Thursday, May 27, 2010

Review: The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts

December 4th 2007 by Obsidian
detailsPaperback, 279 pages
charactersSadie Novak, Zack Bowman
settingUnited States
isbn13: 9780451222688

Sadie Novak runs an unusual business; she and her sole employee, ex-cop Zack Bowen, clean up gory death scenes. Whether it is a murder, a suicide or an unattended death, Sadie's business is a one-of-a-kind in the Seattle area. But Sadie also has a special talent; she can see the dead person and talk to them unless the person committed suicide. Usually it's because they are having trouble passing over and Sadie helps them in the process. This part of the job creeps Zack out to no end.

Her latest job involves a cut and dried case, or so the police insist, of a husband who murdered his wife and then committed suicide. When the dead wife appears to Sadie and gives her a message that her husband was not the one to kill her, Sadie is determined to find out the real story. It's a difficult job convincing the police and they warn her not to do any more amateur sleuthing but she just can't leave it alone. After several attempts on Sadie's life and new evidence coming to light, the police start to take Sadie's ideas very seriously.

In The Remains of the Dead, first in the ghost dusters mystery series, Roberts has come up with a unique character in Sadie but the main character alone can't carry a weak plot and have it be successful. I did like the main characters Sadie and Zack. Also enjoyable were two minor plot threads of Sadie's sister Dawn and her late brother Brian. As far as the mystery part went, that's where the story fell short although the little twist at the end was unforseen. In reality there were only two suspects, because you know darn well the husband didn't do it. It was much too easy to figure who the real culprit was.

A cozy mystery does usually have a small pool of possible perpetrators but two is just too small. If you are a cozy fan with a little paranormal and romance elements thrown in, you might try this one but don't expect to be stumped. I would give Roberts another try in the hopes that she can expand the mystery part of the plot a little more. 3***

Disclosure: This book is from my personal library and was purchased by me.


  1. "don't expect to be stumped" - might be a good cozy for me, LOL.

  2. I do like a bit of mystery in my mystery...

    The job occupation, cleaning up crime scenes..reminds me that a guy I work with used to do that for a living, working for a company a friend of his started. He said it is very lucrative business, but oddly they had a problem retaining employees.

  3. I've read so many "cozies" like this. One set in Cornwall Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn. Old fashioned background a bit Agatha Christieish - I think you'd like it.

  4. So many good cozies to choose from...ghost dusters is a clever idea.

  5. Sounds like it had potential. I do give leeway in cozies but we can only give so much! I like a few more suspects to keep me guessing.

  6. I like to be somewhat stumped, even though I am never able to figure it out. Intersting plot but I'll pass. THanks Kaye :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.