Wade (The Christmas Courtroom Trilogy) does a beautiful job of weaving an actual American mystery into the story, interspersing real correspondence from the founding fathers that lend heft to the story without overwhelming the present. Indeed, it's done so neatly, it's hard to tell where history ends and fiction begins. And as a former trial lawyer, he makes the courtroom scenes as entertaining as they are convincing. Although the plot can get a little over complicated at times, the game cast of characters will keep readers riveted.
Indeed, the book's greatest joy is the team at the Indie. We see Travail mourning the loss of his wife as he struggles to find a new purpose in retirement, and how his new friends get him going again: The cheerfully loopy Yeager who goes "fishing" with a rifle, and the witty Harriet who appoints herself Travail's assistant, but don’t dare call her that. An Indie meeting about problems caused by bird feeders nicely outlines the residents to great comic effect. Even the antagonists are a pleasure. It's a joy watching the aging but still lively Indie residents plot to save the day, and readers will be left hoping to see what mischief they get into in a future story.
Takeaway: Cozy mystery fans will revel in this delightful mix of history, courtroom drama and engaging characters.
Great for fans of: Richard Osman, Roaslaind Stopps.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-