Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters make for a compelling story
Cons: None ripe enough to discuss
The Bottom Line:
Friends from Denver’s past
Bring tension, murder to town
In compelling book
Corporate Volunteer Event Leads to Murder
Obviously, I enjoy a wide range of tones in my books, from comedic to the more serious. Wendy Tyson’s Greenhouse Mysteries definitely fall into the more serious side of the spectrum, but the depth of character makes them so good. Ripe for Vengeance is no exception.
Megan Sawyer is excited because some of her boyfriend’s friends are coming to Winsome, Pennsylvania, and she’s looking forward to seeing a different side of Denver Finn. They all work for BOLD Pharmaceuticals, and have been volunteered to mentor students at a nearby private school for troubled teens, starting with a weekend camping trip in the local state park. They have arrived in town a day early, and Megan and Denver are joining them for dinner the night before. However, the dinner doesn’t go the way that Megan expects, with tensions just barely hiding below the surface. Even Denver seems uncomfortable around his old friends.
Unfortunately, the trip ends with the death of one of Denver’s friends, and the police are absolutely certain that it was murder. Among the teens going on the trip is Dillon, the foster son of Denver’s aunt, and he was the one who found the body. Given Dillon’s horrible past, the police think that he snapped and committed the murder, but Denver’s aunt is certain that the teen is innocent, and Megan herself has her doubts. Instead, she thinks the focus should be on the remainder of Denver’s friends. Can she figure out what really happened in the woods?
I mentioned the characters already, so let’s start there. For the first time, the book doesn’t focus on Megan’s past and her own mixed up family. Instead, it explores Denver more. But that didn’t make it any less compelling. I enjoyed getting to see more of Denver since I love his character. We do get to see many of the characters we’ve already met in the series, although we don’t spend much time with them. Instead, the focus is on the new characters involved in the current murder and how the unfolding events are affecting them.
While brings us to the plot. This may not be a page turning book filled with twists and turns, but it is still page turning. Because the characters are so real, they draw us into the story quickly and we need to know how the events unfolding around them will impact them when all the dust settles. Now, this isn’t to say that the book has no twists or surprises – this is a mystery, after all. The clues and red herrings are in place, and I was confused as to who the killer might be until Megan figured it out. Then, it made perfect sense.
This series definitely falls a bit more on the traditional side of the spectrum. There is a very light smattering of foul language as the book goes along, and the more serious tone keep this from feeling fully cozy. But if you enjoy a solid story that will pull you in, you need to read this serious. Just make sure you are in the mood for something more serious so the book is a good match.
Not that the book is all dark. There is a very fun sub-plot involving a pig, and enough animal cuteness to keep the book from getting too dark.
Ripe for Vengeance is a character driven page turner that will hook you quickly and pull you into Megan’s world. Plan to set aside quite a bit of time when you open this book because you won’t want to stop reading.
Enjoy more great mysteries with the rest of the Greenhouse Mysteries.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.