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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

A Bed of Scorpions (Samantha Clair, #2)

A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders

Wow, I'm having a good run of great books lately.  Judith Flanders is best known for her exceptional non-fiction (micro-history, mainly) but a couple of years ago she dipped her toe into mystery with A Murder of Magpies and it was very good but maybe a little bit chaotic.  I think her sophomore offering, A Bed of Scorpions is better.

 

My preference might have to do with the plot: Sam's old-flame-turned-good-friend owns a prestigious art gallery and I've been attracted by all things art lately.  Aidan finds his partner dead in his office of an apparent suicide but with no reason to kill himself.  It might also have to do with Sam and Jake's chemistry; it's there, you can feel the pull, you know it's simmering just beneath the surface, but it's not being rushed.

 

The murder plotting was another skilfully plotted crime; Flanders lead me down the path (Sam and I both), only to make me do a forehead slap at the end.  What's more, the clues were all there from the beginning so all points to Flanders.

 

Whatever the reason, I found the story smoothly paced, exciting, and the dialogue witty.  I like all the characters and that almost never happens.  I love the dynamic between Sam and her mother Helena and the scene at the dinner party was priceless.

 

This is a cozy for grown-ups with a strong female lead and I'm really looking forward to the third book out next year.