Title: Murder in the Park
Author: Jeanne M. Dams
Pages: 208 Pages
Publisher: Severn House
Introducing spirited female sleuth Elizabeth Fairchild in the first of the brilliant new Oak Park village mystery series, set in 1920s Illinois.
June, 1925. Having been widowed in the First World War, Elizabeth Fairchild lives a quiet life at the home of her wealthy parents in genteel Oak Park village, Illinois. Although she does her best to avoid emotional entanglements, determined never to be hurt again, Elizabeth forms a close friendship with gentle Mr Anthony, who owns the local antiques store.
But tragedy strikes when Mr Anthony is found stabbed to death in the alley behind his shop. Why would anyone murder a mild-mannered antiques dealer who simply loved beautiful things? A robbery gone wrong? A gangland execution? Or could it have something to do with the mysterious customer who bought a gold pocket watch from Mr Anthony on the day he died?
When one of her father’s oldest friends is accused of the crime, Elizabeth determines to expose the real killer. But her investigations soon attract unwelcome attention. With gangsters moving into the neighbourhood from nearby Chicago, Oak Park is no longer the safe haven it once was. Could Elizabeth be seriously out of her depth?
There is a reason that “Cozy Crime” got its name. It is the comforting fact that when you read it that no matter how much drama and chaos has ensued for the majority of the novel that the ending will always be satisfactory and you can rest peacefully that the bad guy has been vanquished and the good guys have triumphed. It was because of these tropes that I enjoyed Murder in the Park. I liked knowing where I stand.
Whilst Murder in the Park can be seen as light crime fiction, author Jeanne M. Dams injects it with social issues of the day – recovery from war, loss, grief, social class, racism, gang culture – all are dealt with but without losing the calmness of the genre. Not an easy feat to achieve.
Murder in the Park is not a story that will have a massive impact on your life but it is such an easy read and an enjoyable historical crime novel.
Murder in the Park by Jeanne M. Dams is available now.
For more information regarding Severn House (@severnhouse) please visit www.severnhouse.com.