The Body in the Gravel
Author: Judi Lynn
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Jazzi Zanders, along with her fiancé Ansel and her cousin Jared have taken on their biggest house flipping project to date. It’s a huge project for them that encompasses an incredible amount of work both inside and outside the house. One of the outside projects involves some cement work. They hire a man called Darby, whom they have worked with since they first started their business, to do the work. While waiting for Darby to show up to pour some concrete for a corner of the foundation of the house, a friend of theirs, Thane, shows up to take a look at the furnace in the house. Darby shows up shortly after to pour the concrete. After his job is done, Darby walks into the house, and the next thing the trio hears are loud voices coming from the basement. Darcy and Thane are going at each other. It seems that Thane believes that Darby had killed his wife, Rose, and his son, Walker, who happens to have been Thane’s best friend. Darby storms off and says not to call him back if Thane is going to be there.
One of their next projects is the driveway. It needs to be ripped up, a new layer of gravel laid, and then new concrete. The flippers call on Darby again who agrees to help. Darby never shows up with the gravel though. Jazzi calls him, but instead reaches one of his employees, Earl, who says that Darby hasn’t been in all day. Earl said their gravel was already loaded, and he would come out to deliver it. Once Earl stars dumping the gravel though, a body falls out. The four onlookers see that the body is Darby’s. Jazzi calls her detective friend, Gaff, to check things out. Thane becomes Gaff’s first suspect because of the argument the two had. Jazzi knows that Thane is not guilty and decides to help clear his name. As the investigation continues, it becomes apparent that Darby was a very mean spirited old man, who upset a lot of people, and the suspect list grows and grows. Jazzi doesn’t want to believe that most of the people on the list could be capable of murder so she continues to help Gaff.
I love, love, love this series! The mysteries in all three books have been spectacular! They are each fun, unique, and great whodunnits. The characters are all so well written, that like Jazzi you become fond of so many of them that you don’t want to believe they are capable of murder.
Like I said in my review of the previous book, The Body in the Wetlands, Jazzi is a great character who is the total package. In addition to cooking large family meals, spending time with her fiancé, and helping to solve a murder, Jazzi is taking on her largest flipping project to date. On top of that, she and Ansel are taking on their own biggest personal project, their wedding. They are doing all their own planning and most of the prepping for the wedding. It is a huge undertaking! To make the process even more stressful, Ansel’s family has shown interest in coming to the wedding. Will Jazzi be able to pull the wedding off while being pulled in so many other directions?
I also really enjoy the working relationship between Gaff and Jazzi in this cozy mystery. I think it is a very unique law enforcement/civilian relationship. Gaff has a lot of respect for Jazzi, and has really grown to depend on her. She is sort of become his people liaison. In turn, Jazzi has a lot of respect for Gaff both as a detective and as a family man.
This book could easily be read as a stand alone story because the author does a great job of catching the reader up. However, why would you want to do that to yourself, when there are two other great books out there? Grab the first book, your favorite beverage, cuddle up, and dig in. Then work your way through all three books. You won’t be disappointed!
I’m super excited that there is already a fourth book, The Body in the Apartment, in the works. It has a projected release date of March 17, 2020.
Thanks to Net Galley and Kensington Books for an ARC of this book. #NetGalley #TheBodyInTheGravel #KensingtonBooks