No Gravestone Left Unturned by Gena Showalter
Okay, I’m writing this review for both cozy Jane Ladling Mystery books, Romancing the Gravestone bk1 and No Gravestone Left Unturned bk2, together. Because I read them back to back not wanting to stop to write separate reviews. They are two fun quick reads that connect well and make it easy to do this. I like that! They are also complete stories on their own with all vital information woven in making it easy to read as stand alone. I like that.
The books are told from Jane Ladling’s point of view! I love this character, fun and quirky! A definite unique way of looking at things. I connected to her nonlinear rambling way to get to a point. And her suspicious mind that made everyone a suspect. The fun, and at times, edge of seat path her determined sleuthing took the reader on was highly entertaining and added to the twists and turns, leaving you guessing who to suspect.
Although she did not grow as an investigator, why should she! She did grow on a personal level. Her walls started to come down, opening her to recognize friendships and possible romance…even though the possibility of losing someone she cared about terrified her. The reasons for this and why she prefers those who are buried and can’t leave her are revealed wonderfully in her backstory. And though the story is light, it does tug at the heartstrings on occasion. Growing up amongst Gravestones and becoming caretaker of the family owned cemetery are apparent elements that shaped her personality. The small town atmosphere is well done and helps the plot advance or stall when needed, including Jane’s relationships with residents and how they seem to see her.
I loved the secondary characters. Jane’s observations of body language and conversation, witty banter, gave the reader great insight into them. Even if Jane misinterpreted them at times, making the story even more entertaining… along with quite a few dreamy sigh and eyeroll moments that endeared this series even more. I was Team Conrad although I hope Jane’s and Fiona’s matchmaking skills work for Beau and friends, and with matches with more longevity. And I’m hoping no more non cemetery residents end up visiting Jane…well maybe not. I’m really looking forward to the next Jane Ladling Mystery!
Maureen Gianinio Review