Changing Lara by Anna Jacobs

How is it that Anna Jacobs always swaddles you into a world that feels cozy and safe and hopeful?

Here is another story about a working woman who wants to retire but puts it off until she is at the edge of the world and has to fight her way back to home and to England. There she discovers that her financial advisor has emptied her bank account of everything but her last bonus.

She nevertheless sets up house, in a pleasant community where she has purchased a home, spontaneously, without permission, and without regret.

She is of course divorced and her ex-husband does not much like the fact that her next door neighbor is well off and cares for his ex-wife, carefully. Things move slowly and sweetly. All is well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

Deadly Codes by JP O’Donnell

In a small town in bourgeois Massachusetts, the wife of an NSA agent is killed by a car bomb as she starts up her husband’s car. It seems obvious that the bomb was directed at the husband, but Jennifer, the twin of the dead wife, is not so sure. She contacts a private detective, Gallagher, and tells him about her sister. She tells him what nobody else knows: the sister was having an affair with a woman; who has since disappeared. … Gallagher is fascinated. Despite having promised his new wife that he would no longer engage in detective work, he decides to take on the case and find the woman with whom the dead wife had ‘fallen in love’.

So begins Gallagher’s neat, curious, compelling hunt for an absent woman…. whose real identity uncovers treachery, treason and betrayal.

Read by Jordan Rich

The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush read by Sophie Amoss

From the very first paragraph, when she almost breaks her tooth on something hard that her mouth found in her peanut butter cupcake, Emily is interesting. Yes, she says yes to an engagement ring. But this is not another goofy romance in which the female not only saves the universe but also spends a lot of time thinking and talking about her lust for various male bodily bits.

Emily is a physician, a surgeon, and the estranged daughter of a medical examiner in a small town. She goes home to see after her father after his heart attack and becomes involved in a murder investigation… with her old boyfriend from highschool.  A good mystery – hopefully the first of a series.

 

The Dollar-A-Year Detective by William Wells

Another alcoholic ex-cop running a bar? Yes! This time in Fort Myers, living every cop’s retirement dream: living on a houseboat, dating a Cuban woman and solving murders on the side.

It’s good.

From the very first paragraph Jack feels like a detective, sounds like a detective, and makes it clear that in his world there are good guys (military, ex-military, marines) and bad guys (criminals, politicians); good music (Chicago blues, Springstein) and music that he doesn’t play in The Drunken Parrot. You don’t like it, go elsewhere.