The fog of mystery and sharp tang of murder color the pages of Jean Henry Mead’s A Village Shattered. First in her Logan and Cafferty mystery series, I came to it after reading about the characters in other books. I really wanted to know where they came from, and I really enjoyed meeting them in the Village as they solved their first mystery.
The Valley Retirement Village feels pleasingly familiar as the author brings it to life, with fascinating characters, curious inter-relationships, and all the joys of a feisty group of people aging with grace. Dana Logan loves mystery novels and her friend Sarah Cafferty is a private investigator’s widow, so they’re obviously curious when a neighbor is killed. Soon the local gossips, fortune-telling friend, angry drunk, and the daughter recovering from a broken relationship are all involved in the race to find the killer as the body-count rises.
The police seem somewhat inept in this tale, but then again, it’s not a police procedural—more a mystery in the style of those old-fashioned novels where clues and red herrings abound. Of course, there’s nothing old-fashioned here. These feisty ladies are vividly up to date and the haunting San Joaquin fog can’t hold them down any more than a killer can.
The ebook version has some rather sudden and odd transitions between scenes—distracting to this reader, but not enough to stop me enjoying a fun mystery with an excellent cast of odd and intriguing characters.
Disclosure: I found a free ecopy online and was pleased at the chance to meet Logan and Cafferty again.