Author: Sara Rosett
Series: The Ellie Avery Mysteries
Sleuth: Ellie Avery
Children: Nathan and Olivia (Livvy)
Setting: Sandy Beach, Florida
Animal: A dog named Rex, who doesn’t appear in this story other than a brief mention that he’s been dropped at a kennel so the family can go on their Gulf Coast vacation.
This book was so good. So, so good. I mean, if you hate cosy mysteries you won’t enjoy it, obviously, but I loved it. The mystery was well-constructed and believable, the solution made sense, the setting was rendered in enough detail to be realistic without sounding like a tourism brochure, the local businesses all made sense in their setting, and aside from all that I had a few personal reasons for liking it.
Reasons I liked it:
- The career/hobby/theme of these is organization; Jane runs a business as an organization consultant. Instead of recipes there were organization tips at the end of each chapter, which actually connected to the plot. Good job theme-izing without making it too obviously a pointless gimmick.
- Jane’s husband is an American Air Force pilot. I grew up in a Canadian Air Force town, and to this day am filled with admiration for the way military wives cope with being the single-parent-present so much of the time, so I was predisposed to like Jane. (Also her husband gets delayed in Goose Bay, which a) happens all the time and b) is a place I’ve visited often, so that was cute.)
- The children were like actual children! No staff materialize to take care of them 100% of the time! Jane has to carry a crapload of stuff along on a vacation, and then has to physically carry it to the beach! They have to be fed regularly! I’m sorry, I’m just over excited because it’s so rare to see children written realistically. Even in this book, the plot gets them “out of the way” by having Jane’s sister take them overnight and all the next day; I’ve seen people complaining on Goodreads because apparently in the other books Jane’s family life is more of a thing. I have to track down and read those other books ASAP, then, because even in the bits at the beginning and end of the novel there’s more reality than in the entirety of most cosies I’ve read.