D.E. Haggerty is a true cozy mystery writer. I can say this having previously reviewed a book from the Gray Haired Ladies Detective series. She is also a prolific author of sixteen books on Amazon, so she has a good thing going!
Great cover, yes?
The story: Terri, a divorced school librarian, is cleaning her ex-husband’s belongings out the attic of her home when she discovers an exquisite and obviously very expensive diamond pendant necklace. She wants to return it to its owner, but the previous inhabitant of the house was brutally murdered, and the murder is unsolved. The victim’s parents want nothing to do with the necklace and want her greedy brothers kept in the dark about it.
Terri resolves to find a charity to which she could donate the necklace and inadvertently puts herself in danger when she volunteers at the local women’s domestic abuse shelter, where the victim also volunteered. Enough strange things happen for Terri to want to solve the murder. Helping her in her investigation is her brash, loud and impulsive best friend Melanie and a way-too-handsome next door neighbor, Ryan, who happens to be a PI and who has been interested in Terri from afar for some time.
The book had enough twists and turns, plus some low down and nasty characters, to keep me entertained and turning the pages. There are some humorous moments, many involving Melanie, who is the yin to Terri’s yang. Readers who enjoy romance will like the relationship which quickly develops between Terri and Ryan, who is determined to protect her. I particularly like the fact that Terri is a school librarian and has to handle frisky teenagers as well as the investigation.
A couple of things puzzled/annoyed me. Upon learning of the necklace’s value, why didn’t Terri immediately rent a safe deposit box, instead of keeping it in her sock drawer? She’s smart, so this would have been a natural action for her. Ryan is an overbearing, alpha male – I wanted to slap him from time to time. The romance heated up way to quickly to my mind (but then, I’m old) and his often calling Terri ‘baby’ seemed a bit anachronistic.
Nevertheless, this is a good addition to the author’s collection of cozies, and there will be lots of followers out there who will find it a fun read that keeps you guessing!
About the author (from Amazon):
Dena (aka D.E.) grew up reading everything she could get her grubby hands on from her mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When she wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, she was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories, which she is very thankful have been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along and robbed her of any free time to write or read. After surviving the army experience, she went back to school and got her law degree. She jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into her legal career, she was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. She quit her job and sat down to write a manuscript, which she promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t her thing, so she quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t her thing either. She polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where she decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from her adopted home. She packed up again and moved back to the Netherlands (The Hague to be exact) where she’s currently working on her next book. She hopes she’ll always be writing books.
You can find D.E. Haggerty
On twitter: @dehaggerty
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty
And her books, including Finders not Keepers, on Amazon: