DEARLY BELOVED DEPARTED by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
SERIES: PIP Inc. Mysteries #4
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Good Read Mysteries
RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2023
Newly minted Private Investigator Pat Pirard is hired by attorney Jason Forman to “get some dirt” on his daughter’s fiancé. Before she gets very far in her investigation, the young man is murdered. Did his past catch up with him or is what Pat fears, that there’s a serial shooter going after Christmas Eve grooms, the reason he was killed?
Pat and her fiancé, Detective Sergeant Tim Lindsey, are planning a Christmas Eve wedding which means, if she’s right, he’s on the shooter’s hit list.
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The inimitable Pat Pirard, private investigator, is back on the scene in Dearly Beloved Departed by Nancy Lynn Jarvis, and this time she’s changing clients faster than you can flip a coin. Same case. Different clients. (Some clients more than once.) I loved this unique twist, and it kept me entertained even as I wondered how she managed to remember who she was working for & exactly what part of the case she was investigating at any given time haha! Oh, and Syda is in true Syda form once more, though I think she may have even out-Syda’ed herself a time or two in this one.
All the pieces of Pat’s life seem to be finally coming together – she’s built a fulfilling career as a private investigator, she’s found a happily-ever-after love, and she’s got great pets and great friends. This case, however, may end up sending that contented life into a tailspin when her fiance Tim is in danger of becoming a serial ‘Christmas Eve groom’ shooter’s next victim. This aspect to the mystery added some emotional layers to Pat & Tim’s relationship (and to the story itself) and raised the tension. I was on edge for them, in fact!
It’s not all tension and danger though. Plenty of humor shows up to lighten the mood. From Pat’s dog Dot & cat Whimsey to Syda’s antics and Tim’s adorable family, there were several opportunities for me to chuckle. And I literally laughed out loud at the ambulance scene (you’ll know it when you get there) and poor Whimsey’s Christmas tree antics. Great comedic timing and delivery, accompanied by the engaging writing style, allows you to easily picture what’s happening as you read.
Bottom Line: Dearly Beloved Departed by Nancy Lynn Jarvis is another fun, unpredictable and smartly-plotted investigation with PIP, Inc., full of warmth, wit, & great characters. I really like Pat Pirard, and it’s her character plus the author’s easy writing voice that draw me instantly into each book in this series. The mystery is populated with several unexpected twists and, while I was suspicious of the culprit from the beginning, I wasn’t sure I had it right until the big reveal. This is Pat’s most important case to date – she could end up a widow before she even becomes a wife – and I completely enjoyed the ride!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there is some mild profanity and mild innuendo in this book. It is definitely still what I consider to be a clean read.
Nancy Lynn Jarvis was a Santa Cruz, California, Realtor for twenty-five years but was having so much fun writing that she let her license lapse in May of 2013.
After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager of Shakespeare/Santa Cruz. Nancy’s work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years.
In the course of writing seven books in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series, Nancy took some detours. She wrote “Mags and the AARP Gang,” a novel Nancy thinks was channeled through her by an eighty-three-year-old woman with a story to tell, and a little insider’s book “The Truth About Hosting Airbnb.” She also edited “Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes,” and most recently, “Santa Cruz Weird,” a short story anthology with contributions from seventeen Santa Cruz writers. She has four books available in a new series, PIP Inc. Mysteries.
Currently, she’s enjoying being a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Santa Cruz Women of Mystery.
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