Pamela A. Williams. Released 19th Oct 2020 by NineStar Press, it's 196 pages and available in ebook format. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
I love amateur sleuth cozies. I especially love professor/academic sleuths, so the premise was definitely a plus for me. I wasn't expecting *quite* so much drama-romance content, but readers who enjoy a little mystery with their romance reads will likely find this one fits the bill nicely. The plotting and story arc are well done, I never found my interest flagging and it never felt rushed to me. It's a quick read, so the plot moves along at a pretty good clip.
The writing is competent with engaging, well rendered characters. If some of the secondary characters were a bit two dimensional and blended together a bit, it didn't detract from the storytelling overall in my opinion. I never felt like I was lost or needed to go back and re-read to sort out who the characters were in relation to the plot.
The romance plot often overshadows the mystery; there's definitely chemistry between main protagonist Ian and his sort-of-ex, investigator Jake. The language is rough - I'd say PG-13, and the book contains several scenes of graphic sexual content (consensual and used in context - but not really safe for a work read, in my opinion).
Engaging, with a satisfying (if not shocking) denouement - three and a half stars.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.