Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Enjoyable plot and characters
Cons: Moral ambiguity with plot; timeline issues
The Bottom Line:
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Suicide or a Serial Killer?
I always enjoy reading books set in Southern California, so it was with pleasure that I picked up Room for Doubt, the fourth Carol Childs mystery by Nancy Cole Silverman. Carol is a reporter for a radio station here in Los Angeles, and this book finds her involved in another bizarre case.
It all begins when Carol receives a call very early in the morning. A body has been found hanging from the Hollywood sign. Carol arrives on the scene to find the police have ruled it a suicide. She doesn’t quite believe it, but she doesn’t have anything to go on other than her gut.
Before the weekend is over, Carol has been contacted by Chase, a PI, who claims that this recent suicide is connected to two other suspicious deaths he is investigating. Then Carol gets a phone call on her new late Sunday night show from someone calling herself Mustang Sally who all but admits to being responsible for the recent death. What is really going on?
One reason I enjoy this series is the intriguing premises of the plots. Yes, they do tend a little more to the traditional side of things than straight cozy, but that more serious side works well most of the time. I was uncomfortable with where the plot of this book went, which I fun funny considering some of the TV shows I watch since I’m on the other side of things with those shows. Carol did seem to struggle with her choices at the end, which I appreciated, but still, the moral ambiguity bugged me.
The plot itself is very intriguing with some complications that kept me turning pages. I did find some timing issues in the middle of the book, but they didn’t have too big an impact on things.
In the first book, we met psychic to the stars Misty Dawn. I was disappointed when I first learned she was going to be back in this book, but I didn’t mind her that much here. Probably because her “talents” were only used once. I don’t believe in psychics, so obviously having her talent being a huge factor in the outcome would bug me. Outside of that, I found her a fun character and a good foil for Carol.
The rest of the cast is wonderful as always. We get to see a bit more of Carol’s best friend, Sheri, in this book. And I really liked Chase, the PI. I hope we see lots more of him in future books.
Even with my qualms about the plot, Room for Doubt was still an enjoyable book.
You'll want to enjoy the rest of the Carol Childs Mysteries.