Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Death & the Viking's Daughter by Loretta Ross

Next on Wren and Death's Appraisal List:
Item #1: An Old Family Feud.
Item #2: A Missing Woman.
Item #3: A Body in the Rosebushes of their Dream House

Auctioneer Wren Morgan and her private eye fiancé Death (pronounced "Deeth") Bogart are ready to meet each other's parents and settle down together. But their sleuthing days are far from over. While Death and Wren are helping prepare auction items at an old supper club, a Viking reenactor nearly dies at the historical settlement next door. The cause? Seeing the ghost of his daughter, who went missing twenty years ago.

As Wren looks into what happened to the Viking's daughter, Death is hired to investigate the theft of historical items that have high sentimental value. When their respective investigations turn out to be connected, the couple gets caught in a deadly conflict.

Series: Auction Block Mystery #4 | Publisher: Midnight Ink  | Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery| Source: Publisher| Rating: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For:  Literary Pickers  Caravan/RV

The ending of the last book gave just enough of a tease that left me itching for this mystery and when I received the ARC, I read it in one sitting. Yeah, when these are in book form rather than audio form, they don’t last very long.
Like the mysteries in previous books, this too centered had a bit of an historical bend to it. Death has been hired to look into a forged painting that’s value is more sentimental than monetary. Along the way, he discovers that several historic items with sentimental value have been replaced with forgeries. While he’s been sorting out his mystery, Wren makes a discovery of her own in the form of a blood-caked costume like the Viking’s daughter was last seen wearing. As they continue their investigations, they soon realize the two are connected.  
I really enjoyed watching Wren and Death settle into their relationship. They’re still working through some issues. Death’s still getting a handle on his PTSD and he’s worried about sharing such a close space with Wren. He also has the new complication of meeting Wren’s parents. Wren’s dealing with her mother questioning whether she makes the best relationship choices given her last fiancĂ© came out as gay. I just loved watching them grow in their relationship. They’ve finally found their footing and I’m so thrilled for them.
The mystery was a bit different in this one and I enjoyed that she changed up the formula while keeping true to the series. Like the previous books, there are several threads to the mystery and while I had an inkling about some things, I was surprised by the ending.
The secondary characters are just amazing. The entire Keystone brood just makes me smile. They’re a bit kooky at times but so entertaining and lovable. They bring so much heart to this series. Then there’s Randy, Death’s brother, he’s bit over the top but such fun and always there for Death and Wren. This is the first time Wren’s parents made an appearance and I enjoyed them, they added a nice touch.
Although this one is labeled as a cozy mystery, it’s has so much more depth to it and it brings so many serious issues to light and I like how she incorporates the hard-hitting issues with the lightness and humor of the characters without diminishing seriousness of the issues.
Overall, this one is another great addition to the Auction Block Mystery series. It has a bit of everything history, mystery, romance, serious issues, and comedy. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Wren and Death.
On a sidenote, it was a bit eerie reading about the Beverly Hills Supper Club, it’s the supper club the one the Keystones were auctioning off was modeled after, because the tragedy is part of the history of my area. Since it was so close, a lot of people from Southern Ohio were there the night it caught on fire and I had heard stories from people who were there or who had known someone there that night. So, it added a bit more depth for me.  

 Auction Block Mystery Series

#4-Death and the Viking's Daughter


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