I almost don't want to call this a cozy; the crimes committed are pretty vividly written, and although not graphic in a visceral sense, I found it emotionally so.
Mattie is feeling a little overwhelmed with wedding planning and child rearing when her best friend, co-worker and mentor has a severe medical crisis and another co-worker is one of three murder victims in a 24-hour span.
Gone are the days of the early-series Mattie, the one that fumbled about in a sometimes painfully slapstick manner; she's a more confident, pulled together Mattie, even when she's struggling to keep it all together. She's a great heroine: smart, independent, rational, and humorous. Her romantic interest is an alpha male who does not try to control her in the slightest, but instead works with her. Together they're a great pair to cheer on and the cast of supporting characters are all human and likeable.
The murder plotting was excellent and there are ties to cold cases and old history; my only complaint is that this is obviously part of a bigger over-arcing plot and I can't say I care much for those in the context of an on-going series. A planned trilogy is one thing, but open-ended series have a tendency to get cancelled before the author can resolve that long-game plot, leaving their readers hanging. I'm not saying that's going to happen here, but it's happened often enough to sour me on the concept.
I'm also annoyed that this series started in hardcover, switched to paperback and is now back to hardcover, but that's not the author's fault; I'm just grumping about it because it plays havoc on my shelves.
Looking forward to what happens next with Mattie and Steve.
Total pages: 344