Starting Over… and Murder!
Ruth has been back in her hometown for a while now and has a good start on rebuilding her life after her divorce at the age of 50. She is just barely getting the town newspaper back in business when a neighbor dies under suspicious circumstances. Law enforcement is leaning toward natural causes or suicide, but clues lead Ruth to believe that foul play was involved. She and her daughter, Cassandra, who is in town for an extended visit, feel a need to investigate for themselves.
I love books with a middle-aged protagonist; life doesn’t end after 20 (or 25) as seems to be the case in many books. I liked how Ruth was reclaiming her life and focusing what mattered to her. In particular, I enjoyed the relationship between Ruth and her adult daughter. They act in a naturally friendly way that all mothers and their adult children should do. After having read the mini prequel about the bear, I was glad to see the town’s secondary characters take on a bit more depth. Some townspeople have intriguing pasts. I like how this mystery brought up questions from the past and drew out a person who looked out for Ruth. I thought on occasion that the author did informational dumps rather than incorporate important information more seamlessly. That said, I did enjoy this amateur sleuth mystery.