Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Target Age Group: adults
My Rating:4/5 stars, Aurora Teagarden ~ Woman of Leisure…
When Aurora “Roe” Teagarden attends Jane Engle’s funeral, it is more of a kindly gesture to someone who used to belong to the Real Murders club with her before the club stopped meeting. Roe considered Jane a friend, but didn’t really know her that well. So she is startled when Jane’s lawyer informs her that she is the heir to Jane’s estate. Suddenly, Roe goes from scraping by on a part-time librarian’s salary to an heiress with a home, nice jewelry and $550,000 in savings. Roe isn’t quite sure what to do with herself and her newfound wealth. However, she realizes that all is not as rosy as it seems when Jane’s lawyer keeps hinting that there may be some problem that she needs to solve for Jane. When Roe goes to check out Jane’s house, it has been broken into and searched, but nothing was stolen. Roe is determined to figure out the secret and eventually discovers Jane’s hiding place and pulls out – a human skull. As Roe waffles between handing the skull over to the police or tossing it in the river, her life takes a few unexpected turns. Her ex-boyfriend, a police officer, moves in across the street with his new, very pregnant wife; she starts dating a minister; her mother gets married; her best friends gets engaged; her new neighbors are throwing welcoming parties for her; she inherits a cat who soon has kittens; everyone in town is gossiping about her relationship with Jane and her inheritance – the list goes on and on. Needless to say, Roe doesn’t spend a whole lot of time investigating who the owner of the skull was until the rest of the skeleton is discovered at the end of the street…
This is the second installment in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries series (Real Murders is #1) and it is a pleasant, fast read. I read it in a couple of hours and enjoyed it, but it isn’t anything that is very memorable. The mystery is rather lacking because we don’t know who the skull belongs to, but Roe doesn’t really go out and try to figure out who it belongs to – the answer just kind of falls in her lap at the end of the story. Charlaine Harris does introduce some interesting new characters, however, and she keeps up with a few of the old ones from Real Murders so it was nice to see time passing in the small town. I would have liked to see a bit more of a plot regarding the mystery side of this “mystery”, but this book is more of a fiction novel with a little bit of a mystery on the side. Still an enjoyable read, but I must say that the Lily Bard Mysteries series (Shakespeare’s Landlord, etc.) is far superior to the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries series so far.
This is a cozy mystery so, while there is a dead body that is found, the details are pretty fuzzy and the plot focuses on life in a small town more than the gruesome details. Appropriate for readers ages 14 and up.