Rating: 3 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from St. Martin’s Press. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: Jane Bunker left Miami for little Green Haven, Maine in the hopes of starting a new life – one without the rampant drugs and crime that go along with police work in a big city. Absent all the crime, she works two jobs – one as an insurance adjustor, the other as an on-call Sheriff’s deputy. When she heads out to Acadia Island to check out the damages on a recent house fire, she gets more than she bargained for – a body – and she finds herself switching hats from adjustor to deputy in no time. Now she has to find out who killed the victim and why before the locals interfere and mete out their own style of justice.
Review: From the get go, I wasn’t quite sure if this book was meant to be a mystery or a cozy mystery. And after reading it, I still don’t know. J It seems stuck right in the middle. A slight bit grittier than a cozy, and none of the romance that you’d usually find in that genre, but a tad too wholesome to be a tried and true mystery. For some reason, I have a difficult time with these books that fall in-between. If I’m going to be reading a cozy, I want to know that because I have to be in a particular mood for those (this is true of several genres by the by – I’m not “picking on” cozies). But I digress…
The story itself was interesting enough, and the mystery was crafty. I liked all the characters alright, but didn’t find myself attached. The characterization of small town islanders in Maine bothered me a bit, though I’m new to the state, and I live in southern Maine, whereas the author is from the area she writes about (which is northern Maine) so…clearly, I just don’t know any better. But I couldn’t reason my way out of those feelings so, like it or not, it affected my feelings about the book overall.
The style was definitely not to my taste. It sometimes felt unnecessarily descriptive and repetitious. The overall mood and tone didn’t really work for me either. All of that said, Greenlaw’s maritime expertise shone brightly, and I think I’d really enjoy some of her nonfiction works.
At the end of the day, it wasn’t for me. Just couldn’t get a good feel for it.