cover image Fever in the Dark: A Jane Lawless Mystery

Fever in the Dark: A Jane Lawless Mystery

Ellen Hart. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-08863-5

Series fans will best appreciate Hart’s 24th Jane Lawless mystery set in Minneapolis (after 2015’s The Grave Soul). Fiona, an old friend of Jane’s, and her wife, Annie, start receiving unwanted attention when their marriage-proposal video goes viral a year after their wedding. The strain of being media darlings is further complicated by Fi getting creepy mash notes from an anonymous stranger. The one benefit to the exposure is that Annie’s estranged family attempt to reconnect with her. However, Annie has a secret from her past that involves her psychiatrist brother-in-law, Noah Foster, which she wants to keep secret. When Noah is murdered—he’s poisoned and shot—Annie is a prime suspect. But so is Noah’s mistress, who was also one of his patients. Jane does some sleuthing, but she’s more focused on running her restaurant business than solving the central crime. A subplot involving Jane’s ex, Julia, is a welcome distraction in an entry that lacks tension, despite a bomb scare and suspicious behavior by various supporting characters. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Jan.)