by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Still recovering from a recent divorce and overdue on her next manuscript, thriller writer Tess Harrow has retreated to Winthrop, Washington, in the hopes that the off-the-grid change will allow her to complete her new novel. Less thrilled with the move from Seattle is Tess’s fourteen-year-old daughter Gertrude, a far-too-mature teenager who finds the lack of Wi-Fi as irritating as the explosion that has fish parts raining all around them. This questionably legal form of fishing also results in a flying human body part which brings Okanogan County Sheriff Boyd to their doorstep. That he is the brought-to-life version of Tess’s fictional Detective Gonzales is as fascinating for Tess as it is irritating to the sheriff who is not appreciative of her detective’s habit of bending the law. A murder at her great-grandfather’s cabin inspires both Tess’s creativity and compulsion to insert herself into the investigation, confident that her authorship of a bestselling detective series gives her the experience to solve a murder.
This first in a new series by the author of the delightful Eleanor Wilde mysteries introduces a flawed, vulnerable, and very likable new heroine. It quickly becomes apparent that Tess’s confidence and flippancy hides her insecurity as a mother, first as a result of the divorce and now the murder. Armed guards at their cabin are reassuring, but make her clandestine investigative adventures and attempts to coerce information from suspects difficult. The sights of Bigfoot and random toucans are perplexing and only complicate the mystery, which Tess attempts to solve through the connections she makes among her eccentric neighbors. A stellar librarian and deputy touting her own 1000-plus page science fiction handwritten manuscript put together as many pieces of the puzzle as they do take them apart. It seems that everyone in town is hiding a secret, and Tess can’t help but wish that Sheriff Boyd would be less by-the-book and more like her rogue fictional detective. That the sheriff actually prefers to follow the laws and respect citizens’ rights makes for a good law enforcement officer but is terrible fiction, and impatience sends Tess off an abundance of her own investigative paths.
The true star of this novel is Gertie, an extraordinary teen who is far more observant than her mother wishes and somehow manages to steer her mother towards saner paths. As Tess’s protective walls fall down and her fears revealed, she becomes so much more complex and admirable. The humor level is at its highest during the interactions of Tess, Gertie, and Sheriff Boyd, who may butt heads but ultimately have similar goals. The extreme northern setting encourages the weirdness of its inhabitants, delivering a fun, thrilling, and completely unexpected ending. This is a novel that grows stronger the more it reveals about Tess, Gertie, and their fish-raining new home.
To enter to win a copy of Buried in a Good Book, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “buried,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 25, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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