This is book 2 in the Mrs. Avery series but if you haven’t read book 1 that is okay because Williams does a great job on catching you up on who everyone is without slowing down the story. But I do still recommend reading the first book because it was great! The Mrs. Avery series follows Piper a recently retired woman who is now opening a gallery in Pelican Harbor at her godmother’s insistence.
Pelican Harbor is a lovely beach town where Piper knows pretty much everyone and until recently was a quiet place to live. In this book Piper was asked to take photos of an orchid but she had no idea that would lead to her discovering the body of her neighbor. After the victim’s wife begged her to help him prove his innocence Piper couldn’t refuse helping the police find the killer.
What I love about this series is that while Piper is helping solve these crimes she is not doing this on her own. She clearly has no training on how to solve a crime but she does know the people in the town and she is incredibly smart. The police chief only allows her to consult as long as she follows what Joel (a man who the chief is desperately trying to get on the stations payroll) says. They are a team and she doesn’t put herself in dangerous situations for no reason, unfortunately danger likes to find her.
As usual, Williams does a brilliant breathing life into main and secondary characters. The way she writes these characters really makes you believe everything that is happening. In this book you get to learn more about Tessa the dog walker and it is very organic. Even the dog walker helps to move the story along. You get pulled into the town and get to be amused by the town gossips. You really do get pulled into that world that Williams created.
As I mentioned before I also like the fact that Piper is not a random person solving crimes. Yes, in cozy mysteries it is always a lay person solving the crimes but it has to make sense for me to enjoy it. And Piper serving as a consultant in these murders makes sense because she really does know the people in her town. This allows people to trust her and also allows her to get some information that the police wouldn’t have gotten as quickly. This trust is what allowed her to find the thing that the murderer was looking for. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say looks can be deceiving.
Overall, I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and am looking forward to finding out what other murders Piper helps solve. This series is in my top 5 cozy mystery series. It definitely is Owl’s Book Nest approved!