Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong, likeable characters and an interesting mystery
Cons: Interesting sub-plots tend to overshadow mystery in first half.
The Bottom Line:
Death of a neighbor
Lets us revisit Morgan
Another great read
Why Didn’t the Survivalist Survive?
One thing I enjoy about series is returning to characters you love and getting the next installment in their lives. So I was thrilled to visit Morgan Iverson and her family and friends in Golden Springs, Colorado with Stone Cold Blooded, the third Rock Shop Mystery.
As this book opens, Morgan’s world is rocked by the sound of gunshots and explosions coming from further up the hill where the rock shop sits. When the police arrive, they find the remains of Eustace Day. Morgan hadn’t actually met the man since he was a recluse who never left his compound, and he had it rigged with traps. In fact, the police think that he was the victim of one of his own traps. Morgan might go along with the idea if it weren’t for the yelling she heard before the noise started.
Not that her life is slow at all. She is still trying to figure out her living situation now that her brother and sister-in-law have returned to the shop with their adopted baby daughter. Her new boyfriend Kurt Willard is in the middle of a heated campaign for city council. Her daughter is about to give birth up in Morgan’s old home town of Sioux City. And the excitement up at the Day property has released some kind of little creature. Rumors are flying that they are anything from a leprechaun to aliens. What are they? What was really going on up at the property? And what really happened to Eustace Day?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, there are a lot of sub-plots going on in this book. They tend to be the focus at times, especially early on in the book, with bits and pieces of things related to the mystery sprinkling in. The mystery does become more the focus in the second half of the book with some great twists and surprises before we reach the logical conclusion.
But am I complaining? Not in the slightest. It’s actually refreshing to read a book that doesn’t follow the traditional formula. And I certainly wasn’t bored. Even if the mystery was in the background, I was still very interested in what was happening to Morgan and the characters I’ve really come to care about in the first two books.
The characters certainly continue to be strong here. It took me a few pages to remember who everyone was, but after that I easily slipped back into this world. Not only are all our old favorites here, but we meet a couple of new characters as well that I really liked and I think are poised to show up again in later books. I certainly won’t complain if they do. Then there are the characters introduced as suspects, who are just as strong as the series regulars.
I was so glad to return to Morgan’s world for Stone Cold Blooded. These characters have wormed their way into my heart, and I truly enjoy my time with them. Couple that with an interesting mystery and you have another winner.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.