Author Ellen Larson / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 376 Pages
This is the second novel featuring reporter Natalie Joday. There are a few references to what came before in the first novel involving her brother. It is a standalone novel and can be enjoyed without having read the first. Natalie isn’t hired on at the Star yet. We spend a little time getting to know the environment there. I admit I set the book down early on. Occasionally a book doesn’t hook me, or I’m not in the right mood to read. I don’t know which the case was this time. I had just gotten to the where the advice columnist, Louise had just asked for help from Natalie. Seems someone signing letters ‘Enigma’ was writing cryptic puzzles. Louise was at a loss as what to do with them. They seemed more serious than she felt capable of handling.
A few days later I returned to the book and the action seemed to pick up or else I was in a better mood. The characters were well drawn. I have to say that I found the folks outside the newspaper to be more interesting than the ones working alongside Natalie. The supporting cast also include her brother and best friend Rebecca, who happens to be a psychologist.
One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Natalie goes to interview a woman who happens to be trying to get a lawn mower working. She’s a widow and there was something poignant about taking over a task that was once handled by a loved one. A tenuous bond between Natalie and Angela Marconi begins in this scene. I think Angela was the character I most enjoyed.
I found the action and puzzle of the novel to build well. The ending was satisfying for the mystery reader. I’m glad I circled back around to read this book to the finish.