I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
McKinlay has to be the most inconsistent writer to have ever graced my shelves. She creates fantastic, likeable characters, and then proceeds to play with them like a disturbed child pulling wings off of flies.
If someone purporting to love you, or at least be infatuated enough to want to pursue you, isn't listening while you repeatedly say "no, I'm not going to date you", it's not charming, even if he's British. Making your normally intelligent, independent MC constantly roll over and accept not being listened to and laughing each time her feelings are dismissed isn't anything to be proud of either. Mixed messages much?
"She was just lying there, with her arms crossed over her chest and her feet crossed at the ankles, looking perfectly peaceful - almost as if she was taking a nap."
Not if she was strangled, she wasn't. Suffocation and strangulation are entirely different deaths and strangulation is never pretty. This isn't an obscure fact; McKinlay was either wilfully ignorant or lazy.
Her plot twists weren't subtle, neither was her plotting. In quite a few areas, the narration was unnatural and stilted; people don't talk like this is real life.
She did two things right, for which I'm happy to give each a star: the love triangle is resolved, and boy howdy, McKinlay should stick to romance. The moments between Lindsay and *ahem* almost made reading the book worthwhile all on their own. The chemistry was palpable.
She also ends this book with Lindsay swearing off sleuthing for good. I don't know if this is the end of the series or just a weird cliffhanger-ish thing, but either way, it gives me the perfect opportunity to stop reading this series, always hoping in vain for improvement - for which I am heartily thankful.