Death in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1)
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.

Death in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1) Details

TitleDeath in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 18th, 2020
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780593097892
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

Death in the Family (Shana Merchant, #1) Review

  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Another Booktube video - this time all about the Top 10 Books of 2020 (so far) . Now that you know this fabulous book made the list, check out the video to see the rest!Shout out to Tucker - who suggested we buddy-read this one! That muscle again. It slid beneath the surface of his skin like an eel in shallow water. Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant took her position at Thousand Islands to escape the haunting events from thirteen months ago - where she was knocked down to a shell of Another Booktube video - this time all about the Top 10 Books of 2020 (so far) . Now that you know this fabulous book made the list, check out the video to see the rest!Shout out to Tucker - who suggested we buddy-read this one! That muscle again. It slid beneath the surface of his skin like an eel in shallow water. Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant took her position at Thousand Islands to escape the haunting events from thirteen months ago - where she was knocked down to a shell of her former self.This sleepy little town was supposed to provide Shana a chance to heal - but then she and her new partner, Tim, get a call to the private Sinclair family island. "Murder's what the family wants to call it." Abby wakes up to a pool of blood where her boyfriend, Jasper Sinclair, laid beside her last night. But there's no body. "You've got to have a theory. People don't just disappear." Shana and Tim quickly arrive on seen only to become stranded with the rest of the Sinclair family as a nor'easter blows in.Cut off from the mainland, the experts and even the most rudimentary of supplies, it's up to Shana and Tim to figure out who committed the murder before the killer has chance to melt away. It always bothers me when a victim's family and friends describe them as perfect in every way. What's the implication there, that their beauty was too much for the killer to handle? As Shana gets closer to figuring out the murderer, the more prevalent the traumatizing flashbacks become. With reality and her memories fighting for dominance - will she be able to find the murderer? Will she even be able to hold it together? It was the kind of thing a person would go to great lengths to bury. So who wielded the shovel Whewwwww. I really haven't been hit with a roller coaster of a book like this in a long time. Started off 3 stars.25% through and it dropped to 2 (maybe even one star).50-60% it was back up to 4 stars and the ending was a solid 5 stars .What worked: I really loved the atmosphere of the book - with the rich, snooty family trapped on a private island. The swell of the storm, the downpour of the rain, the bone-chilling cold. It all drew me completely into the story. I was also deeply intrigued by the mystery of Shana's past - I truly wish it had more of a role in the beginning of the book because it would have really picked up the slow sptos.What kind of worked:The characters. I liked how each one of them is terrible in their own way and so many suspects really made the plot interesting...however, there were (I think) too many side characters. It was difficult for me to keep track of them and I didn't really care about half of them. By the end of the book, I liked (or at least enjoyed them when they came on the page) about 2/3 of them.But in those first few hundred pages where we don't know them and most of them just seem to just hang out and be *there* until Shana interviews them and the side-characters begin to have a personality.What didn't work:The pacing of the book really threw me off. The beginning of the book really hooked me - it had a fabulous premise and the setup was fabulous.But then, for about a hundred pages - there are things that are happening but they just didn't hold my interest. I honestly nearly DNF'ed the book because I just had a hard time caring about what happened. Which, honestly, is a bit of a weird problem for me - that pretty much never happens and I have a hard time pinpointing what didn't work. I think there was too much build and not enough action.But then, the book started to turn around and I literally could not put this one down. OverallDefinitely liked it - but be aware of the slump that happens.Also, shout out to Tucker the Reader for being my buddy-reader for this one!With thanks to the author and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest reviewYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads
    more
  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    This book is another early, surprising, twisty, riveting, dark, mind-bending, whodunit gift for me makes me sing Christmas Carol songs louder lalalalala!In the beginning I was expecting I had a three stars, mostly four stars ordinary reading. A small town murder mystery with too much Christie vibes, dark and rainy atmosphere you may see at Norwegian dramas or Fincher movies(just remember bloody “Seven”, rain never stopped till the last scene.), investigators have different methods, coming from This book is another early, surprising, twisty, riveting, dark, mind-bending, whodunit gift for me makes me sing Christmas Carol songs louder lalalalala!In the beginning I was expecting I had a three stars, mostly four stars ordinary reading. A small town murder mystery with too much Christie vibes, dark and rainy atmosphere you may see at Norwegian dramas or Fincher movies(just remember bloody “Seven”, rain never stopped till the last scene.), investigators have different methods, coming from different backgrounds. Two detectives (not Poirot and Marple) Shana and Tim trapped in a house with notorious, dislikeable, spineless family members, investigating disappearance of Sinclair family’s young son Jasper. His girlfriend finds his side of bed empty. Okay correction! Not empty! His side of the bed is COVERED IN BLOOD. Is it getting interesting? Let’s continue to flip the pages because it’s getting more interesting in each second.So let’s look at Jasper’s family members:Camilla Sinclair: Only likeable character, getting weaker each day, suffering from big C, truly loves Jasper and has no idea about great schemes are orchestrated by rest of her evil grandsons and granddaughter. Flynn Sinclair: Big brother, typical asshole, having anger management issues, violent past, potential alcoholic, correction he’s alcoholic and mean. Seems like a potential killer, hah?Abella Beaudry: Jasper’s girlfriend. She is jobless, having issues with her visa to stay in the US, trying to get a job at the family company (at least with Flynn says to the detectives) and she may have had a big argument with Jasper before he is gone missing. How a person cannot hear anything when sharing a bed with somebody who is possibly stabbed to death and carried outside the room! Even I don’t sleep so deep! (I had missed two  largest earthquakes, but I had been so tired at those days!) She could be also a killer, right?Caretaker Mr. Norton: He stays too long with the family. Camilla considers him as a family member. He seems like he holds something back. He keeps some secret. Could he be the killer? He gives us creepy vibes!Ned: Flynn’s boyfriend who wants to leave him and he has a secret relationship with Flynn’s sister! Yesss this is not a regular episode of Young and Restless or Bold and Beautiful, we’re still introduced to scumbag characters.  Ned thinks Jasper sees him with his sister and he can tell it to Flynn. Could it be a reason to kill anyone? Maybe…And sister Bebe (Nope we are not talking about women’s retail brand. I think it is short for 2B a.k.a. BIG BITCH because she is the bitchiest character and so many times I asked myself which one of them were more irritating? Flynn or her?) cheating sister, manipulative, pretentious, sneaky. Could she kill her own brother for his share of inheritance. Of course she could.Jade, Bebe’s problematic stepdaughter, 14, in love with Jasper, is spying on people. Could she want to avenge Jasper because he doesn’t love her back? Maybe…Miles: Husband of Bebe, seems like cool guy, is about to divorce his cheater wife, taking care of his daughter. But he is also hiding something, making suspicious comments about everyone, hating the family members truly. So is he another potential suspect? Why not?And of course everyone detectives’ characters are impeccably developed, well-rounded. Shana is the heroine, suffering from traumatic past. She was kidnapped by serial killer and luckily found by rookie cop who died at the basement she’d kept. A killer ran away without leaving a trace. Shana could have killed him. But she had let him go. Why? Was she typical Stockholm Syndrome victim and now she has an unhealthy relationship with her obsessive control freak fiancée who insists to resign and not to believe the lies of Tim?And Tim, charming, social, political, talkative local boy who insists Shana’s fiancée is manipulating dangerous man who tried to ruin his career and now he is playing mind games with Shana?Who is telling the truth? What is Shana’s biggest secret she cannot share with anybody! And most importantly who the hell killer is?Mysterious, riveting, heart throbbing page turner ends with a surprising cliffhanger makes you wanna pray that author may write the sequel urgently. I want to read more! I want to learn the big secret of Shana! I also enjoy to see the chemistry of these two polar opposites! So please I want the second book ASAP! Period.
