Thursday, January 21, 2021

Book Review: Widow's Island Novellas 5 & 6 by Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot

Below the Bones

Kendra Elliot
Series: Widow's Island Novella (Book 5)
Publication: Montlake (October 27, 2020)

Description: A former FBI special agent must come out of retirement to solve a murder in the fifth novella in the Widow’s Island series from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kendra Elliot.

Former FBI special agent Cate Wilde is a new bakery and bookstore owner—and retirement is now complete with a doctor boyfriend. Although she struggles with PTSD, the sweet life she’s living is a far cry from the gruesome work she left behind six months ago.

But when skeletal remains turn up on Widow’s Island—and the MO of the killer is too familiar to Cate—the dream comes to an abrupt end. What if the case she solved eight years ago isn’t as closed as she thought? Her hometown needs her, and despite her mental health and her boyfriend’s protests, she has no choice but to return to her dangerous past life.

Soon Cate is in a desperate race to stop a cold-blooded murderer from killing again, once and for all…only this time, she’ll have so much more to lose.

My Thoughts: This mystery, with ties back to an earlier case, lets Cate Wilde finally find closure and realize that her career as an FBI agent was yesterday's dream job. Now, she's happy as a bookstore and bakery owner on Widow's Island. She does have a few pangs when some bodies are discovered that bring back on earlier case. 

Her FBI boss isn't sure she should quit and tries to pull her back in. So does a former boyfriend who's also an FBI agent. But Cate is happy with her doctor boyfriend and happy not to be in tense situations like she found herself in as an agent.

She does use her investigative skills to figure out who is copying the murders. The first murderer was found and convicted and is now in prison. Somehow, he's still fixated on Cate and seems to know too much about her current life. 

The story packed a lot of activities into its short length. I liked that Cate and Henry affirmed their relationship and that Cate found closure. 

Favorite Quote:
She'd left the FBI last winter and moved back to the island, her childhood home. Now she owned a bakery and a bookstore.

A much quieter, less stressful life.

But sometimes a little dull.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

A Broken Bone

Melinda Leigh
Series: Widow's Island Novella (Book 6)
Publication: Montlake (November 3, 2020)

Description: The mysterious death of a local teen leads to a hunt for a killer in the sixth Widow’s Island novella by #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh.

On Widow’s Island, the secrets are dark…and everybody has one. So when Deputy Tessa Black responds to a call about an explosion in a quiet neighborhood, she gets more than she bargained for: the body of a teen who went missing weeks ago.

Until recently, Gavin was living in a reputable foster home. But now that he is found dead—Tessa can’t help but wonder if sinister forces are at play. Who would want to hurt him, and why?

With the help of her partner, Park Ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa tries desperately to decipher what happened to Gavin before another life is cut short. Someone on Widow’s Island knows the explosive truth. Will Tessa find the answers she needs before someone else turns up dead?

My Thoughts: Tessa Black responds to a suspected explosion and finds a dead body covered in debris. She also finds that someone has been squatting in the abandoned and derelict house. She soon learns that the body belongs to a teen named Gavin who was in foster care on the island. It had been assumed that he had run away since he had done so previously.

Now Tessa and her boyfriend Forest Ranger Logan Wilde become involved in the investigation to find out who murdered Gavin. Tessa is already under a lot of pressure since she gave up her job as a police detective in Seattle to come home and care for her mother who has dementia. She also has a minor half-sister who needs her care. She feels guilty that she stopped looking for Gavin too soon.

Their investigation leads to the foster home where Gavin was living where they encounter allegations of abuse by the foster father which leads to removing the other three boys from the home. But something isn't sitting right with Tessa about the allegations and the truth is found once she and Logan manage to catch up with the squatter.

I liked the action in the story and liked the way Tessa's relationship with Logan is growing.

Favorite Quote:
"What--or who--was our squatter afraid of?" Tessa asked.

"There aren't any dangerous animals on the island. Humans are the most dangerous species here."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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