The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1) by Judi Lynn
I saw the latest book in this series on Netgalley and it sounded good, so I requested it. When I saw the latest is book 5, I got this book to “catch up” if I am approved for the Netgalley book.
I started it last night, since there wasn’t anything good on TV (which was a good thing, since I ended up not being able to put it down!) I liked Jazzi immediately and was sucked into the story within a few pages. Then I realized the book is set in the area I live, and having a personal connection to many of the places in the book really brought the story alive. I loved the dual plot, revolving around Jazzi’s long-missing aunt’s skeletal remains found in a cedar chest and another (more recent) body found in the back yard. I liked how the investigation unfolded, with all its tragic details (I really felt for poor Cal!) and the satisfying conclusion (although I still can’t figure out why a police detective would bring a civilian along when questioning suspects. A bit far-fetched but I was able to suspend disbelief.)
Frankly, I enjoyed the house flipping more than anything else in the story, I play House Flipper on Steam obsessively, watch a lot of DIY Network, and love everything about historic home conservation, so I loved “watching” Jazzie, Ansel and Jerod restore Cal’s house (I loved almost everything they did , except for the stainless steel countertops. Ugh.)
There was some romance involved in this book, more than you’d usually find in a cozy mystery but considerably less than what you’d find in a romance novel, so I’d say this is a romantic cozy mystery rather than a cozy mystery romance. Although the relationship between the characters seemed to move pretty quickly, I chalk that up to the characters having known (and worked with) each other for years before the book begins. Really, it’s such a small aspect to the book that I (as someone who doesn’t care for romance novels) wouldn’t be put off recommending it to others as a good cozy to enjoy.
Overall, this was a delightful read, homey, familiar and touching as well as a cracking good plot.