Bell does an excellent job carrying the main plot at the right pace, introducing characters and incidents frequently enough to keep the energy up while still maintaining the bucolic, slightly lazy vibe of the sheep farm The explanation of the murder motives and execution surprises in its specifics while still feeling logical and supported by what comes before, especially the substantial amount of farming information relevant. Copper Waters will satisfy fans of both sheep and sleuthing stories.
Some heavy exposition up front is understandable, as it brings readers new to the series up to speed, though it slows immersion in the current situation. Personal plot elements, like the romance between Annalisse and Alec, continue without resolution, and the fast pace leaves little time for reflection. The mutual support in Annalisse and Bill’s relationship, meanwhile, is endearing, stirring warm feelings and readers’ connection with the hero. Sleuthing aficionados who love being led to a solution that relies on both technical and social clues, and fans of Bell’s ready for a middle story in Annalise’s arc, will find this story solidly on-point.
Takeaway: Sleuthing aficionados will find this story solidly on-point.
Comparable Titles: Leonie Swann’s Three Bags Full, Belinda Pollard’s Poison Bay.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-