    more
  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "The beginning. Where was that exactly? Nowhere I wanted to take a stranger, even if he did smell nice. But maybe I could go back partway, just far enough to make him happy. Back to a limestone building on East Fifth Street, and a day that grabbed me by the throat and still hasn't let go."Hear ye, hear ye, all my mystery loving friends of the Agatha Christie variety: this one's for you. I know that the subtle, slow paced mystery has taken a backseat to the flashy psychological thriller over the "The beginning. Where was that exactly? Nowhere I wanted to take a stranger, even if he did smell nice. But maybe I could go back partway, just far enough to make him happy. Back to a limestone building on East Fifth Street, and a day that grabbed me by the throat and still hasn't let go."Hear ye, hear ye, all my mystery loving friends of the Agatha Christie variety: this one's for you. I know that the subtle, slow paced mystery has taken a backseat to the flashy psychological thriller over the past decade, but I am here to tell you that quality writing never goes out of style, and quality writing is precisely what I found in Tessa Wegert's Death in the Family. It's not in your face by promising "a twist that you most definitely will not see coming", and while our protagonist is flawed and working through some issues, she is not plagued by the rampant wave of alcoholic blackouts and wimpy stamina that brings about a whiny heroine. I've been begging for a strong female lead to become the norm in crime thrillers again, and this is a great start in what I'm sure will become a new favorite series of mine.In Death in the Family, we are blessed with not one, but two cases of criminal behavior to work through. Right in the prologue, and also in the synopsis of the book, we are informed that Shana Merchant was abducted by a serial killer 13 months ago and somehow survived. This will likely be the continuing thread for the series, at least for a little while, and we do get bits and pieces of how she was abducted and her time spent with the killer; however, this one does leave a few questions unanswered. I felt this type of mini-cliffhanger was extremely well done, and not a put off but a way of enticing me to read the next book in the series. The second case, the present day crime, is a missing person who appears to be in grave danger, due to the amount of blood left in his bed. Shana and her partner, Tim, barely make it to the island, and realize that they will have to work the case alone due to the terrible storm surging around this island of wealth and privilege. What I loved most about this book is the updated twist on the classic locked room mystery. It's by far my favorite crime fiction trope, partly due to the marriage of slow building suspense and established character development that it requires to be well done. While psychological thrillers tend to try and pull a trick from thin air in the hopes to shock you beyond your wildest dreams, this traditional tale takes the cast that is trapped on the island and convinces the reader that each character is as guilty, and as likely to be a culprit, as the next. I truly had no idea how this book would wrap up until the final reveal, and because the author did such a good job distributing equal amounts of shady behavior and transgressions amongst the cast, I didn't feel disappointed that there was no outrageous explantation that I hadn't thought of. This brilliant form of slow growing suspense allowed me to fully settle in to solve this case alongside Shana without my interest waning in the least. Obviously Det. Merchant has some issues, what with being kidnapped by a serial killer and being held captive for roughly a week. I can't go into too many details surrounding this portion of the book, because spoilers, but suffice it to say that the growth arc that Shana develops over the length of the book is phenomenal. She makes a decision nearing the finale of the book involving her personal life that I applaud the author for choosing to write about; so few authors tend to portray a female successfully escaping an unhealthy relationship, and we need more of this! Themes like that, paired with a strong female friendship and developing trust with people after a traumatic event are also explored here, which makes my heart incredibly happy. Obviously there's a little nugget of WTF at the tail end of the story; otherwise, how would you be hooked to read the next book? Overall, I'm delighted that I picked up this book, and the sequel is automatically on my most anticipated list for whenever it gets published. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
    more
  • Brenda -Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Hot Golden Diggity Dang! This is one well written, exciting modern-day take to the locked room /impossible crime mystery. If you are looking for something a little different from those dark and twisted thrillers that is well-plotted and draws you into an interesting puzzle to solve, this is one not to be missed. This was another pleasant surprise for me from the stack of not our normal books Elisha from Berkley sends our way. When that happens, I am like this excited kid running around with a Hot Golden Diggity Dang! This is one well written, exciting modern-day take to the locked room /impossible crime mystery. If you are looking for something a little different from those dark and twisted thrillers that is well-plotted and draws you into an interesting puzzle to solve, this is one not to be missed. This was another pleasant surprise for me from the stack of not our normal books Elisha from Berkley sends our way. When that happens, I am like this excited kid running around with a big bag of candy, wanting to share it with everyone who will come and chat about all the different flavours in the bag with me. The story has the elements of an impossible crime mystery here and is not your typical shocking twisty read. There are no shocking reveals or turns that will come out of nowhere to surprise you. It follows the classic detective fiction with a locked room crime. Tessa Wegert masterfully presents us with a puzzle and clues to solve a mystery before the dramatic solution is revealed in the end by our Senior Investigator Shana Merchant. You can't spell family without lies and secrets and Shana needs to level up to figure out who is hiding what dirty and messy secrets in what laundry basket that are hidden away in the closets of these eccentric characters. The members of this family are not the only monsters here that are trapped in this moody, stormy private island. Shana has an inner monster from her past that adds some tension and suspense to the story. I missed some clues along the way and didn't solve all the pieces to this puzzle and needed Shana to pull it all together for me in the end. I thought the mystery came together so fun and exciting but what I loved the most is how I am left wanting to know so much more about Shana and her past. I can't wait for the next one in this series.
