This short novel was perfect for a summer night escape. It included so many things that I love in a story, such as mysterious small-town murder, morally gray characters, and good representations of mental illness (in this case, post-traumatic stress disorder).

On their own, Page and Sommers were both characters that I loved getting to know. They met by chance, and while there was instant attraction, both men took their time acknowledging their emotions (and not in a “men are emotionally stunted” sort of way, which is just annoying). Instead, the obstacles were the usual issues of the time period (immediately post World War 2), Page’s profession/identity, and Sommers’ mental triggers. However, they were forced to work together throughout the plot, and while the mystery might have been solved a bit earlier had they not kept getting distracted, it wasn’t enough for me to want to smack either man upside the head.

The mystery itself was compelling, with the usual cast of small-town characters that were unique without becoming caricatures. There were enough plot twists to keep me engaged and invested in BOTH elements of this books without wanting to sacrifice one to move the other forward.

Highly recommended to cozy mystery fans, historical fiction fans, romance fans…really, there’s something for everyone here.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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