3.5 of 5 stars to Carolyn L. Dean‘s Dune, Dock, and a Dead Man, the second book in her “Ravenwood Cove” cozy mystery series. While I found the first book a little better, this one was also good and helps bring more structure and appeal to the series. I like the main character and she’s starting to settle into Ravenwood Cove with ease, driving change in all the areas that were needed in the tourism-starved town.
Amanda Graham has started making friends in Ravenwood Cove, and this time, she finds two friends who need help with men who won’t leave them alone. Jennifer, the woman whose father saved Amanda in book 1, is having trouble with the mob trying to locate information her father hid before he died. Meg, Amanda’s best friend, is having trouble with a man she met from an online dating site who is harassing her. When one of the men turns up dead, and the other potentially has a connection to the him, the town is in an uproar. As Amanda cozies up to James, the detective she’s been flirting with, she gets access to more police information. But when she starts finding connection to many of her new friends and the core families of the town, she’s concerned she may be close to the killer. When she puts all the clues together, one of the villains attacks her and the other admits his/her guilt and willingly goes off to jail. What’s crime-hunting coming to these days???
The town’s setting and core families are filling out and readers get to know who’s who in this release. Relationships are forming and future plots are likely being assembled.
I like how the two plots weave in and out throughout the story. You think you’ve figured it out, then you are confused. The primary one was complex. There were two obvious leads, both of which you find yourself leaning towards, then you realize different people had different pasts with the deceased and a likely motive.
As complex as it was for a cozy, take it further! Add another 60 to 75 pages and draw out the mystery just a bit more so we feel fully engaged.
Tell us about the uncle’s secrets. It was mysterious in book 1, and I’d hoped it would keep growing… but no mention in book 2. Bring it back!
I like the series and it’s a good filler as an e-read in between physical books. Easy to get thru in 2 hours. I like the author’s style.