    more
  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    Tents, atmospheric, claustrophobic. This was a cleverly crafted locked room who done it. This is the first book in Tessa Wegert’s new crime thriller series and I have to say the series is off to a great start! Detective Shana Merchant has relocated to upstate New York after being kidnapped by a serial killer. She is still dealing with her demons and is grateful for her sleepy small-town surroundings. Then one stormy day she and her partner Tim receive a call out to a private island, someone has Tents, atmospheric, claustrophobic. This was a cleverly crafted locked room who done it. This is the first book in Tessa Wegert’s new crime thriller series and I have to say the series is off to a great start! Detective Shana Merchant has relocated to upstate New York after being kidnapped by a serial killer. She is still dealing with her demons and is grateful for her sleepy small-town surroundings. Then one stormy day she and her partner Tim receive a call out to a private island, someone has been murdered. When they get there they find a bloody bed, no body, and a house full of suspects. I loved the classic old-fashioned Agatha Christie vibe of the story. A highly dysfunctional family filled with suspects, gloomy stormy weather and an island with no way off. Shana was a strong smart savvy character and I am looking forward to getting to know her better in future books. Her partner Tim seems like a good guy and I’m curious to see how the relationship develops between these two (professional or otherwise). As for this family... what a hot mess! I was seriously suspicious of each of them throughout the course of the book. There is no love lost between these family members, all appeared guilty and none were terribly likable. I picked up this book with the intention of only reading a couple chapters and three hours later I finished it. It was a riveting story with an ending that I did not puzzle together, but it made sense. Very much looking forward to the next book in the series as we are left with a little bit of a.... what?This book in emojis. 🌧 🚤 🏚 🩸 🔍 *** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
    more
  • Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
    January 1, 1970
    Atmospheric, compelling, & characteristic!DEATH IN THE FAMILY (Shana Merchant #1) by TESSA WEGERT is a gripping, thrilling, dark, twisty, and entertaining whodunit locked-room mystery that was an absolute pleasure to read. Right from the get go I knew that I was going to thoroughly enjoy this one. It has this classic whodunit vibe going on here that I find so appealing and absolutely love. The mystery takes us to a remote private island and has this absolutely perfect story setting. I loved Atmospheric, compelling, & characteristic!DEATH IN THE FAMILY (Shana Merchant #1) by TESSA WEGERT is a gripping, thrilling, dark, twisty, and entertaining whodunit locked-room mystery that was an absolute pleasure to read. Right from the get go I knew that I was going to thoroughly enjoy this one. It has this classic whodunit vibe going on here that I find so appealing and absolutely love. The mystery takes us to a remote private island and has this absolutely perfect story setting. I loved the dark, dreary, and rainy atmosphere.TESSA WEGERT delivers a slow burn, classic, well-crafted, and well-written read here that builds suspense and intrigue slowly as the story progresses. It was quite the effective way to envelop me fully into this mystery and I absolutely loved the unsettling feeling that this produced. Even though the story has a large cast of characters I didn’t find myself confused once at keeping them all straight. Our main character here, detective Shana Merchant is a strong flawed female lead, and she has her own story to tell here. Which leaves us with unanswered questions but definitely entices us and leads us into the forthcoming books in this series. Norma’s Stats:Cover: An intriguing, eye-catching, bleak, claustrophobic, revelant, and fitting representation to storyline.Title: Intriguing, foreboding, worrisome, straightforward, and a fitting representation to storyline.Writing/Prose: Well-written, gripping, engaging, readable, and suspenseful. I absolutely loved the writing style!Plot: Intriguing, mysterious, suspenseful, slow burn, unsettling, atmospheric, entertaining, captivating, intense, dark, and steadily-paced.Ending: A surprising, exciting, pleasing, and satisfying conclusion. Overall: I pretty much found myself suspicious of almost every character and honestly when we got to the reveal I was totally taken by surprise. Well played! I highly recommend it!Thank you so much to Elisha from Berkley Publishing for the ARC.Review can also be seen on Two Sisters Lost In a Coulee Reading book blog:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com
    more
  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review People with that kind of wealth often feel untouchable, and it’s a shock when they discover they’re not. My original rating was four stars but I am dropping it to three stars because, even though the end was great, it simply wasn’t enough to make up for how numbingly dull it was in the first half. So, what’s this book about? On an island, a butler calls in a murder. Shana Merchant and her Many thanks to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review People with that kind of wealth often feel untouchable, and it’s a shock when they discover they’re not. My original rating was four stars but I am dropping it to three stars because, even though the end was great, it simply wasn’t enough to make up for how numbingly dull it was in the first half. So, what’s this book about? On an island, a butler calls in a murder. Shana Merchant and her partner, Tim come running. With a blood-soaked bed and a missing man, it’s pretty obvious there had been a murder, right? Shana is convinced but after interviews and mysterious occurrences, she begins to wonder if there’s something much deeper than what they think is going on. Unfortunately, she can’t call for any help as a large storm hits. Soon enough, it becomes clear that Shana is trapped on an island with no escape. And it seems the killer is trapped too. And there is no way to tell when he might strike next. I am so, so disappointed. This book had so much potential! The setting of being trapped on a cold, creepy island in the middle of a violent storm! IT’S F**KING MYSTERY GOLD!! But, nope… this book took that gold and yeeted it right out the window.UGH it was so frustrating because the author was literally sitting on top of gold and had a shovel in her hand but chose throw the shovel away. Also, there were WAY too many characters. Some authors can have 6+ characters and have them all fit into the story without confusion but this was not the case. I couldn’t keep track of all the people. I lost track of who was who. I simply couldn’t juggle all those people. I also REALLY wanted to know more about Shana’s incident with the serial killer guy…? Like, that was brushed over. It was like “Yeah, that happened.” I feel like that story can and should be an entire book. All that said, the author does a very good job at showing rather than telling (something, I am very bad at) and really drew me into the world with stunning and sharp detail. I also really loved Shana. Even though she made some questionable choices, she was very flushed out and real. I loved her chemistry with Tim and I can’t wait to continue in this series. Overall, this book has its flaws but it’s still worth reading. I recommend it but just keep in mind it's a slower book. Bottom Line➵ 3 Stars➵ Age Rating - [ R ]➵ Content Screening (Spoilers)➵ Educational Value (0/0)➵ Positive Messages (0/0)➵ Violence (4/5) - [Hot liquid poured on character, Toture, Murder, Guns, etc.]➵ Sex (0/0)➵ Language (3/5) - [F**k, Sh*t, D*mn, *sshole]➵ Drinking/Drugs (3/5) - [Alcohol consumption, Poison, Characters are drugged]➵ Trigger and Content Warnings - Loss of a loved one, Murder➵ Publication Date: February 18th, 2020➵ Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group➵ Genre: Mystery/Thriller---------------4 stars! A slow start but the ending was great!---------------happiness is getting to a mystery series right before it beginsthere's nothing worse than finding a series that looks interesting and then you find out that it's #16 ➵ Buddy read with Miranda! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | Reddit | LinkedIn | YouTube |
