Dead-End Detective: 03/15/23
Dead-End Detective by Amanda Flower and Laura Faye Smith (Narrator) (2020) is the start of the Piper and Porter mystery series. Set in New York in a town along Seneca Lake, it begins with Darby Piper's business partner, Samatha Porter, being killed in a hit and run automobile accident.
Samantha and Darby had been co-owners of the Two Girls Detective Agency. Darby believed she would inherit the business on Samantha's death but learned instead that Samantha's portion (the 60% share) went instead to her nephew, Tate. She hasn't seen him in a years and is shocked when he suddenly shows up to help her solve Samantha's murder. There's just one big problem. Someone is clearly trying to frame Darby!
Initially this one had me guessing. The crime seemed so out of the blue, beyond the initial tension between the two women. Samantha had been planning to close the company to work for a local resort as their head of security. It's the motive that makes Darby's frame up so convincing.
Ultimately though, despite the complicated business shenanigans at the resort and a cold case, there just weren't enough people in this mystery to keep me confused. At about the mid point there was only one person who was the obvious person. Their motivation was sketchy at best but certainly one I've seen in plenty of other mysteries.
The second book is Frozen Detective (2022)