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Three Stars

never buriedNever Buried is the first in the Leigh Koslow Mysteries series. Leigh is a sporadically employed advertising writer and amateur sleuth. At the start of the book, she is staying with her pregnant sister Cara, in Cara’s fancy historic house in Pittsburgh while Cara’s husband is out of the country on business. The husband is also Leigh’s ex.

The fun begins when a dead body is found in a hammock outside the house. Strangely, it’s not a fresh corpse; it’s been dead for years, and belonged to a past resident of the house. Of course, Leigh is intrigued and nosy. She also has a best friend on the police force, who of course tells her to keep her amateur nose out of it. And as we know, telling an amateur sleuth to “let the pros handle it” is like waving a red flag in front of . . . well, you know.

The story twists and turns to a semi-satisfying ending. It was only partly satisfying because so many loose ends are never tied up. We never find out where and how the corpse was stored for all these years and the whole resolution is to be honest, pretty shaky and implausible. This is why I don’t write mysteries. It’s hard to make it all work out in a reasonable way.

Leigh is supposed to be a cute and funny girl-next-door-type, but I actually found her mostly annoying, when she wasn’t boring. Both she and her sister are prone to irrational decisions, and you start to feel sympathy for the straight-laced husband who has to deal with both of them. Not to mention, his sister-in-law is also his ex. Ew.

The writing was pretty good, but I felt pretty meh about the plot and characters. Plus, modern-day mysteries are just not my thing. Unless they involve Sasha McCandless. I’ll have some more of her, thanks!