Thursday, March 4, 2021

Book Review: No Way Home by Annette Dashofy (Zoe Chambers #5)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Pete, Zoe, interesting mystery
Cons: Dueling stories make the beginning slow
The Bottom Line:
Plenty going on
With divided attention
But slow to begin


Slow Start Due to Set Up

One of the series I am slowly trying to catch up on is the Zoe Chambers Mysteries.  (At my average of one book a year, it’s going to take me a while.)  I’ve made it half way through the series to date with No Way Home.  This one took me a little time to get into this entry, but ultimately, it was worth it.

A rare warm Sunday in November sends Zoe to the stable for a trail ride through her area of Pennsylvania.  However, that trail ride ends early with the discovery of County Commissioner Dale Springfield’s body.  It appears he fell off his horse in a tragic accident, but Zoe doesn’t think that explanation quite makes sense.

However, her hopes of being involved in the investigation get sidelined when her best friend, Rose, demands Zoe’s help.  Rose’s son has disappeared in the New Mexico desert, and the police think he is a person of interest in a murder.  So Zoe joins Rose in New Mexico.  Can she help find Logan and figure out what really happened?

This series really does have two main characters, Zoe and Pete Adams, the local chief of police.  Each book is written about half from Zoe’s third person point of view and half from Pete’s third person point of view.  This allows us to follow both cases as they unfold even though they are a thousand miles apart.

But that was my biggest issue with the book.  While the mysteries are compelling, they felt like they were competing for page time.  This is especially true at the beginning when one story was beginning to gain momentum and suddenly Zoe’s is traveling to New Mexico.

However, I stuck with it, and my patience was rewarded.  By the time I reached the end, I found the book as compelling as always.  There are some very suspenseful scenes as Zoe and Pete finally figure out what is going on.

It helps that Zoe and Pete are both very strong characters.  They easily pull us into the story.  Because the story is so busy, it takes away from the rest of the cast really standing out like they usually do, but they still help make us care about what is happening to them.

Zoe is a paramedic and a deputy coroner, so these books are more traditional than my usual cozy.  Just expect something a little grayer when you pick the book up and you’ll be fine.

No Way Home might have taken a bit more time to pull me in, but I’m still glad I read it.  This is not the best book to jump into the series, but fans will enjoy it.

Here are the rest of the Zoe Chambers Mysteries in order.

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