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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.

Death by Auction–fun event turns deadly

Death by Auction

by Alexis Morgan

Abby McCree is new to Snowberry Creek, but wants to contribute to her community, so she spearheads a fundraiser in support of a local veterans’ group. It is a fun bachelor/bachelorette auction which will be followed in a few weeks by a World War II era dance. Well, it would be fun if Abby had not discovered her celebrity Master of Ceremony’s dead body and if her boyfriend’s ex-wife hadn’t made a surprise visit to Snowberry Creek.

Abby is not happy to be in the middle of this mess, but she responds in her usual hospitable manner to the unwelcome ex-wife whom she privately  calls “the barnacle.” With her never ending stash of muffins and cookies tucked away in the freezer, she even feeds the law enforcement officers who show up on her doorstep.

The story, which varies in mood from humorous to serious, moves quickly. As much as I wanted to know who committed the crime, I still didn’t want the book to end. From adventures at a biker bar to the joys of having her boyfriend’s ex-wife, who is one of the suspects, as a houseguest, the plot has a high energy level. The characters’ interactions are interesting. I’d love to join Abby at her kitchen table for a chat and the chance to pet Zeke, her slobbery ninety pound mastiff mix who is a good companion for her because of his intimidating size and his abilities in judging character. Abby is astute in her investigations and instrumental in solving the crime. All in all, Alexis Morgan’s Death by Auction is a very satisfying cozy mystery.

I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #3 in the Abby McCree Mystery Series, but would be excellent as a standalone

Publication:   May 26, 2020—Kensington

Memorable Lines:

They settled in at the table while Zeke parked himself between them in case someone dropped food on the floor that would require an emergency cleanup. He was good about things like that.

“I’ve learned never to underestimate your total inability to stay out of trouble, but also every guilty thought you have flashes across your face like it’s a billboard.”

Mount St. Helens had nothing on the eruption Abby could sense brewing in Tripp. His fists were clenched so tightly that his knuckles stood out in stark relief. One wrong word at this point, and she had no doubt he would go ballistic.

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