The quiet, agricultural community of Shadow Island is suddenly beset by violence. A dead man and a live calico kitten are discovered floating in an old rowboat in Shallow Point Cove. Then Dan Uley’s bookstore is firebombed. With a black cat.
Both men were gay.
Sheriff Johnson, known to have harsh feelings toward gays, makes no progress in catching the culprit.
Megan Albright and Janie Sampson, a lesbian couple and long-time residents, fear the rash of violence is not over, and question the sheriff’s commitment to investigating the crimes.
When their friend, Dan, is gruesomely murdered, they know time is running out to find this killer for there is no telling who will be the next to die.
But, they never thought the trail would lead to a well-liked young man.
This novella is a debut work for this Author. I also have to mention for those overly sensitive folks again, that this book does deal with matters relating to the LGBT community, so if you have issues with sexual orientation you may not want to read further. Regardless, or even because of this, I feel this Author may well be on their way to having their book spines rubbing covers with Hazel Holt and Laura Childs in the cozy mystery genre.
This is a cozy mystery of the best kind in this genre that I have read in a long time. The main character leads are both women, life partners, who just fit so comfortably into the role that this type of book demands of its ‘heroines’. They are both extremely well written and well developed characters, with their back stories being leaked to us bit by bit as we progress through the novella. There is no sudden rush of information, and no changing of the pace of the way of life these characters live, and at which pace the book was written. They were so well written I wanted to drop by and visit with them, the next time I headed North through WA State; they were the kind of people I would gladly count as my friends, and enjoy becoming involved in adventures with.
The descriptions of the Puget Sound and surrounding area were exactly as they are in reality. I live in this area so I was able to visualise where things were, or intended to be. I could see the areas of Seattle that were described; walking the streets and driving the causeway over to the Islands.
Like all books of this genre, it is fast paced and laced with twists and turns that make you think. The Author also puts a lot of emphasis on her plot development, which is apparent throughout. This is a gentle book with no graphic violence, profanity or explicit sexual scenes, and with the deaths contained within its pages happening out of the pages, instead of us having to live through each gruelling blow. This novella does have one major difference to the usual cozy mystery, and that is the victims did not deserve to die. To go into this more would be to have reveal spoilers, so to find out exactly what I mean you will have to read the novella.
I would highly recommend this book to all lovers of the mystery genre, cozy or not, as it is a fast paced novella, with several twists leading to a surprising conclusion. I am looking forward to seeing if the female leads in this novella make an appearance in future works by this Author.