I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn on release day for the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.
The Body in the Attic (River Bluffs #1)
1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 218 pages
Digital Print Length: 280 pages
Welcome to River Bluffs, Indiana, a cozy small town populated with charming homes, close-knit families, and the occasional deadly secret . . .
House-flipper Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod have found their latest project. The property, formerly owned by the late Cal Juniper, is filled with debris that must be cleared before the real renovation begins. But a trip to the attic reveals something more disturbing than forgotten garbage—a skeleton wearing a locket and rings that Jazzi recognizes . . .
Tests confirm that the bones belong to Jazzi’s aunt Lynda, who everyone assumed moved to New York years ago after breaking up with Cal. Soon enough, the whole family is involved, sifting through memories and rumors as they try to piece together what really happened to Lynda—and the baby she gave up for adoption. In between investigating and remodeling, Jazzi is falling for the old house’s charms—and for her gorgeous contractor, Ansel. But with surprises lurking in every nook and cranny, a killer might be waiting to demolish her dreams for good . . .
What a delightfully different premise for a cozy mystery! A house flipper–and a female at that–and I can testify to having been involved in that activity and confronted just exactly the scenario described in walking through the house shortly after closing the auction. It has “good bones” and they will be only be doing cosmetic work. This is the home of the former fiancé of her Aunt Lynda, who disappeared before she and Cal married, never to be heard from again. Devastated, he never married.
Jasmine (Jazzi) and her cousin Jerod have done this before. It’s not their first rodeo, although thank goodness they made money on one of them and seem to have the cash to finish the job (and then some!). Jerod is a solid family man with two little ones at home. I loved his character! He is knowledgeable, capable, level-headed, and “two years older” than Jazzi. Jazzi, as the protagonist, may be around 25 and has a strong family network. There are several engaging support characters, including the 6’5″ Viking god, Ansel. He is a “construction” contractor. On their walk-through inspection, the trunk in the attic is found to contain a skeleton.
The location of River Bluffs, Indiana, sounded ideal, except for the humidity which is painted in vivid sweat-producing detail. I learned to love the town and quickly wondered if it’d make a beautiful little Sunday ride. The author writes with a keen sense of humor, and the well-plotted storyline folds out in a steady, even pace.
The protagonist, however, while interested in the question of her Aunt Lynda, can’t get me completely invested, and doesn’t appear to go sleuthing as much as she works with Ansel and Jerod in the rehab of their project. But Jazzi seems to have some kind of rapport with the detective who begins to invite her along on his investigation and little by little whittle at the mystery. The “cosmetic” work begins with a sledgehammer and appears to require no permits. The investigation ramps up when they find a second body out back of much more recent origin.
The narrative begins with a hook and engages interest through to the conclusion. The writing style is easy, fast, the dialogue natural, and I appreciated the affection intonated between family members, including the protagonist and her sister. The antagonist becomes a bit obvious and perhaps too soon. There is a romantic tic that interrupts the mystery and seemed a bit fast although is explained in plausible terms.
I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Good start for a new series! I’ll be interested in the next entry to the series and be looking for a more complete fleshing of Jazzi next installment as well as further exploration of Ansel, without the romance. Recommended for any who enjoy a cozy with a different premise.
Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!
November 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 26 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
November 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
November 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
November 27 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
November 28 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW
November 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 29 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
November 30 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 30 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
December 1 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 3 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 3 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 5 – The Avid Reader REVIEW
December 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!
©2018 V Williams