    more
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Death in the Family is the start of an exciting, atmospheric, and entertaining new series. I was gripped from the opening paragraphs, and I could not put this book down. I needed something that would distract me completely, and this was it. More thoughts to come, but crime thriller fans- definitely check this one out. I received a gifted copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: Death in the Family is the start of an exciting, atmospheric, and entertaining new series. I was gripped from the opening paragraphs, and I could not put this book down. I needed something that would distract me completely, and this was it. More thoughts to come, but crime thriller fans- definitely check this one out. I received a gifted copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
    more
  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI loved how this mystery took place in the Thousand Islands region as I lived there for a few years. It's always fun to read a book in which you are familiar with the setting. This one turned out to be a solid whodunit mystery and given it is the first book in the series I am curious to see where it goes from here.Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant is hoping for a fresh start and moves to upstate New York with her fiance. Many wealthy families flock to their vacation homes in the 3.5 starsI loved how this mystery took place in the Thousand Islands region as I lived there for a few years. It's always fun to read a book in which you are familiar with the setting. This one turned out to be a solid whodunit mystery and given it is the first book in the series I am curious to see where it goes from here.Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant is hoping for a fresh start and moves to upstate New York with her fiance. Many wealthy families flock to their vacation homes in the Thousand Islands region where Shana now works as an investigator. Shana and her coworker Tim have been called to one of the isolated islands owned by the Sinclairs as one of the family members, Jasper, has gone missing. There's a sizable amount of blood found in his bed but what happened and where is he? With a house full of family and guests you would think someone would know the answer but Shana is finding it difficult to get to the bottom of things. She better figure it out soon as with bad weather in store, she and everyone else on the island are stranded and who knows if a killer is in their midst.The very basics of the story such as a wealthy group of people get together in an isolated area and there's bad weather and something horrible happens is really nothing groundbreaking. It's a classic premise used by many mystery writers over the years. And surprisingly it still manages to hook me and reel me in as was the case here. Everyone was a suspect and I truly didn't have a good theory as to what happened so my interest level was high throughout the story. I like how Shana had an interesting backstory but I didn't care for any of the storyline involving her fiance. I thought it was unnecessary and by far the weakest part of the story. Overall this is a good whodunit mystery and I think the groundwork has been set for what should be a good series with a interesting female lead character.Thank you to Berkley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!
    more
  • Book of Secrets°ღ
    January 1, 1970
    DEATH IN THE FAMILY is a Christie-inspired mystery set on a remote private island in Upstate New York. Two local detectives are called to investigate a missing persons case at the home of a wealthy family. They arrive to find a bed covered in bloody sheets and eight potential suspects — some more cooperative than others. As a terrible storm begins to rage, the detectives find themselves trapped on this small island, possibly with a killer on the loose.The mystery was intriguing and solid, and I DEATH IN THE FAMILY is a Christie-inspired mystery set on a remote private island in Upstate New York. Two local detectives are called to investigate a missing persons case at the home of a wealthy family. They arrive to find a bed covered in bloody sheets and eight potential suspects — some more cooperative than others. As a terrible storm begins to rage, the detectives find themselves trapped on this small island, possibly with a killer on the loose.The mystery was intriguing and solid, and I was kept wondering who among the eight may have played a part in the disappearance and why. I loved the stormy setting and the unsettling feeling that the characters were cut-off from the rest of the world. I liked that the lead investigator was a strong yet flawed female character, however the numerous references and flashbacks to her troubled past interrupted the story's flow (though it seems to be setting up a series arc). Overall, this was an enjoyable, slow-burn, classic mystery.Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Crumb
    January 1, 1970
    Love, Love, LOVED. Review to Come.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Netgalley for letting me take a gander at this...Third times the charm!First I wrote this insanely long rant about this book initially, posted it for all of five minutes, took it down. Then I wrote a new, shorter "sorry I'm being mean" version. Today I'm back AGAIN to try to succinctly (ha ha ha ha ha) get down my issues.I realized that it can all more or less be summed up in the first sentence of the prologue. Just to give you a touch of context this is an Agathe Christieesque Many thanks to Netgalley for letting me take a gander at this...Third times the charm!First I wrote this insanely long rant about this book initially, posted it for all of five minutes, took it down. Then I wrote a new, shorter "sorry I'm being mean" version. Today I'm back AGAIN to try to succinctly (ha ha ha ha ha) get down my issues.I realized that it can all more or less be summed up in the first sentence of the prologue. Just to give you a touch of context this is an Agathe Christieesque murder mystery involving rich people murdering each other on a rich people island."It was late September, the kind of morning that turns orange when you close your eyes, weather so sweet everyone on the sidewalk gulps fresh air like kids with soda."What in the name of god is "the kind of morning that turns orange when you close your eyes?" What even is that!? Is it like when you close your eyes against the sun and see red? And if so how is a morning like that!?! That sounds dangerous and weird!? Is it the rapture? Is the sun going supernova!? What is happening!?! I read that phrase to like five different people and not one of them could tell me what in the hell that metaphor/simile/imagery is supposed to be conveying.Then before you've got any kind of grip on whatever is happening with the orange morning you have to deal with "weather so sweet everyone on the sidewalk gulps fresh air like kids with soda" which to me suggests a crowd of people struggling for breath like fish in the bottom of a boat not "pleasant summer day." I have never in all my born days seen anyone "gulp fresh air" unless you count near drowning victims struggling out of the ocean which I do not.That first sentence and my reaction to it ENTIRELY sums up my feelings about this book.
