Cozy Mystery

[ARC Review] Death on a Summer Morning

Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 6 by Betty Rowlands
Published on:  July 22, 2019

DeathSummer

Finally, 10 years after moving into his home Arthur Soames had won the annual garden competition.  With delphiniums and hollyhocks blooming he set out to enjoy his breakfast in the garden and began reflecting on what the future might hold for him and his fiancée.  Later, the police report would say that he had lost his footing coming down the garden steps that morning, resulting in an accidental death.  However, his estranged daughter, Sabrina, refuses to believe that his death was anything but murder committed by the fiancée and begins camping out at the police station day after day insisting that they continue to look into it.  To help ease the situation Sukey talks to the daughter and suggests she ask a few questions on her own to see if she can find anything that can help to reopen the case.  In the mean time, Sukey begins to ‘unofficially’ look into a few things herself…starting with the fiancée.  Things take a turn when the fiancée reports Sabrina missing while another separate murder is discovered.

Although this is the sixth book in the series, this was my first Sukey Reynolds mystery so I had no preconceived expectations nor knew who any of the characters were going into it.  I found it easy to understand the overall setting as well as who everyone was and didn’t find readers needed to read the prior books in the series to understand what was going on.

After finishing the book I found that what I had enjoyed most about this was how the flow felt natural.  Sukey never sets out to force the issue or find all the clues, instead it was more of “let’s have a conversation and see where it takes us” approach.  I also appreciated how Sukey knew when there wasn’t enough evidence for the police to move forward with and let Sabrina or the fiancée know.

While I enjoyed the book I did find a particular connection between certain characters to be a bit too coincidental and easy and I wish I could go into detail about this a little bit more, but since this is a mystery it probably wouldn’t be too wise.  I also found the end wrapped up too quickly for my own personal tastes.  I typically find the discovery at the end the most enjoyable and satisfying part of the mystery, but felt a little left out as we are told about certain events after the fact.

Although I had a few minor issues overall I found the book a quick read and believe fans of this series and cozy mysteries will find it enjoyable.

Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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