RogerBW's Blog

Say You're Sorry, Melinda Leigh 11 November 2020

2017 cosy mystery, first in the Morgan Dane series. Morgan, widowed with three small daughters, is getting back into her career as an ADA; but when the daughters' former babysitter is murdered and the neighbour kid is accused, she offers to defend him.

This is a short book but can still get painfully slow in places. On the one hand there's investigation behind the backs of a grossly incompetent police department, and of course everyone looks a bit suspicious, but the eventual culprit won't be surprising to an experienced mystery reader. On the other hand there's Morgan's slow romance with the private investigator Lance Kruger (does that sound as craftedly macho a name to an American reader as it does to me?), and obviously what women really want is, well:

Despite her protests, and against her entire modern, professional woman image, she enjoyed the way he made her feel small and feminine. All those muscles weren't just for show.

And I'd have liked it better if that had been mentioned once or twice rather than hammered in repeatedly. There are lots of mysterious secrets for both of them, presumably to be expanded on in later books. And wonder of wonders, here's a book by an American set in a small town which doesn't have as implicit assumption the idea that small-town living is the Best Thing Ever; there are small-minded neighbours who are happy to turn on the obvious suspect to the point of trying to deny him a defence.

The writing is mostly pedestrian, but there's the occasional spark that kept me interested in these people, and I'll probably come back to this series eventually – though it definitely falls into the "fluff" class.

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