Title: A Season to Lie
Author: Emily Littlejohn
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from St. Martin’s
Rating: 3.5 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from St. Martin’s via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: Gemma Monroe has just returned to work after her maternity leave when a new murder falls in her lap. And the victim is a highly revered author who has been secretly living in town under a different name! As if that weren’t enough (she’s only supposed to be back part-time after all), some questionable contractors have started doing business in town (mobbed up, maybe???), and her co-worker Sam is being pushed to work for them via his grandfather (definitely mobbed up). While investigating the murder, Gemma starts questioning the roles she has chosen, as a cop, a new mother, a life partner, and is constantly reevaluating her priorities. Meanwhile, the suspect pool is a little deeper than you’d expect in such a small town. Catching this killer is going to be a lot harder than she thought.
Review: There was a great deal of introspection in this book that I really appreciated. Gemma is a new mom who has just returned to work, to a job that she loves fiercely but is extremely dangerous at times. She feels that tug (and the guilt) that come along with being away from a new baby, but she really does love her job so much. Still, balancing childcare with her partner is challenging, and their relationship is feeling some of the bumps that come along with such a big change.
At work, she is trying to find her way back into the fold. She’s been on maternity leave for awhile and she hasn’t kept up with everyone during her absence. Sam had suffered a devastating injury during their last case and can now only do a desk job. Her partner has a new mystery girlfriend, and is behaving differently. Everything has changed just a little, and she doesn’t like having missed out.
I gotta be honest, I guessed who the killer was pretty early on, as well as the motive. But. It was still a decent plot and a fun story to read. This is a series I’ve really enjoyed so far, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next in series.
Recommended for anyone who likes something that falls between a cozy and a thriller/mystery. It’s very light on language, sex and gore. Ultra-light, honestly. But moodier and more atmospheric than a cozy.