cover image My Cousin Skinny: A Jersey Girl Mystery

My Cousin Skinny: A Jersey Girl Mystery

E.J. Copperman. Severn House, $31.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0971-9

Copperman’s witty fifth courtroom cozy narrated by attorney Sandy Moss (after 2022’s And Justice for Mall) sees the heroine hopping from L.A. to her hometown of Woodbridge, N.J. She’s headed east to attend the nuptials of her cousin Stephanie (aka “Skinny”) with her best friend, Angie, and actor fiancé, Patrick McNabb. Shortly after the trio arrives at the Woodbridge Elks Hall for the wedding rehearsal, a scream from the kitchen pierces the air. Stephanie emerges, clutching a knife and covered in blood. The police arrive and declare her fiancé’s best friend, Brandon Starkey, dead, and charge Stephanie with his murder. Sandy is bulldozed by her family into serving as Stephanie’s lawyer, which means she’ll have to face off against Richard Chapman, her smug ex-boyfriend who’s become the local prosecuting attorney. Despite a surplus of witnesses and a curious lack of cooperation from her cousin, Sandy is determined to find out what really happened to Brandon. Sandy’s wry narration (“She was moving to Oregon because... the people were very polite. We in Jersey don’t necessarily see that as a plus”) and a bevy of well-hidden clues make this sing. It’s pure cozy bliss. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary. (Nov.)

Correction: The author’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this review.