As a novel, it wasn't bad. As a mystery, it was slow, and the ending seemed hurried, particularly since the rest of the book was so slow. There was a LOT of time spent talking about the detective character's marriage, relationship with wife and daughter, lust for another woman, difficulties with business, etc. There was, in short, more time spent on that than is usual in mysteries. On the plus side, the quality of writing was fairly high, although I wish I had liked some character in the book.
The story involves a man with a wife and baby who has begun a business providing natural burials on a small plot of land he inherited (if these graves are going to be undisturbed, he's going to run out of land fairly soon if business picks up). Business is very slow, however, which is a recurrent theme in the book (too recurrent). His gravedigger discovers a grave on the land that they didn't dig, so the police are called in and find a body of a woman who apparently died a natural death. But who is she? In the meantime, a woman from our detective-natural burial-ground owner's past approaches him -- she thinks she knows who the woman is, and pays him to investigate. He needs the money and likes seeing the woman, so he agrees.
I only give the book 3 stars because the quality of the writing is pretty good -- but as a mystery, this book is not exactly a page-turner.
on June 19, 2009
I am a passionate lover of mysteries. All kinds of books. Historical, hard-boiled, procedurals. I've been known even to give a whirl to a cozy from time to time. But, unfortunately this cozy is not the one I could possibly recommend to anybody. We learn a lot of details about funeral home bussiness, about a delivery of a baby at home, and all sorts of things not connected with the story. Characters are endlessly annoying and dislikable.And a puzzle, supposed center of the book, just lamely fizzles on last few pages. Unfortunately I have three more books at home written by Ms. Tope. At some point, I will feel compelled to read them to justify the money I spent. Hopefully they are less flaky and unfocussed then this one.