Plot or Premise
Nina Reilly gets a call from her old mentor to sit second-chair on a murder case that started with a grave robbery.
What I Liked
The story that the client tells is surprisingly plausible…he was hired to rob a grave, which he did. Except when he’s caught, the cops go back and check the grave he robbed and find out that there’s now a fresh body in it and he’s charged with murder. It’s a simple twist but there is little doubt through the case that he’s not guilty and there is “something else” going on. And just to complicate things, her mentor is basically dumping the case on her, has done almost no prep, is showing early signs of dementia, and the PI he hired did almost no work either. Nina has her hands full just as Paul proposes.
What I Didn’t Like
There are two threads running through the story that are less than optimal. First, the premise of the mystery is that the dead body that is stolen is tied to a society of Russian conspiracy theorists who suspect he was tied to the Romanoffs (hey, he’s Russian, he must be, right?). This is about the fourth book I’ve read in the last two years that threw in a Romanoff angle, and it’s not handled that well, although most don’t anyway. Second, the marriage proposal from Paul leads to a bunch of emotional drama and angst, and detracts heavily from the story. It reads more like a bad romance novel than a mystery.
The Bottom Line (★★★☆☆)
Good story with the mentor, but the other stuff detracts.