Actor Dead in an Oklahoma Cornfield
I fell in love with the characters when I was reading the first book in the Rose Creek Mysteries from Catherine Dilts, and I couldn’t wait to see them again. As a result, I was excited when I picked up The Body in the Cornfield, the second book in the series.
The first book took us to a small town in Oklahoma and introduced us to the four women who met when they went to create a new book club but stumbled over a dead body. They bonded during the investigation, and now they are about to take on their second case.
Drew Brauner had thought her new job at the historic Rose Creek outdoor amphitheater would be a dream come true, especially since they are planning on doing a one night only live streamed production of the musical Oklahoma! While a few local actors are in the production, there are several famous actors in the mix to help draw an audience. Unfortunately, the actor who is playing the lead constantly shows up drunk, making rehearsals difficult at best.
Meanwhile, chemist Makenzie Selkirk is trying to learn more about the windmill going up on a local farm when she stumbles over a dead body. Yes, the lead actor in Drew’s production. With the case potentially impacting other members of the book club, Drew, Makenzie, and the others once again pitch in to help gather some clues. Can they figure out what is going on?
One of the things I loved about the first book was meeting these four women and watching their fledgling friendships get started. While all four of them investigated on their own or in pairs, we got lots of scenes with the four of them together. That dynamic was missing here. Yes, all four of them are important characters, and they also all have their ongoing storylines, but I wanted to see more of the community aspect I’d enjoyed in the first book.
Again, that doesn’t mean we are short changed on the characters. All four of them grow again here as we get to know them better. I’m still wondering where some of their stories are going to wind up, and we got some great complications in their personal lives here.
And the mystery was sharp. We have plenty of suspects but not a ton of clues. Often, I find that frustrating, but that wasn’t the case here. There was plenty going on to keep me engaged, and I did feel like the investigation was moving forward. The climax was a little weak for my tastes, but everything did made sense when I turned the last page.
So many cozies focus on one lead character. I enjoy the fact that this one features a team working together to solve the mystery. It adds a balancing act, and author Catherine Dilts pulls it off well. I was also impressed that she was able to spread out motives to investigate to the group.
Overall, I did enjoy The Body in the Cornfield. I will be back to see what happens to these characters next. If you are looking for a cozy with a strong group of lead characters, you’ll want to pick up this book.
NOTE: I received a copy of this book.