    more
  • Jeanie
    January 1, 1970
    What a fabulous first novel and start to a new series! Shana is my kind of investigator, one who has had some of the worst life could offer and is still willing to go forward. The mystery kept me guessing to the end, with plot twists and multiple possible suspects on an island in upstate New York. It is incredibly well written with just the right amount of details and background on the characters, including the senior investigator, revealed little by little.Shana had been a homicide investigator What a fabulous first novel and start to a new series! Shana is my kind of investigator, one who has had some of the worst life could offer and is still willing to go forward. The mystery kept me guessing to the end, with plot twists and multiple possible suspects on an island in upstate New York. It is incredibly well written with just the right amount of details and background on the characters, including the senior investigator, revealed little by little.Shana had been a homicide investigator in New York City until she was abducted and held for eight days by the serial killer she was seeking. There is no way of knowing why he finally abandoned her, allowing her to live and be found. Her psychiatrist, Carson, became her fiance, and they moved to the Thousand Islands of upstate NY. He had her almost convinced she could never work again, and she doubted everything about herself. When she applied for and got the job on the small police force in Alexandria Bay, where there are no murders or similar major cases, he was very upset. The sheriff who hired her knows about her background, but the investigator/ partner she will supervise does not know.In the midst of a nor'easter, they are called to Tern Island where it is believed Jasper, the youngest grandchild of the elderly owner of the island has her family gathered one more time before closing the mansion for the winter. The storm is already almost too severe for them to be out, and reinforcements are due in a short time. The young man and his girlfriend were visiting, along with his older brother and his boyfriend, and his older sister, her husband, and her stepdaughter. Each of the siblings and his brother's boyfriend work at the family business started by their grandfather many years ago. Tim, Shana's partner, is the other investigator. She may be the senior investigator, but he has been teaching her about the area and the families in this area where most folks don't lock their doors.Tim thinks this is a simple missing person case. Abby, Jasper's girlfriend, however, awoke to blood-soaked sheets on Jasper's side of the bed, and looking around the island and home does not reveal any clues to his whereabouts. From the amount of blood on the bed, Abby is certain Jasper is either seriously injured or dead - but how could Abby have slept through whatever occurred?The family members are each unique, the older brother and sister acting as snobby, entitled children rather than middle-aged adults. They insinuate Abby and he had a disagreement and he must have left to get away, or he was playing a trick on them. The older brother's boyfriend is seen having relations with the older sister. Said boyfriend, and Jasper's grandmother, are the only ones who have anything good to say about Abby. The only other person on the island is the man who has worked for Camilla, Jasper's grandmother, for more than 20 years, caring for whatever she needs as well as the island.Secrets about in this family. One thing Shana learns is that the family business is near bankruptcy, with Jasper being the only one of the three siblings who has any of his portion of their inheritance from their parents left. He is also the favorite of Camilla.Crime scene techs cannot come out to the island, as the storm is considerably worse and the boat bringing out additional help was in an accident. The older siblings do not want Shana and Tim there asking questions. Some of the stories gained through questioning don't match up. The older brother has a foul temper. As stress ratchets up, tempers flare, Shana and Tim discover their boat is no longer on the island nor is the smaller craft the caretaker uses, and another body is found. Shana tries her best to get beyond the flashbacks she is having as they are causing her to have over-the-top reactions. Whether Shana can keep it together long enough to survive on the island with Tim and at least one potential murderer is anyone's guess, as is when the murderer might act again.This stunning, intense thriller kept my attention! The first few pages didn't immediately grab me, but I was drawn in for good within a chapter or two. Shana is my favorite character, especially when she has the opportunity to either give up or draw deeply within to get through the case and the storm. Plot twists and turns revealed motives and how almost everybody except the elderly Camilla have at least one or two. The ending is explosive, and while I had figured out part of the situation, there was so much I was missing! My only discomfort at all with the novel is some of the language used and one brief sexual scene. I highly recommend Death in the Family to anyone who enjoys well-crafted mysteries reminiscent of the "good old days" of classic thrillers, a brilliant, seasoned, investigator, and a whodunit that can keep one up all night.From a thankful heart: I had a complimentary copy of this novel and this is my honest review.
    more
  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Marla WarrenThe first description I read for Death in the Family included the concept that it would read like Olivia Benson (from Law and Order SVU) in an Agatha Christie novel. It sounded too good to be true, but it turned out to be a spot-on perfect description for this fun, exciting, twisty thriller!We are introduced to Investigator Shana Merchant, who is suffering from PTSD after her interactions with a serial killer when she was a detective Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Marla WarrenThe first description I read for Death in the Family included the concept that it would read like Olivia Benson (from Law and Order SVU) in an Agatha Christie novel. It sounded too good to be true, but it turned out to be a spot-on perfect description for this fun, exciting, twisty thriller!We are introduced to Investigator Shana Merchant, who is suffering from PTSD after her interactions with a serial killer when she was a detective with the NYPD. About a year has passed since then, and she now lives and works in upstate New York where she expects to see nothing more serious than a burglary.But on a small, privately owned island in Shana’s jurisdiction, a wealthy young man named Jasper Sinclair has disappeared from his bed overnight, leaving a large pool of blood. While this has been called in as a murder, the family can’t even come to an agreement on that, much less on anything else. Shana and her investigative partner Tim Wellington, a local who knows a little bit about everybody around town, head to the island to inspect the scene, but unfortunately, a storm is moving in as well.The ultimate ‘locked-room” mystery, as this private island houses only the Sinclair estate, and the eight people in front of them are the only ones who have been on island since the previous night. That is not a lot of suspects, but Shana and Tim have to wade through a swamp of lies – and family secrets – before they can even begin to untangle the mystery of what has happened to Jasper Sinclair. Some of the family