Comfort Zone 



Janet Zwingel has a lot going on right now. Between being busy with her work as an HVAC tech, her daughter getting married, and an ex-husband who causes drama any time he is present, a new romantic entanglement is the last thing on her mind. Rich Taylor, on the other hand, has plenty of time but is definitely more interested in his work as a Police Detective than dipping his toe back into the dating pool, having lost his wife two years ago. When a series of events—including broken air-conditioning, connections from the past, and interfering family members—push them together, it seems that maybe the time has come for them to finally move forward. That is until the discovery of a dead body threatens to ruin everything before it has even begun!

The idea of the Janet character from the synopsis presents a strong woman, with an unusual career, and someone one can root for. Although the second chance meeting with Rich sets the stage for an interesting story, the reality is that even introducing a dead body and a murder to solve did nothing to help get this story moving. The pacing is slow, some of the investigative techniques are so unbelievable that the reader is left shaking their head in annoyance rather than disbelief, and by the end the big reveal has lost any luster it could have had. That being said, some of the secondary characters are well-realized and when they are around, the reader gets a glimpse into what the author could be capable of.

Melanie Newton