Title: The Medusa Murders (A Bay Browning Mystery)
Author: Joy Ann Ribar
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Wine Glass Press
Reviewer: Jennifer Rupp
Following her successful Deep Lake Cozy Mystery series, Joy Ann Ribar launches The Medusa Murders, the first in her Bay Browning series which is good news for mystery lovers like me. I found this first book thoroughly engaging. It’s got all of the characteristics of a cozy mystery; fast paced, likeable characters, small town, amateur detective work, and no graphic violence, sex or language. But I would call this “Cozy Adjacent” because rather than cute, light hearted action, this story gets pretty dark and serious but in a fabulous way with loads of tension, secrets, even some mystical elements that make the story especially appealing.
The central character in the series is English professor and recently appointed head of her department, L.L. Browning, also known as Bay to her friends. Two weeks before Fall Semester begins, she arrives home to find her sister, Cass, freshly released from prison having done time for larceny and fraud. Their once close relationship has suffered and Bay has very little trust in her ex-con sister. Still, she agrees to house Cass until she’s back on her feet. Hot on the heels of this bad news, Bay discovers that she is a person of interest in connection with two murders. She makes a tentative truce with the detective in charge of the case, a big grumpy guy named Downing. The case takes a turn when Bay and her sister become the targets of a serial killer known as Medusa. Bay’s deep knowledge of mythology and her best friend’s knowledge of art and iconography prove a boon to the investigation. Little by little, Det. Downing and Bay establish a comfortable working relationship. I particularly want to applaud the excellent glimpse into the academic world and Roman, Greek, and Egyptian mythology. And I adore the attraction between Grumpy Downing and Professor Browning. I highly recommend this book to lovers of mysteries whether they be cozies, whodunits, detective, or even supernatural thrillers.
Reviewer Bio: Jennifer Trethewey is the pen name of Jennifer Rupp. She writes sexy, sweeping Highland romance combining on site research, wonderfully flawed characters, and a liberal dose of humor. Her first four historical romances from the Highlanders of Balforss series released by Entangled Publishing, have achieved critical success. She has placed in numerous regional writing contests and is a member of Chicago North Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Writers Association, Red Oak Studios, Off Campus Writers Workshop, Regency Fiction Writers, and Chicago Writers Association. She is also Co-Founder and former Co-Artistic Director of Milwaukee’s Renaissance Theaterworks.
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