My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Casket Cache by Janice J. Richardson is the first book in the “Spencer Funeral Home Niagara Cozy Mystery” series and was published in 2016. The author is new to me, but I’d seen a few of her book reviews and social media posts previously and wanted to read one of her novels. I was happily entertained and will continue reading the series in the future.
Jennifer Spencer (~25ish) inherited an uncle’s funeral home several months ago. She’s quickly adapting to life in a different but familiar town, learning how to run her own business. In between the time her uncle passed on and she took over, a temporary director / mortician ran the show. Jennifer has an easy transition with him, hires a great new helper she can mentor, and loves being guided by her uncle’s former assistant / manager who wants her to succeed. Then some weird things transpire… Jennifer learns what really happened in her uncle’s wonderful funeral home during those last few months. Was the temporary director responsible or just an unknowing fool who was too focused on his job?
What a fantastic story! I loved learning all about the mortuary business and seeing the protagonist’s empathetic heart when dealing with a man who lost his son, a couple who had a stillborn child, and family grieving for their loved one. While this cozy veered from the traditional approach in terms of “find body, solve crime,” it’s fully set the stage for great things to come. I liked how Jennifer didn’t actually investigate anything but reacted to situations she found herself put in from a business perspective. Using friends and new colleagues, she realized something was amiss and provided all the details to the police. In the end, we solve one crime but had some open questions on the other: a mini-cliffhanger. I loved that aspect of the story.
Richardson’s writing style and tone make this an easy book to read. I like the main character, and her supporting cast seems to be well-rounded and have a lot of potential. The Niagara setting makes for a wonderful backdrop, and the possibilities in a funeral home are kinda cool. I’m glad I found this one and look forward to reading more later this year.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.