After a huge mistake in her job as a journalist Desiree Turner finds herself returning home to Verbena, California for some peace and time to reset in the quiet town. Desiree also knows her family needs her help in their business, a funeral home, after her father had disappeared a few years before surfing leaving the family devastated. Desiree’s first attempt at hosting a funeral however doesn’t go well when two of the town’s residents, Rosemarie Brewer and Lola Hansen, end up in a fight.
Shortly after the disastrous funeral Rosemarie’s husband, Alan, is found murdered. The police quickly arrest a suspect in the case, none other than Lola’s husband Kyle. The neighbor’s had been feuding for a while and when Kyle’s gun is found nearby the police believe they have their man behind bars but Desiree is determined that Kyle is innocent. Kyle had been like a second father to Desiree so there is no way she’s going to sit back and let him go to jail for something he didn’t do.
A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell is the first book in the new cozy A Funeral Parlor Mystery series. This first book of the series was a really solid start into what looks to be another great cozy mystery series. We have all the great cozy elements involved in this first book, a strong female lead with a background that would have her used to research and crime, a small town full of unique characters to help the story along and an interesting mystery with plenty of twists and turns.
One thing that I found quite unique to this particular series to make it stand out as it’s own story was the author’s choice to begin chapters with a little news article. This really fit into the book with the main character having a background in journalism and gave it a little unique touch that added a few details into the story going on. In the end I quite enjoyed the story and will look forward to seeing what is in store next for Desiree and her family funeral home.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.