members believe he is dead, some believe he is wounded and out in the storm waiting for rescue, and still others think he has just pulled a prank for attention.At least the lines of communication are still open to the outside world, and Shana is able to reach out for help. But soon, the reader starts to wonder if that “help” is actually helping at all. Dealing with a family who vary from grief-stricken to brutish, the outside pressures of her family and supervisor, the unrelenting storm outside, and the PTSD issues that she hoped were in her past, Shana has a full plate and Wegert does an excellent job of weaving this tale through all different twists and turns.Without going into any spoilers, I’ll say that there is one trope that I absolutely despise, and at one point during the book I was afraid we were headed in exactly that direction. But we weren’t and if you hate this trope too, you’ll know it when you see it and remember these words and you will then breathe the same sigh of relief that I did.I am absolutely thrilled that Wegert considers this a first in a new series, and I love that by the end of the book we still don’t know 100% of Shana Merchant’s backstory. Taking the time to slowly develop this character is a fantastic choice. I can’t wait for the opportunity to watch Shana Merchant work again!Is there a way to physically force an author to write faster? Asking for a friend…
    more
  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    January 1, 1970
    Book number one of the Shana Merchant series, This is Wegert's debut novel. Let's say this avid reader can't wait for book number two in this series.This is more a mystery than a thriller. I loved the setting the characters. It was a fun whodunit read.If you loved Agatha Christie you are going to have a new author to fill that void.I gave this book 4 stars and can't wait for the next book. I recommend this new author. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable Book number one of the Shana Merchant series, This is Wegert's debut novel. Let's say this avid reader can't wait for book number two in this series.This is more a mystery than a thriller. I loved the setting the characters. It was a fun whodunit read.If you loved Agatha Christie you are going to have a new author to fill that void.I gave this book 4 stars and can't wait for the next book. I recommend this new author. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
    more
  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    Tessa Wegert’s brilliant debut opens with an Agatha Christie-style premise - an isolated property, a missing man, a blood soaked bed and room, and a defined group of people on the private island. The police are called out to the island just as a terrible storm is brewing trapping the investigators in the house with a cast of unlikeable characters. As they attempt to determine what happened to the missing individual, people start dying. Terrifically atmospheric, Death in the Family contains the Tessa Wegert’s brilliant debut opens with an Agatha Christie-style premise - an isolated property, a missing man, a blood soaked bed and room, and a defined group of people on the private island. The police are called out to the island just as a terrible storm is brewing trapping the investigators in the house with a cast of unlikeable characters. As they attempt to determine what happened to the missing individual, people start dying. Terrifically atmospheric, Death in the Family contains the perfect balance of a solid and creative mystery and intriguing character development. This is the start of a promising new series with a cliffhanger ending that will have readers clamoring for the next installment.For more reviews, check out my Instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfro....
    more
  • Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    Shana Merchant was abducted by a serial killer while working on a murder case in New York City. After her escape, she decides to continue her work as a detective but relocates with her fiance to upstate New York. She is hoping the crime work there proves to be less stressful and further her recovery from the trauma. Shana and her partner, Tim, receive a call from the wealthy Sinclair family about the disappearance of Jasper Sinclair. Because of an impending storm, they rush to the family estate Shana Merchant was abducted by a serial killer while working on a murder case in New York City. After her escape, she decides to continue her work as a detective but relocates with her fiance to upstate New York. She is hoping the crime work there proves to be less stressful and further her recovery from the trauma. Shana and her partner, Tim, receive a call from the wealthy Sinclair family about the disappearance of Jasper Sinclair. Because of an impending storm, they rush to the family estate to question the family and staff. Upon arrival, they find a considerable amount of blood in Jasper’s bed. Shana now believes this to be a murder and must figure out who is responsible.Death In The Family is a debut novel by Tessa Weigert. It is filled with interesting characters, suspense, mystery, and family dysfunction. I loved how the author weaved the protagonist's prior experiences into the current mystery. I am excited that another book in the series is slated for next year.
    more
  • Glen
    January 1, 1970
    I won this novel in a goodreads drawing.There's a murder on a rich man's island, and a female detective, still recovering from being held captive by a serial killer, is in charge of securing the crime scene and hopefully finding the killer. There's a storm and back-up is not coming.Didn't really do a lot for me. YMMV.
    more
  • Wendy Walker
    January 1, 1970
    Really intriguing and atmospheric mystery set in a place I actually visited when I was a young girl. The Thousand Islands are wild and I could picture every scene unfolding. Lots of twists and turns and a very captivating protagonist we will surely be seeing a lot of in future books within this series. A fantastic start!
    more
  • Val
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for this fast-paced, twisty-turny ARC!! Picture being stranded on a tiny island that has just one residence, during a nor'easter, where every single person is a likely suspect in a murder, and without any Police back-up or CSIs. Whew! That is the situation Shana and her partner, Tim, find themselves in. With the first interview Shana conducted of the Sinclair family, I found myself saying to myself: "Aha! THAT is the murderer!" But then she kept interviewing the Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for this fast-paced, twisty-turny ARC!! Picture being stranded on a tiny island that has just one residence, during a nor'easter, where every single person is a likely suspect in a murder, and without any Police back-up or CSIs. Whew! That is the situation Shana and her partner, Tim, find themselves in. With the first interview Shana conducted of the Sinclair family, I found myself saying to myself: "Aha! THAT is the murderer!" But then she kept interviewing the family (plus the caretaker and a couple of love interests), I found myself continuing to say aha!! (Haha) All in all, I felt Death in the Family was a solid debut! However, I found the beginning of the book to be a tad confusing, and I dislike cliffhangers, hence the four stars instead of five. Having said that, however, I am definitely planning on reading the next book. I hope Ms. Wegert writes quickly!!
