Release Date: Apr 28, 2020
Series: A Savannah Reid Mystery
Private investigator Savannah Reid goes on a stakeout with her husband Detective Sergeant Dirk Coulter. Their bust is successful and they end up taking home the drug-dealer’s six-year-old son Brody. While taking care of this abused and neglected boy, Savannah also starts work on a case for one of her former clients, Hollywood heartthrob Ethan Malloy. Ethan has been close friends with the elderly Lucinda Faraday, a movie star from the 1940s and 1950s who was murdered in her home. Dirk, Savannah, and the rest of the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency have their work cut out for them in a case that becomes more complicated as more suspects and motives are uncovered.
This book is part of the long-running Savannah Reid series, but I haven’t followed it. The author gives just enough backstory to allow new readers to enjoy the story without being overwhelmed in history and supporting characters. Savannah is originally from Georgia but has now settled in San Carmelita, California. Maybe it’s her southern charm, but even though the book deals with very serious subjects like drug abuse, drug dealing, hoarding, and child abuse, it still keeps an overall entertaining and cozy feel. I enjoyed seeing Savannah on the job and at home with her Granny Reid, husband, and young Brody, who is both wise beyond his years and vulnerable. I wasn’t sold on Dirk in the beginning. He is out-spoken, tactless, and sometimes immature. However, when Savannah called him and asked him to come home as soon as possible because she had bad news she wanted to share with him in person, he rushed home to support her, no questions asked. At that point, he won me over, and he continued to show a softer side throughout the rest of the book.
I like the way Dirk and Savannah work together to solve the case, with research help from Savannah’s capable assistant Tammy and the wise Granny Reid. They uncover some scandalous secrets which open up the number of suspects and it was entertaining to see the investigation progress. I kept changing my mind about who I thought the real killer was and it turned out to be someone not even on my radar. I enjoyed the way the case wraps up and also the sweet ending for Savannah and her family. I enjoyed the book and the developments that occur toward the end have me intrigued to see what is in store for Savannah and Dirk.