It seems like trouble follows Samantha Newman wherever she goes. In Gay Yellen’s debut novel, “The Body Business,” Samantha was caught in the throes of a corrupt business and an FBI investigation regarding her missing best friend. Back again in “The Body Next Door,” Samantha finds herself in the middle of yet another investigation. This time, she is staying in Carter Chapman’s Houston condo while she looks for a new job and a home of her own. One night, Carter’s neighbor Brandy knocks on the door, naked and covered in blood. Brandy’s husband is dead, and she is the main suspect.
Nothing is ever as it seems. Just as in “The Body Business,” Yellen captivates the reader with twists and turns; you won’t be able to predict the outcome. What makes this sequel so fascinating is the fact so much substance is packed into the 274-page book. Not only is there the mystery of who killed Brandy’s husband, but there are questions concerning the status of Carter and Samantha’s relationship. At the end of the first book, they seemed pretty cozy, but at the start of this book, it seems as if Carter is nowhere to be found. Keep reading. As you devour the pages of this book, there is no doubt that Yellen has done it again. Here’s hoping for more.
The Body Next Door: A Samantha Newman Mystery is a contemporary mystery novel written by Gay Yellen. Samantha was planning to raid the refrigerator and then collapse in the Houston condo her mysterious new love interest had loaned her when she finally got home from her all-nighter road trip. She was still reeling from the sequence of events that had led to the loss of her last job and the undue and unwelcome public exposure she was subjected to, but even more so, she was shattered by the loss of yet another loved one. She was on her way back from attending her friend's funeral in Nebraska. Yes, she should have made it a two-day trip or at least pulled over at a rest stop and indulged in a snooze, but she needed the security and sanity of home. She was dodging eighteen-wheelers on the highway when her phone lit up. It was nearly 5 a.m.; an odd hour for anyone to call her -- unless it was an emergency. Pulling over to the side of the highway, she took the call and was surprised to hear Gertie's voice on the other end. Gertie wasn't quite sure what to do with Samantha's neighbor, Brandy. She was drunk and hysterical, and she was also covered in blood.
Gay Yellen's contemporary mystery novel, The Body Next Door: A Samantha Newman Mystery, Volume 2, is an entertaining and fast-paced novel about a woman whose midlife crisis is prematurely and unexpectedly forced upon her, and the hazards she must get past to reach the next phase of her life. Samantha is fierce and determined, and she has the ability to put away an incredible amount of ice cream if the situation warrants. Yellen's plot is finely woven, and her characters are vividly portrayed, from the strange elevator companions Samantha seems doomed to spend time with to the folks on her boyfriend Carter's ranch. Yellen also admirably addresses the difficulties those coping with loss may experience in forging new relationships. Armchair sleuths will appreciate the clues and red herrings judiciously scattered throughout this breezy and romance-laced mystery. The Body Next Door: A Samantha Newman Mystery, Volume 2 is highly recommended.