Shroud of Fog
Fog lends a certain chilling ambience to a day and that in turns lends a delightfully chilling atmosphere to a mystery. That sense of distorted, shortened vision can lead one to expect all kinds of dangers to lie just around the corner and in this small town suspense story that proves to be true.
Sophie Thomsen knew it would cause trouble for her aunt to hand out keys for the auction storage unit to every Tom, Dick and Harry who wanted one. What she didn’t know – wouldn’t have even suspected – was that trouble would take on the form of a murder, one which had her discovering her aunt’s body on the floor of said unit. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only body Sophie has discovered in Cape Trouble. The first was that of her mother, whose apparent suicide amidst the sand dunes of the Misty Beach Resort many years ago haunts Sophie to this day.
When Police Chief Daniel Colburn races out to the storage place to begin his investigation he is surprised by his visceral reaction to Sophie. Sure she is beautiful but his strong response to her is not only something he has never experienced before, it is completely unprofessional.
Daniel is not alone in his feelings. Sophie finds herself slightly sickened (as she should) by her strong attraction to a man investigating a loved one’s murder. Both set their emotions aside to concentrate on the tragedy before them. Sophie has recently arrived in town to help her aunt on a project; an auction trying to raise money to preserve the natural environment that the resort sits on. She – and the storage facility owner – found her aunt when they opened the unit. Neither of them know what the killer could have been after or if anything is missing.
Sophie determines that the greatest tribute she can pay her aunt is to continue with the auction which meant so much to her cause. It is also one of the best ways to solve the crime – Daniel knows that somewhere within the jumble of items is something someone is willing to kill for. Break-ins continue as the killer searches for what was lost. As Daniel spends more and more time protecting Sophie, his feelings for her deepen. So do hers. But a killer is hot on their trail and it’s a race to see who will find the mysterious object first.
This is a cozy style romantic suspense story which combines two mysteries into an interesting tale of loss and love. From the beginning Daniel suspects that something was overlooked in Sophie’s mothers supposed suicide. It is by working both cases that he is able to get to the truth of the deaths of the two women Sophie loved. I like stories that combine the past and present so that was a pleasing aspect of the book for me.
For the most part, pleasing is the adjective that describes everything about the story. The characters are pleasant, every day kind of people. While they carry some heavy baggage (Sophie especially) it is not something that has changed them into anything besides ordinary, nice folk. The setting for the story is pleasant, the type of small town that is the saccharine sweet village romance readers have come to expect. The secondary characters are sweetly pleasant and it is easy to spot who we will be seeing in future story lines. The love story as a whole is pleasant and if it isn’t very fleshed out, it has the advantage of being sexy as well as sweet.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely but only if you are looking for a cozy, small town romantic suspense. It doesn’t do a very good job of appealing to fans of other styles in the genre but when you hit your target audience this well, you don’t really need to.