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The Reluctant Coroner (Fenway Stevenson Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File size : 962 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Pax Ardsen (May 22, 2018)
- Publication date : May 22, 2018
- Print length : 346 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07CKKMDGC
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #597 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I downgraded my review from 3 * to 1 after reading 3 more pages and 8 references to the race of the character. I also deleted the book from my account.
Fenway Stevenson returns to her childhood home of Estancia, California after growing up in the northwest. She barely remembers the place, and it barely remembers her. Many people, meeting her for the first time, are surprised that she's, er, ethnic (black actually), since her father, who practically owns the town, is not.
She wants to accept no favors from her father, who's trying to atone for having effectively abandoned her and her mother. This puts her in the worst possible position: she has none of the advantages of belonging to the town's leading family, but all the mistrust of those who resent her dad and the power he wields.
As Fenway learns her way around the town she's thrown in the deep end: having a medical education, she's asked to take over as coroner on her first full day in town. That the position is open suggests that the stakes may be higher than just getting some funny looks; the previous coroner was murdered, and they need a new one to look into the matter while the body is more or less fresh.
The writing is good, the characters--both Fenway and the rest of the colorful cast--are fascinating, and the story is a pleasant enough read... until a wall of the coroner's office is mysteriously bashed in by a specially equipped truck. From that point on, I found the book impossible to put down. What starts out almost cozy becomes a gritty mystery, and then morphs into full-on action as Fenway identifies the killer too late to keep herself safe. A gripping yarn, and well worthy of a sequel, which I understand is coming.
A policeman meets her at her apartment early the morning after she arrives to do a job interview. In the small town of Estancia, California, the sheriff has to appoint a coroner because the previous one was murdered (hey this is a mystery, right?). After some initial reluctance, Fenway zooms into her new job, relationships, murders and criminal investigations. The story packs a first rate murder investigation with a few snide remarks about how the TV crime stories are farfetched as a reminder that this is a real murder case - a nice touch.
The variety of characters and casting allow stereotypes to be broken. The cross section of Southern California is credible. The plot twists several times about who can you trust. I enjoyed the twists.
Fenway makes the transition from forensics book learning to the duties and responsibilities of a police officer quickly. She has the knack of management skills and an eye for detail.
The best incident for me was Fenway's use of a woman's shoe as a weapon.
This is a good story, well told; I plan to read more books in this series.
Top reviews from other countries
Fenway is up to the task with both friends and foes. ‘The Reluctant Coroner’ is the first in a series of murder mystery books and author Paul Austin Ardoin tells it as a rip-roaring roller-coaster story that probably deserves a 5-star rating for its complexity and compelling nature. Unfortunately the characters lack credibility and the plot is highly implausible. An abrupt conclusion and the titles of future ‘coroner’ novels indicate where the series is heading. Hopefully there can be more character development with plots more plausible. Maybe Ardoin can exploit the fact that Fenway is black and her father is white.