Great dialogue and characters enhance this cozy mystery. Ryan tells the story in the first person, which helps to bring the reader up to speed on the previous installments. Starting with the first scene, the book is laugh-out-loud funny and the strong humor continues throughout. Forensic details aren’t overly described to keep it cozy rather than gory. Patients of a nursing home comprise a secondary cast of very real characters, and the secret-romance element is spicy and filled with tension.
Deputy coroner Mattie Winston is brought to the scene of a dead body at the Twilight Home. The deceased is Bernard Chase, the CEO and owner of the nursing home, and the man who discovered his body suffers from dementia and can’t remember what happened. Mattie insists they call the police, which means she’ll have to see Detective Hurley, a former flame. The patients at the home think Bernard was killing off sick patients to keep costs down. Soon Bernard’s wife is also looking guilty. As she uses her forensic knowledge to solve the case, Mattie also finds herself bonding with Hurley’s teenage daughter. (KENSINGTON, Mar., 368 pp., $7.99)