Sunday, April 16, 2023

Perils of a Pregnant Sleuth

 Perils of a Pregnant Sleuth is the second Callahan Banks mystery by Dershie McDevitt. Released 30th Sept. 2022, it's 280 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is a light small town cozy romance/mystery featuring a biology professor with a complicated romance/relationship situation who is drawn into a murder mystery by happenstance and a trio of precocious 9 year old triplets. The setting is a rural island in coastal South Carolina. Taking a break from her teaching duties for an extended maternity leave after the loss of her mother, she's not interested in marriage (or is she?). 

For readers who do not want strong romance subplots in their mysteries, this might not be the best choice. Additionally, the third person present tense voice takes a bit of getting used to (but does soon fade into the background): "Callahan's so deep into her ruminations that it takes her a minute to hear someone coming up the steps to her deck. There's a thud and then another on that outside staircase, the only one in the house". The writing is direct and unvarnished and disarmingly simple.

The plot is well constructed. It's a small town cozy, so readers should bring a solid suspension of disbelief to the read. Overall, it's quite good and in some ways it reminds me of a southern US version of Elly Griffiths' excellent Ruth Galloway mysteries.

Four stars. Although it's the second book in the series, it works very well as a standalone. It would make a good mini-binge or buddy read.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes. 

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