Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and an interesting mystery
Cons: Too many sub-plots slow things down at the beginning.
The Bottom Line:
Skeleton on mount
Good sequel to read
Case as Cold as Stone
One of the early books I agreed to read and review for posting here on my blog was the first mystery from author Catherine Dilts. So when she approached me asking if I wanted to read Stone Cold Case, the sequel, of course, I said yes. It was just as enjoyable as I remembered the first book being.
It has been almost two years since the first book came out, so I was thankful for the reminders about the characters and set up along the way. The main character in these books is Morgan Iverson, who went to Colorado to help run the family rock shop for a couple of weeks only to discover that her brother was intending to move to South America as a missionary permanently. However, once she got over the shock and began to make new friends, she started to find that life in the small town of Golden Springs might be a great place for her to start over, something she’s been struggling to do since the death of her husband. Well, except for the occasional dead body she stumbles upon.
This books picks up a few months after her move. In order to learn more about stones and gems, Morgan’s been auditing a class from the local college. She’s on an end of the semester field trip up a nearby mountain when she gets separated from the rest of the class and stumbles upon a camp. Inside the makeshift shelter, she finds a skeleton being guarded by a mountain man she initially mistakes for a Sasquatch.
Gossip in town is that Morgan has stumbled upon the remains of Carlee Kruger, daughter of the town’s mechanic Gerda. Carlee disappeared 16 years before and her fate has remained a mystery. Despite Morgan’s resolve to leave the investigation to the police, she keeps finding herself pulled into the mystery. Can she uncover a killer with a heart of stone?
While I didn’t remember details from the first book, anything we needed to know about the characters was filled in for us. I was fully back on board very quickly and greatly enjoyed spending more time with the cast. There is a rather large cast of characters, but I was able to keep them all straight, and the growth we see, especially in Morgan, is wonderful.
The mystery was interesting and compelling with many twists and turns before we reached the exciting climax. I was actually intending to stop reading for the night so I could get some other things done, but when I hit the climax, I couldn’t stop. I had to see how everything was going to work out.
Unfortunately, the book seems to have one or two extra sub-plots that slow things down at times. They mainly take the focus at the beginning of the book, stealing the spotlight at times from the mystery. There’s one that was especially bad in this regard, and yet it provided some of my favorite moments for the characters. As the book nears the end, the sub-plots get resolved and the mystery really becomes the focus. Since I like the characters, I did enjoy the various sub-plots, but it would have made the book stronger if one or more had been held over for the next in the series. And with the way this book ended, I definitely want to know what happens next to these characters.
That’s my only complaint with this book. Those looking for an interesting mystery will be delighted to read Stone Cold Case. The characters will draw you in and make you feel right at home before you know it.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.