    more
  • Toya
    January 1, 1970
    Calling all fans of Agatha Christie and Clue, Death in the Family is a classic murder mystery/whodunit wrought with a chilling atmosphere, suspense, secrets, and betrayal. While it doesn’t have the flashiness of psychological thrillers and the hanging off the edge of your seat while your heart beats uncontrollably in your chest, don’t let that deter you from the incredible writing that Wegert delivers.Our female protagonist, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant, is broken. 13 months prior, she Calling all fans of Agatha Christie and Clue, Death in the Family is a classic murder mystery/whodunit wrought with a chilling atmosphere, suspense, secrets, and betrayal. While it doesn’t have the flashiness of psychological thrillers and the hanging off the edge of your seat while your heart beats uncontrollably in your chest, don’t let that deter you from the incredible writing that Wegert delivers.Our female protagonist, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant, is broken. 13 months prior, she was abducted by a serial killer, which left her with trust issues and PTSD. Shana and her fiance Carson relocated to Thousand Islands in upstate NY to escape the horrors of her past since nothing really happens in this sleepy town.Shana and her partner Tim are called to the Sinclair mansion, which is located on it’s own private island, after Jasper Sinclair has gone missing. His girlfriend Abbey woke up to pool of Jasper’s blood, but Jasper’s body is nowhere to be found. With the nor’easter storm in full force, Shana and Tim are cut off from all resources including CSI. It’s up to the two of them to solve this murder before the murderer can get away or worse, attack again.While this murder mystery is considered a slow-burn by thriller standards, I found the plot to be propulsive and compelling. As Shana and Tim conducted the interviews, there were so many twists and turns along the way, which included a few red herrings. I personally didn’t see the final reveal coming, which I loved.I loved the development of Shana’s character throughout the entire story. We watch her progress from a timid, shell of her previous self to someone who is determined and self-assured. The flashbacks to Shana’s abduction were also fascinating as they provide deeper insight as to what she endured. There are still some unanswered questions, so I can’t wait to see how she continues to develop in the future.Overall, Death in the Family was a fantastic start to the Shana Merchant series, and I am excited to see what else is in store for her as well as her partner Tim.Thank you to Berkley for my gifted review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Minx
    January 1, 1970
    The mystery in Death in the Family was classic! A group of individuals, mostly related, are on an island where a grisly murder seems to have taken place. Mysteriously, there is no body but plenty of evidence. With a storm bearing down, the unfortunate group plus the two police officers who arrived at the scene become trapped on the island. As the storm rages the fear rises as it becomes clear that there is a killer lurking among them. Talk about a tension filled story where everyone was a The mystery in Death in the Family was classic! A group of individuals, mostly related, are on an island where a grisly murder seems to have taken place. Mysteriously, there is no body but plenty of evidence. With a storm bearing down, the unfortunate group plus the two police officers who arrived at the scene become trapped on the island. As the storm rages the fear rises as it becomes clear that there is a killer lurking among them. Talk about a tension filled story where everyone was a suspect! Once you started peeling back the layers, all the characters on the island seemed to have a motive for murder and I was kept guessing at who was responsible for quite some time.Shana Merchant, a detective who was recently back on the job after surviving a horrific ordeal, had relocated to the Thousand Islands area with her fiancé and had been looking forward to nothing more exciting than issuing a few traffic tickets. When she and her partner, Tim, get a call about a missing person, the last thing she was expecting was a scene that screams murder except that there was no body. Shana was not in a position to truly handle what was taking place around her but she did hold her cool for the most part. There were a few events that took place that had me considering if she was going to keep everything together but she did show some surprising inner strength by the end.Her backstory had almost everything to do with her responses when she was placed in a pressure cooker situation. I say ‘almost’ because there was a fiancé in the picture and geez was that a weak link. I didn’t “get” their relationship, it certainly never felt authentic and I think he could have been presented differently and had a greater impact. Also, with the backstory comes a story thread that was introduced but left open at the end of this book. Yeah, it could have still remained impactful even with closing that thread. I wish that what Shana endured would have been completely explained, it would have been more satisfying than being left to wonder. Luckily, this is a series starter so the answers are surely to come over the course of the series. Overall though, Death in the Family was a riveting story that ensnared my interest from beginning to end!This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Berkley Prime Crime. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
    more
  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so in my wheelhouse that my opinion here should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. There are some core problems here (pacing is a bit off, the writing tone can be uneven, and there is one plot point that just plain doesn't make any sense), but I basically don't care about any of them, because this is just what I want from a contemporary isolated closed circle mystery-- can't escape big creepy house because of the weather. Body count rises. Convoluted relationships that come This book was so in my wheelhouse that my opinion here should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. There are some core problems here (pacing is a bit off, the writing tone can be uneven, and there is one plot point that just plain doesn't make any sense), but I basically don't care about any of them, because this is just what I want from a contemporary isolated closed circle mystery-- can't escape big creepy house because of the weather. Body count rises. Convoluted relationships that come more into focus as the mystery unfurls. On a plot level, this just completely delivered for me, so that made up for any deficiencies in characterization or writing. Definitely recommend as a bingeable mystery!
    more
  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    A proven plot with the perfectly imperfect characters and that special dark twist makes DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Tessa Wegert feel like Holmes and Watson should be showing up any moment. A man has gone missing on a private island owned by a wealthy family with far too many skeletons in their closets already. Enter the raging storm that leaves two detectives trapped amidst a bed-soaked bed, a family whose greatest attribute is their money, their greed, their ability to lie and their animosity A proven plot with the perfectly imperfect characters and that special dark twist makes DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Tessa Wegert feel like Holmes and Watson should be showing up any moment. A man has gone missing on a private island owned by a wealthy family with far too many skeletons in their closets already. Enter the raging storm that leaves two detectives trapped amidst a bed-soaked bed, a family whose greatest attribute is their money, their greed, their ability to lie and their animosity toward one another. Did I mention that one of the detectives seems rather off herself, not actually fit for duty?I found myself caught up in the grisly mystery and feeling like I disliked every single character, save one. So, where is the missing man? Why is there so much blood? Is there a murderer in their midst? Was money the motive or has there been a terrible mistake, the possible victim just on a walkabout to find a little peace? And, good grief, who said the detective was fit for duty anywhere?Lots of nasty characters, even more dark secrets and quite possibly proof that money is the root of all evil. A semi-solid, not quite original mystery with a couple of surprises along the way.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley. This is my honest and voluntary review.Series: Shana Merchant - Book 1Publisher: Berkley (February 18, 2020)Publication Date: February 18, 2020Genre: Murder MysteryPrint Length: 320 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
    more
