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Til Death–another fantastic Zoe Chambers mystery

Til Death

by Annette Dashofy

If all mysteries were as good as Til Death, readers would be glued to their easy chairs and no work would get done. Annette Dashofy continues her series with main character Zoe Chambers being promoted to Chief Deputy Coroner and giving up her job as an EMT. This is a huge change with lots of responsibilities, a big learning curve, and people and events that challenge her.

The story opens with County Coroner Franklin Marshall collapsing in the autopsy suite—and not out of a squeamish response to the procedure. The action takes off from there and doesn’t stop until the last period. There are several deaths, a cold case, attacks on law enforcement, and berserk ex-wives. Among all the cases could there be more than one criminal? There are three modes of murder, so maybe? Or do they all somehow tie together? 

Philandering Dustin Landis is released from prison when a judge overturns his conviction. The D.A. is going to try him again. Dustin has always insisted on his innocence. Now pieces are coming to light that indicate a serial killer was operating in the area at the time. When Franklin’s most recent ex-wife explodes on the scene, chaos follows her. She tears Franklin’s office apart, apparently in search of a document, and summarily kicks out Zoe and the Coroner’s Office with her.

Zoe’s attention is divided as she and Police Chief Pete Adams are getting married in two weeks, an event that brings seemingly inevitable family drama to the forefront. A staff romance in the Vance Township Police force causes a crisis of a different sort. Meanwhile Zoe and Pete have to work together and independently to fit all of the puzzle pieces together with the goal of solving all those mysteries simultaneously.

I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #10 in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series, but holds up well as a standalone.

Publication:   June 16, 2020—Henery Press

Memorable Lines:

If Loretta Marshall’s dark hair had been half white, Zoe would’ve warned her friends who owned Dalmatians.

“Good old Dr. Davis. Politician first. Forensic expert second. Human being? Somewhere way lower on the list.”

Zoe collapsed onto her stacked boxes, staring out the dirt-streaked window, thoughts and emotions racing inside her skull like deranged bumper cars.

Murder on a Midsummer Night–no sparkle to this mystery

Murder on a Midsummer Night

by Kerry Greenwood

Murder on a Midsummer NightIn Murder on a Midsummer Night, there are two major non-connected mysteries and one minor mystery. A man with no apparent reason to commit suicide is found drowned, and Phryne Fisher is hired to discover what really happened to him. Simultaneously she takes on a case to find a person who was given up for adoption many years prior. A mother has died and her will indicates that this person should be included in receiving monetary benefits. At the end of each chapter is a brief part of yet another tale. It appears very disconnected from the main plot lines until the very end of the book at which time it is tied into one of the threads. Rather than being clever, I found it distracting.

This is the first Phryne Fisher mystery that I have not totally enjoyed. In addition to the dangling mini-mystery, the characters did not have the pizazz that they normally have. The author relates the actions the characters take rather than allowing the reader to watch the action, participating vicariously. I regretted that Phryne’s family members as well as other regulars in the series are present but not very active. The result is a flat feeling to the story. In addition there are a number of truly distasteful characters in this book. Phryne doesn’t like them, and the reader has no reason to like them.

I am a big fan of the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series, but this mystery was disappointing. If this were my first experience with the series, it would probably be my last. Knowing the usual quality of the books in this series, however, I will be back.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Poisoned Pen Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Notes: #17 in the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series

Publication: February 6, 2018—Poisoned Pen Press

Memorable Lines:

There was never any point being cross about weather, it was like politicians: to be born patiently, because it was compulsory.

She didn’t care what anyone said about the association of Phryne and Lin Chung, especially James, who was leaning against the white-painted wall, looking exquisite and drinking his third glass of the revolting port. That appeared to be the sum total of his social skills but Phryne supposed that he might have hidden depths.

But then, every country has its mistral, its meltemi, its own terrible wind.

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