The Big Steep

Sandra Balzo. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9058-0
A cold case drives Balzo’s cleverly plotted 14th mystery featuring tenacious Maggy Thorsen, co-owner of the Uncommon Grounds coffeehouse in Brookhills, Wis. (after 2021’s Flat White). Philip Woodward, a dedicated noir fan, and his wife, Vivian, are preparing to open a teashop in town called the Big Steep on land that once belonged in the swinging 1960s to Paz and Harmony Koeppler, Vivian’s grandparents. While cleaning out the decades of debris that has accumulated on the property, they discover the broken bones of a baby, whose injuries seem to indicate repeated abuse. Maggy’s determination to discover the infant’s identity leads her to Brookhills Manor, a home for still-spry old folks. When a woman is murdered, drowned in the creek that runs by the old Koeppler place, Maggy suspects that the two deaths may be connected. Lively, intelligent characters and Maggy’s refreshingly anxiety-free relationship with her fiancé, Brookhills County Sheriff Jake Pavlik, make this stand out from the cozy pack. This is a perfect entry point for newcomers. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/20/2021
Release date: 01/01/2022
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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