A Relative Murder (review) – Ghosts of the past

There are many treats in my universe: chocolate, coffee, a drink with friends, a massive book sale, etc. The list is long. One of them is a new release by one of my favourite ever authors, especially since Jude Deveraux is not releasing many books in the course of a year, thus making each new one a special treat, one that usually makes me drop everything in order to read it the moment it comes out (and appears in my Kindle).

This time, however, I had to delay my fun by two whole days due to ARC commitments and work, which made my starting to read A Relative Murder even more special.

That and the fact that I love me a good Medlar Mystery, and Sara, Kate, and Jack.

What the book is about

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A Relative Murder

Series: Medlar Mysteries, book 4

Author: Jude Deveraux

Publisher: MIRA

Date published: 29 March, 2022

Pages: 317


Bestselling novelist Sara Medlar is skilled at sharing stories about other people, but she hoped the truth about her own family would never surface. Her home in Lachlan, Florida, is her refuge and she loves having her niece Kate and dear friend Jack Wyatt together under her roof. The Medlar Three, as they are known around town, have sworn off getting involved in any more murder investigations.

When the sheriff unexpectedly leaves on vacation, Jack is surprised to find himself appointed as deputy. So when Kate stumbles upon a dead body while visiting a friend, the Medlar Three are back in the sleuthing game. Kate also has a charming new real estate client with a mysterious past. He seems to be followed by trouble and that makes Sara and Jack uneasy.

It doesn’t take long to discover that the murder and the new man in town are somehow related—the question is how. When the stranger’s true identity is revealed, Sara realizes her carefully crafted story is about to unravel and she fears she’ll lose Kate and Jack forever. But she desperately hopes that love and honesty will win out over years of lies and deceit. And besides, family is family—even if you sometimes want to kill them.

A puzzle of mysteries

If you think that A Relative Murder will be something quiet, think again. The book is a complete puzzle of mysteries, from Kate’s client to murder to search and research, and more. The works!

Everything is brilliantly and masterfully tied together to keep us guessing until the end.

As I just wrote: masterful.

That is Jude Deveraux’s forte with every mystery she has been writing (and not only the Medlar books, since she also had other mysteries among her romance novels – romantic suspenses): she keeps us on our metaphorical toes from start to conclusion. Who did it? What happened? How will the main character(s) react?

This, times 12 (I’m making up the number, but it was throughout the whole book). In fact, at one point, I reacted so loudly that I literally screamed, “WHAT?!?!” so great was my shock at how unexpected it was.

MAS-TER-FUL, I swear! Definitely the best of the series, and when you know how good the series is, that says it all.

Kate centred

Every character has a part to play in the book, but the whole of it is, in many ways, Kate centred, as we learn a lot about her past.

“Lies on top of lies. A skyscraper built of lies.”

Kate Medlar

There are so many of them that we can’t help feeling for Kate, even though she doesn’t want us to. But such is the way of things, and how real the characters are. We cannot help it. At all.

I will leave it at that and let you discover it all for yourselves.

A page turner

All in all, with the whole puzzle of mysteries and how brilliantly they were interwoven together, A Relative Murder was, from the start, an absolute page turner that I was loath to put down in order to do real life things.

Gasps, laughs, emotion, shock. Everything combines to give the reader an amazing time… and wanting more.

That is Jude Deveraux’s Medlar Mysteries for you.

My verdict

What more can I say? It was fantastic from start to finish, and I can’t wait for the next one! After all, there might still be a question left unasked and unanswered, albeit unrelated to the actual case from the book.

Five unlayered stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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