Review by Matt Peachy -

When Julia and Carly find themselves in the middle of another investigation while on vacation, no one can truly know what will come of it!

An unidentified man clutching a scrap of paper…

A nuclear engineering professor flirting with danger in more ways than one…

Email messages that appear to be coming from a program that was junked in the 60s…

Julia Fairchild and her sister Carly stumble onto a near-dead John Doe while enjoying a week in Seattle. Despite Julia’s resolve to avoid playing detective while on vacation, she is drawn into a web of mysterious emails and modern-day subterfuge.

After she runs into an old friend from her college days, she becomes an unsuspecting pivotal player in an undercover investigation. Fueled by her innate curiosity and sense of integrity, she searches for the answers to her questions.

And learns more than she bargained for.

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and PJ Peterson for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Back with another Julia Fairchild novel, P.J. Peterson dazzles once more. A cozy mystery, perfect for a quick read, Peterson adds depth to her series with this addition that, as Julia Fairchild mentions throughout, ‘does not include a dead body’.  Quick chapters and a narrative that flows with ease, P.J. Peterson shows that her writing ought to be taken seriously, or at least enjoyed by many.

Dr. Julia Fairchild and her sister, Carly, are away in Seattle for a girls’ week. While everything appears to be going well, they notice a man entering a cub one night, who turns up unconscious in the water the following day, a scrap a paper lodged in his hand. It will take all in Julia’s power not to play amateur sleuth, though Carly knows this may be a lost cause.

The plot thickens even more when Julia’s old college beau turns up, a professor of nuclear engineering, who has ties to an old Navy communication project that was shelved in the 1960s. When messages begin emanating from one of the Navy’s old beacons, no one is quite sure what to make if it all. It’s made even more problematic when whispers of espionage could be on the horizon, as intel appears to be going to the Chinese.

While Julia and Carly want to enjoy their time in Seattle, they become enmeshed enmeshed in the investigation, only to be stymied with the lack of progress. It will take a great deal of sleuthing and some risk-taking to get to the bottom of this case, while keeping Carly from getting too upset at the lack of sightseeing that’s being done.

The race to the truth leaves many trails, including a few missing people and a kidnapping of a small child. Whatever has happened, it’s sure to keep everyone on their toes and asking what awaits them. Julia and Carly have surely ended up in the middle of a major mess, but this seems to be just what the doctor (Julia) ordered for their vacation. A great mystery that will keep series fans begging for more!

I discovered P.J. Peterson through my connection to a mutual friend and devoured some of her early mysteries in short order. Now, as each book is ready to be released, I receive an ARC to offer my own views and have nothing but positive things to say. Peterson writes with ease and develops a story that works, without the need for a great deal of minutiae. Quick, enticing, and great for a mystery reader on the go, P.J. Peterson is one to take note of for all who enjoy the genre.

While my mystery reading tends to take me on the deeper trolls through crime scenes and police experts analysis, I thoroughly enjoy these shorter and cozier stories as well. Peterson develops a strong narrative that is easy to digest without all the extra that distracts the reader from the central plot. Quick chapters push the story along and keep the reader wanting to know more. Characters who develop with ease add something t the story, while the protagonist (perhaps we can add Carly too, as she has been in repeated novels) continues to add depth to a story that has been in the works from the beginning. Plot twists throughout help keep things from being overly predictable and leave the reader feeling entertained as they power through the book. I can only hope there are more to come, as Dr. Julia Fairchild is fast becoming a character whose adventures I impatiently wait for as I read to pass the time.

Kudos, Madam Peterson, for a great piece that kept my attention until the final page.

REVIEWED BY

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention. While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.