by Juneau BlackGenres: Crime, Fantasy, Mystery
Series: Shady Hollow #4
It’s spring in Shady Hollow, and romance is in the air. Even reporter Vera Vixen is caught up in the season as her relationship with new police chief Orville Braun blossoms. But true love is not always smooth sailing, as two of the hollow’s young residents come to find. Jonah Atwater and Stasia von Beaverpelt find themselves battling their families in order to be together. And when Jonah’s father, Shelby, goes over the top of Twilight Falls, all signs point to Stasia being the murderer.
The evidence against Stasia appears overwhelming, and Orville arrests her. It looks like the case is closed, but Vera isn’t so sure. There are almost too many clues indicating Stasia is the killer, leading her to suspect someone is setting Stasia up. Besides, what about the mysterious ghostly creature skulking around town at night? Maybe he or she was involved? As Vera investigates further, her sleuthing puts her in direct opposition to Orville, and soon she’s stirred up a hornet’s nest of trouble.
Twilight Falls is the last of the Shady Hollow books by Juneau Black — for now. I’m sad, because it turned out to be exactly what I needed right now: quick reads that are light and sweet at heart, with characters that come alive just enough to carry the stories. Sometimes the characters or their relationships feel a little shallow, but sometimes it’s just a relief that the differences between Orville and Vera don’t lead to big schisms, and that there’s something gently forming between them, something that might last.
Once more, I found the resolution of the mystery really obvious: the hints come thick and fast, and it’s really the only thing that makes good sense of the evidence. There’s an attempt at a red herring, but it doesn’t work out too well (at least for my tastes).
It’s been nice to follow these books and realise that the characters are slowly changing, rather than it being a cosy little snowglobe where everything settles down a while after being shaken up. Esme and Stasia von Beaverpelt both grow and change in their own time, and even Orville’s learning that the Big Book of Policing may not contain all the answers (even if sometimes he finds it hard to accept Vera’s input).
As with the others, highly enjoyable — and I’ll get the new one when it comes out, like a shot.