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    Ah... the whodunit in an isolated place ala Clue style (kudos to the Clue nod within). This was a fun read. Quick paced, everyone is a suspect. A family where everyone is screwed up in some way... god they were some interesting characters! And let's not forget our main character - Shana Merchant. Dannnggggg. I loved getting a little bit of her background without it getting too detailed and convoluted. Tim as her partner was a good one to have as I think they cliqued well together.Ok, so here's Ah... the whodunit in an isolated place ala Clue style (kudos to the Clue nod within). This was a fun read. Quick paced, everyone is a suspect. A family where everyone is screwed up in some way... god they were some interesting characters! And let's not forget our main character - Shana Merchant. Dannnggggg. I loved getting a little bit of her background without it getting too detailed and convoluted. Tim as her partner was a good one to have as I think they cliqued well together.Ok, so here's the thing. I could've done without the whole Carlton part. That's just me. Meh. Bye. And the process of elimination by basically calling everyone out got to be a bit tedious. When you end up going "well it was obvious...." … um, was it? Was it really? So while I devoured the majority of the read, towards the end I just wanted to know who it was already!Will I continue this series. Yeah, I think I definitely will. I'm curious where we will go now. Will we learn a bit more about what exactly happened to Shana in the past? Will another crazy family need their help or underestimate them? I'm definitely curious and I like that Shana has a bit of a wtf streak happening. See ya for #2.3.5 stars
    more
  • Laura Peden
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded I did enjoy this Agatha Christie-like mystery. It had so much potential, with the setting on an island & the locked room mystery. I felt like the author missed an opportunity to use the nor’easter to ratchet up some tension here; the storm is hardly used in the plot. I also thought it would be more atmospheric than it was. I’m not mad at it & I’ll continue on with the series but I am glad I got it from the library 3.5 rounded 👆🏼 I did enjoy this Agatha Christie-like mystery. It had so much potential, with the setting on an island & the locked room mystery. I felt like the author missed an opportunity to use the nor’easter to ratchet up some tension here; the storm is hardly used in the plot. I also thought it would be more atmospheric than it was. I’m not mad at it & I’ll continue on with the series but I am glad I got it from the library 🤭
    more
  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    Shana Merchant fascinates me. After reading this first book in the series, I am definitely down with reading more. The stakes are high. Two small-town law enforcement professionals take a boat to an island and are stranded there with the body count rising. On top of that, out heroine has a skeleton in her closet. How does her past abduction impact her competence in the present and her ability to move forward to the future. There are so many unknowns and her predicament becomes worse as the hours Shana Merchant fascinates me. After reading this first book in the series, I am definitely down with reading more. The stakes are high. Two small-town law enforcement professionals take a boat to an island and are stranded there with the body count rising. On top of that, out heroine has a skeleton in her closet. How does her past abduction impact her competence in the present and her ability to move forward to the future. There are so many unknowns and her predicament becomes worse as the hours tick by. She finds herself not only doubting the people on the island, but also her partner in the investigation. Lots of twists and turns happening here and many secrets to uncover. And Blake Bram is still out there. . . I loved it! Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Lisa Gardner, and Ruth Ware.Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    3 STARS.Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing for the gifted ARC of A DEATH IN THE FAMILY! I have been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while now because I am always on the lookout for more fantastic police procedurals. Unfortunately this one didn’t quite work out for me, but I definitely still enjoyed certain aspects of it One thing I really liked about this book was that it featured a strong female lead I really enjoyed Shana’s character and I felt like I understood her and 3 STARS.⁣Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing for the gifted ARC of A DEATH IN THE FAMILY! I have been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while now because I am always on the lookout for more fantastic police procedurals. Unfortunately this one didn’t quite work out for me, but I definitely still enjoyed certain aspects of it 🙌🏼⁣⁣One thing I really liked about this book was that it featured a strong female lead 🕵🏼‍♀️ I really enjoyed Shana’s character and I felt like I understood her and was rooting for her throughout the story. Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was that I didn’t find the ending to be predictable. There are quite a few characters in this book, which made it that much harder to piece together the mystery 👌🏼⁣⁣The main issue that I had with this book was that I never fully connected to the story. I went in to this book thinking it would be a fast-paced police procedural, but it was definitely more of a slow burn. I think if I would have known it was slower paced I probably would have enjoyed it a little more, so I’d say it’s definitely better to go in to this book knowing that! Also, definitely keep in mind that this book is not very twisty and it’s more of a classic style mystery 🔎⁣⁣TRIGGERS: Suicide⁣⁣Overall, I would recommend this one to you guys if you love slow-burning mystery novels! I personally couldn’t connect to this one, but I still think a lot of people would love it 🤓 A DEATH IN THE FAMILY is out February 18th so make sure to keep an eye out!⁣⁣Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)⁣
    more
  • Deborah
    January 1, 1970
    I won an uncorrected proof of DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Tessa Wegert. Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the review copy! I had originally picked a book off my shelf to fulfill my reading challenge prompt to read a mystery, but it wound up being more thriller than mystery. Thankfully this book was the perfect fit for the mystery prompt.In DEATH IN THE FAMILY we are following detective Shana Merchant. While working for the NYPD she was abducted by a serial killer, something that has left her I won an uncorrected proof of DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Tessa Wegert. Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the review copy! I had originally picked a book off my shelf to fulfill my reading challenge prompt to read a mystery, but it wound up being more thriller than mystery. Thankfully this book was the perfect fit for the mystery prompt.In DEATH IN THE FAMILY we are following detective Shana Merchant. While working for the NYPD she was abducted by a serial killer, something that has left her understandably reeling. Thirteen months later Shana is now living in upstate New York where crime is practically unknown. Even so, as the book really kicks off she is summoned to a supposed crime scene. On a private island, a young woman has awoken to a bed full of blood and a missing boyfriend. Shana and her partner Tim must travel out to the island to investigate.On the island we find a prominent, wealthy family who are full of secrets and misdeeds to uncover. A storm has descended outside cutting off additional help and Shana and Tim are left to question all of the missing man’s family and friends to confirm what has happened. As the story progresses we get clues into the man’s disappearance and also clues as to what exactly happened with Shana during her traumatizing abduction.I read this book in the middle of a massive wind storm in Southern California, so it was perfect timing. The weather outside really matched the ambiance of the novel and helped increase my enjoyment even more. I really enjoyed Shana as a character. She makes some bad moves and is far from perfect, but she has a great strength as well.I thought that the mystery was well laid out here. The author progresses things well, dropping in clues and red herrings. This is a family that is full of drama and unlikable characters and will leave you thinking that many of them could have been the culprit. The mystery central to the story comes to a satisfying ending, while the book does leave some unanswered questions about Shana’s story that will no doubt continue on in the next book as this is listed as the first book in the Shana Merchant series. I will absolutely be back to pick up the next book!DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Tessa Wegert will be out on February 18, 2020!
    more
  • Doreen
    January 1, 1970
    02/09/2020 4.5 stars. Really terrific. Full review tk at CriminalElement.com.
Write a review