Review: The Body in the Wetlands (Book #2: A Jazzi Zanders Mystery Series) by Judi Lynn

Friday, March 1st

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When established house flippers Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod donate a week’s worth of remodeling work to Jazzi’s sister Olivia, they’re expecting nothing more than back-breaking roofing work and cold beers at the end of each long, hot day. With Jazzi’s live-in boyfriend and partner Ansel on the team, it promises to be a quick break before starting their next big project—until Leo, an elderly neighbor of Olivia’s, unexpectedly goes missing . . .
 
When the friendly senior’s dog tugs Jazzi and the guys toward the wetlands beyond Olivia’s neighborhood, they stumble across a decomposing corpse—and a lot of questions. With Jazzi’s pal Detective Gaff along to investigate, Jazzi finds her hands full of a whole new mystery instead of the usual hammer and nails. And this time it will take some sophisticated sleuthing to track down the culprit of the deadly crime—before the killer turns on her next . . .

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Lyrical Underground          Rating: 4½/5 stars

Jazzi Zanders is some kind of devoted to her family!  When her sister, Olivia and Olivia’s boyfriend buy a new home that needs some work, Jazzie, the sisters’ cousin, Jerod, and Jazzi’s boyfriend, Ansel get the call to do the work . . . for free 😊 While the trio of house flippers are happy to help out, Jazzi isn’t quite as excited about the neighbors. 

Just across from Olivia’s house is the home of Leo, his wheelchair bound wife, and their walk-loving dog.  All three are perfectly delightful, Leo is full of neighborhood gossip, and the dog is simply adorable, but through no fault of their own, they drag Jazzi into a triple murder investigation.  Yeah, Jazzi isn’t at all happy with the neighbors. 

As work continues in Olivia’s home and at another site, Jazzi gets even deeper into the investigation.  As ever, when Detective Gaff needs a second set of eyes, a new set of questions, or just a friendly face to tag along, he calls Jazzi.  Jazzi’s quick mind and skill with problem solving makes her a good match for Gaff and between the two of them, they begin to unravel what happened to the three unfortunate souls they have discovered.  Though none of the three victims initially appeared to be connected to one another, a web of connections quickly unfolds and tells both Gaff and Jazzi there is a serious killer out there willing to go to great lengths to protect his/her identity.

On top of the murders, Jazzi also has an absent boyfriend thanks to a load of guilt from his beloved sister.  Though he is hesitant to be gone for a variety of reasons, Ansel agrees to go home leaving Jazzi to fend for herself with the murders and the renovation work.  For both, the separation is difficult and brings into sharp focus just where each stand as far as their long-term commitment to one another and their relationship. To be sure, Jazzi has a great deal on her plate and most of it has nothing to do with her amazing cooking.

The Bottom Line:  I have to say, this series evolved quickly, and I am loving the direction it is taking.  Here are the highlights: 1) I liked the craziness of this plot with three seemingly unrelated deaths being intimately connected and tied together beautifully by the author, 2) I liked the inclusion of some many animals, 3) I liked the increased backstory as it related to Ansel and his truly terrible family, and 4) I liked the absolute evolution in nearly every major character.  This is really a very solid book that speaks to the skill of the author and the bright future Jazzi Zanders has.  YAY for us, dear reader, YAY for us 😊

Pre-order for the April 23, 2019 release: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Paperback

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