Monday, July 17, 2023

Reading Books I'm Excited About - Death in the Family


Goodreads:  Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Mystery #1) by Tessa Wegert

Blurb:   A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. Senior Investigator Shana Merchant believes it all adds up to a killer in their midst—and that murder is a family affair.
Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she's taken a job in her fiancé's sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

But as a nor'easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they're dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana's right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they'll strike again.

My Thoughts:  This has been sitting on my shelf since sometime in 2019 and while I wanted to read it the second I got it I somehow never did - until this year.  This was quite the ride.  Shana has a checkered history and a relationship that is all red flags both of which make her question if she's really able to handle an intense investigation.  So when she and her colleague Tim end up on a private island in the middle of a storm with a missing man, a mattress soaked in blood, and a whole family full of really terrible people all with possible motives she questions her sanity almost as much as she tries to find answers.  It took awhile to warm up to Shana and I'm not sure I liked her by the end though I did end up sympathizing with her and rooting for her to get her act together.   The mystery did keep me guessing.  There's some questions as to just what is going on and everyone on the island has at least one motive and several have more.  And just what happened is in question until really the final reveal.  This was an entertaining mystery with a truly awful bunch of suspects and I'm curious to see more of Shana Marchant's investigations.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)


  1. Great review! It sounds exciting when she might have been looking for a slower pace.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  2. I remember enjoying this one too. I loved the private island in a storm setting. Gothic vibes!

  3. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds really good.

  4. I remember seeing this book around. It sounds like something that I would really enjoy. Great review!