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Dead in a Flash (A Family History Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – August 30, 2016
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"Brynn Bonner ingeniously tosses in clues to keep guesses coming. PICTURE THEM DEAD is grippingly mysterious." (--Single Titles on Picture Them Dead)
"Brynn Bonner cleverly interweaves looking into past lives with current events, and the result is an enthralling story packed with unknowns." (--AlwaysReviewing.com)
About the Author
Brynn Bonner grew up in Alabama and is a long-time resident of North Carolina. Both her literary fiction and mysteries reflect the landscapes and the genuine people of her southern heritage. Bonner currently pens the Family History Mystery series for Pocket Books. Writing as Ellen Harris, Bonner wrote six books for the Mysteries of Sparrow Island series published by Guidepost Books. Her short stories have been featured in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Now and Then, Crossroads, and other publications.
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The mystery is a good one. I did manage to deduce part of it, but the identity of the main villain eluded me. I like that when it happens. I also like how the past can still affect the future even though many decades-- or even centuries-- have passed.
Dead in a Flash has some life changes in store for the two main characters, and I hope to see how things turn out for them. There wasn't a fifth book in the series this year, so I don't know if it's going to continue or not. So many cozy series have been canceled in the last year or so that it's difficult to keep track. At least if the series does not continue, Sophreena and Esme are left in a good place. I shall think of them as busy and happy and willing to share their lives with me should we meet again.
Since the most recent project Sophreena McClure has taken on is going so well, the genealogist thinks everything will easily be done on time. Working alongside her business partner and good friend Esme Sabatier, they collect information desired by a client and then compile their findings in a scrapbook. If their latest assignment can make a previous senator from North Carolina happy, then hopefully word will spread and more folks will be hiring them. With only one additional interview left, Soph and Esme will soon be finishing up scrapbooks on the senator’s career and his personal family.
Although most of what the two women have found out about the likable older gentleman concerns good times, there was one huge tragedy in his past. When the house where he grew up caught fire, his younger brother was killed. While most everyone thought it was an accident, his parents were certain the incident was deliberate in order to hide the abduction of the infant. When old rumors resurface, their client wants the genealogists to look for clues into what really happened that fateful day. As Soph and Esme begin investigating, they get another task to complete very quickly, yet feel confident it can be finished on time. When someone whom they know is murdered, questions about possible motives keep growing.
When I read a cozy mystery, I want the characters to be just as believable as the storyline and Brynn Bonner always complies. In the Family History Mystery series, I have repeatedly found the two main characters, Soph and Esme to be not only appealing individuals but also very realistic. Even the small touch of supernatural associated with Esme is convincing and can make a situation even more fascinating. The profession of these two distinctive individuals is truly attention-grabbing, as I like learning about any relatives who came before me. It is enjoyable watching them work and make choices about the best way to unearth the background of someone.
There are so many uncertainties in DEAD IN A FLASH, and each worry gets plenty of attention. With Soph and Esme working on two projects at the same time, they encounter lots of issues which need answers before they can hand over the scrapbooks. A murder puts a damper on their investigating, and they are constantly challenged by what they find. But these two dedicated and compassionate genealogists give it their best effort to locate any info. There is a long list of characters in this story, but thankfully their names are different enough that I could keep them all straight. Several people who are special in the lives of Soph and Esme are featured, and I always enjoyed their interactions. I am really eager for another book about the study of family history and unexpected murder. DEAD IN A FLASH captivates with a riveting whodunit.
Received copy from publisher for Alway Reviewing blog - 4.5 Stars