Jane Darrowfield is using her retirement years to work as a professional busybody, with most of her business coming from her West Cambridge, Massachusetts, community. This time her client is right next door . . .
JANE DARROWFIELD AND THE MADWOMAN NEXT DOOR
Megan, who’s purchased the house next to Jane’s, needs some help from her snooping neighbor. Megan’s been having blackouts, hearing voices—and feeling like someone’s following her. Are these symptoms of an illness—or signs that she’s in danger?
Considering the extensive security system in Megan’s house, it seems like she should be safe—yet she soon vanishes into thin air. Some think she’s run away, but would this ambitious young lawyer on the partner track really miss a meeting with an important client? And where’s Megan’s cat?
The mystery is about to deepen when the cat is finally located in a hidden panic room—and as Jane and the police look into Megan’s friends, family, and past, it may be time to sound the alarm . . .
I’m one of those who read and enjoy the Maine Clambake Mysteries so jumped on the chance to start with Book 1 (an audiobook) in the author’s new series, Professional Busybody. Book 2 takes a slightly different tack in that she is asked by Megan Larson, her mid-thirties single lawyer neighbor next door to ascertain if she is having mental problems or there really is someone out to drive her off the rails. She’s been seeing things, having lights turned on or off, hearing things. Or is it just the “smart” house that is running amok?
No prob. Jane is on the job and shortly comes up with a theory just about the time the woman goes missing. Oh, yes, this one doesn’t take long to go from 0 to 60.
Jane is an independent woman, fully capable, intelligent, and solid with Detective Alvarez as well as a new and developing love interest, Harry. Both the support characters are looking pretty good and I’m hoping all three will see further developing as the series progresses. Jane is also working on another little conflict in the neighborhood, that of Roo the cat.
This is a slightly more serious cozy, following the basic formula, and switching it up with twists. Not too difficult to figure out the culprit, but the deepening mystery pushed some tension and made for an engaging and entertaining read.
I enjoyed Book 1 and thought this one was a great sophomore effort sure to cement some old as well as new fans to the series and author. I like the theme of a capable and caring senior, connected but subtle in her methods. An easy and well-paced novel.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Print Length: 250 pages
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
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The Author: Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at http://www.barbararossauthor.com
©2021 V Williams