Hello Kittens! It’s November. There’s been an election and Thanksgiving is coming. I’ll just say this: it’s a crazy time to be alive. I’m doing well, but not reading as much right now…just too much chaos going on. Nonetheless, I had a few days off last week and was able to get to the newest release concerning my favorite female sleuth: Jessica Fletcher. My favorite thing about this newest book is that it returns to the Jessica Fletcher that most of us know and love while also pausing to poke a little fun at the phenomenon that is the exceptionally high murder rate in Cabot Cove. I appreciate that the author added modern touches to Jessica’s life and broke up a few of her routines in this book without straying too far from her overall character development.
Title: Murder, She Wrote: Murder in Season
Author: Jon Land & Jessica Fletcher
Author website: https://www.jonlandbooks.com/
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Publish date: November 24, 2020
In this holiday installment to the series, the reader returns home with Jessica Fletcher after her months-long stay at Hill House. Having lost her home in a fire a few books back, Jessica is thrilled to be back home even if everything is not exactly as it was before. She is experiencing waves of nostalgia finally being back home after months spent living in a hotel. As she prepares for the holidays, and a visit from her nephew Grady, along with his wife and young son, Jessica finds herself embroiled in a new mystery. So what else is new?
When her home needs a few more updates in order to pass inspection, Jessica is just anxious to get all of the formalities over with. Unfortunately, fate has other plans. While digging on her property to install a new septic system, two bodies and a historical chest filled with long-lost documents are found. Suddenly, Jessica is thrust into investigating how the bodies got there, who they belong to, and why they were buried with a stash of historical documents.
Long-time readers will be glad to know that all of Cabot Cove’s favorite citizens make an appearance in this story. Dr. Seth Hazlitt is as ornery as ever and everyone’s favorite Sheriff Metzger is still wondering why he left New York City to move to the murder capital of Maine. We even get a few references to formed sheriff Amos Tupper and a visit from Private Detective Harry McGraw. All in all, this is a cozy installment in a long-running series that sees Jessica placed in less danger than the last few installments. This story feels more like the old-school Jessica Fletcher, lending a hand to a stalled investigation and letting life inspire her moments of investigative brilliance.
Why I liked it:
After a shaky installment in “The Murder of Twelve” which came out back in May, I didn’t go into this story expecting to love it. Land has only been writing the last couple of books in the series and I felt like the last one strayed too far from Jessica’s character. Thankfully, this book did not suffer from any of those issues. This is the Jessica that most of us know and love from the television series. She’s in the middle of the investigation because it literally starts in her lawn, but she’s not in overt danger. There are pretty good red herrings, a mysterious recurring clue that isn’t as obvious as it first seems, and a supporting cast of characters who carry their own agendas well. Also, Harry McGraw was always one of my favorite side characters in the story, so I really loved seeing him play a crucial role in the development of this story.
What I would like to change:
There’s one part of this whole story that really bugs me. How is Jessica continuing to live in her house without a functioning septic system? At one point there are like 4 extra people staying there….so how is everyone dealing with that bathroom situation? It’s a little thing, but it did stick out to me.
Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My library rating:
5 glasses of lemonade= you could recommend this book to anyone. There is nothing in here that is going to upset anyone and you could start handing it out on street corners.
My personal preference rating: I gave this title 4 stars. It was a really cozy read at a time when I really needed one.