Book Four in the Jersey Shore series is a 'cozy mystery' perfect for newcomers to the mystery series as well as prior fans, and it opens with a heart-stopping scenario that portends danger from its first moment: the protagonist returns home to find her front door unlocked - and she's always meticulous about locking it, even though she owns little of value.
She searches her house instead of fleeing or phoning the police - and finds a surprise. It's an unannounced visit, and one that affects Chelsey's good judgment (and ultimately lands her into big trouble) as she becomes personally involved in a convoluted crime whose twists and turns seem to have no end.
As the story line switches perspectives between characters, readers catch a good glimpse of motivations, unspoken feelings, and complications faced by the single mother. Chapter headings do a fine job of informing readers about these changing perspectives and help keep everything on track as the complex mystery unwinds.
Police interrogations, murder, relationships between exs still bound by children, uncertain connections that may (or may not) indicate romance: all these are wound into a story line that is spiced with children, husbands, parents, police departments and ex-cops.
At the center of this whirlwind is Chelsey, whose strongest connections with men have also proved to be her most unstable foundations. Three men in her life have failed her. One has done something crazy. One is falling in love. And the choices Chelsey is forced to make around all three will change her life.
Major Crimes is a revealing, compelling mystery story that's hard to put down. Driven by interpersonal relationships, a sassy combination of fun and angst, murder and mayhem, and dangerous associations, it's an emotion-driven and yet is a light, fun mystery that's perfect for a cozy winter's night.