Spine Damage (An Aimee Machado Mystery #4)

St. George

Life in Timbergate, California is fairly tranquil for hospital librarian Aimee Machado and her live-in boyfriend Nick. The couple shares an apartment over her grandparents’ farm with drug-dog-in-training, Ginger, helping with the care and feeding of the farm’s llamas. A young man from Portugal named Paulo Ferrara ends up in Aimee’s hospital with a bullet lodged in his spine. When Aimee learns his sister, Liliana, has gone missing, she uses her vacation time to travel to the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal to offer help to Paulo's family by doing some detective work of her own. She's also flying the distraught parents back to Timbergate so they can be with their injured son. When some of the doctors at Timbergate Medical Center become suspects in both Paulo’s shooting and Liliana’s disappearance, Aimee and Nick find themselves following clues on their own to help bring about a happy ending for the devastated family. 

For readers seeking a well-written mystery with just a hint of romance, “Spine Damage” is guaranteed to satisfy! Ms. St. George does a wonderful job of including all the pertinent details while throwing a bit of fun and Portuguese culture into the mix. The romance is sweet and Aimee and Nick are beautifully developed characters who make a wonderful couple. There are many well-researched crime and medical details which lend authenticity to the novel. The narrative isn’t a high-action adventure, but not every mystery needs to be. Readers who enjoy detailed world and character building with sweet romance will thoroughly enjoy “Spine Damage”.

Claudette Melanson