. I also have lots of day trips and activities planned though so we will have to see.

I really enjoyed several of these this month, so in no particular order:

A Dark Matter, I am not sure if I’ve read anything by this author before or not. This novel revolves around Jenny a journalist who has traveled home for the funeral of the patriarch of the family, her father. Once she arrives she discovers she has been let go of her job and proceeds to pick up the slack at the family business, which is a funeral parlor with a side line of private investigation. The cases become personal when a friend of her daughter disappears. Jenny gets embroiled in more cases as her mother investigates one that is a bit closer to home. The death of her husband has revealed an anomaly in the business accounts. Mother and daughter both work to get to the bottom of their respective mysteries. A good read and I am sure it is the start of a series.

Safe and Sound, in this novel a rental agent unfortunately discovers that the reason one of their tenants ceased paying rent is that she is dead, and has been for a considerable length of time. The novel jumps back and forth in time until it comes to its rather sad conclusion. After the fact, I read that it was based on a real life case of a similar circumstances. I feel like I should have liked this one more than I did. Themes of social isolation, grief, and mental illness. For me, this was just an okay read.

Caramel Calamity, this is fifth in the Parties at the Pier mystery series. I have to admit I didn’t read the first four. I downloaded this to my kindle as I was looking for a cozy and this was on Kindle Unlimited. The protagonist, Penelope, plans events, and stumbles upon dead bodies. The latest event is a graduation and there is to be a local author as the speaker. The murder involves old secrets that someone wants to keep hidden and is willing to kill to do that. This was an okay cozy mystery.

Broadland, is another new to me author. The series is set in Norfolk and is the first in a new series headed by DI Tanner. He has his own personal issues, which precipitated the move from London to Norfolk and he has not been entirely accepted by his new team. He is assigned to missing persons and soon finds his case turning into murder. One body leads to another and the term serial killer starts being used. The pressure is on for Tanner to produce results. This was a good police procedural. I am not sure how I feel about his sidekick character, but she will probably grow on me as the series continues. Good read.

Closely Harbored Secrets is a continuation of Bree Baker’s Seaside Cafe Mystery series. Everly stumbles upon yet another body. This time the victim, Dixie, has a history of issues with the Swan women. On top of this Everly and Grady’s “never quite there yet” romance takes quite a blow. Everly investigates and finds herself in danger from a mysterious figure. An okay outing in an otherwise good series.

Death Bee Comes Her is first in a new cozy series. Wren Johnson, the proprietor of a bee themed shop stumbles upon a body on the beach. A witness comes forward and drops Wren into hot water with the local police. Wren investigates as it seems like her freedom is at risk. I really enjoyed this introduction to a new series.

Hunted on the Fens by Joy Ellis is the third book in the Nikki Galena series. Nikki is still recovering from a personal tragedy. Her working relationship with Joe Easter is developing into a great friendship. Nikki and her team find themselves under attack and the main suspect is a villain who slipped through their fingers in a previous case. The attack turns personal as the killer targets Joe’s daughter. Really good thriller.

Their Lost Daughters is also by Joy Ellis and is set in the same area as the Nikki Galena series but does not overlap, at least not yet. The case here involves girls going missing over a period of years. There are lots of red herrings and cases of misdirection. The link between the crimes is a sad one for everyone involved. Themes of child abuse, effects of trauma, sibling love, and mental illness. This was a good psychological thriller/police procedural.

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