cover image The Dead of Night

The Dead of Night

Elaine Viets. Severn, $31.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-1035-7

At the start of Agatha finalist Viets’s enjoyable eighth mystery featuring Angela Richman, death investigator for Chouteau County, Mo. (after 2022’s Late for His Own Funeral), Angela and her date, police officer Christopher Ferretti, attend the annual Howl-o-ween Benefit Auction for Chouteau Forest University; the highest bidder gets the opportunity to stay in the Cursed Crypt. Any winner who succeeds in spending the full night there will be granted membership in the elite and powerful Chouteau Founders Club. Since the 1980s, only one brave soul has managed this feat. When the crypt is opened the morning after the auction, inside are the horribly mutilated bodies of this year’s top bidder, alleged rapist Trey Lawson, and his girlfriend, Lydia Fynch, whose testimony at his trial saved him from prison. Angela and Det. Jace Budewitz, her friend and colleague, investigate these murders as well as other suspicious deaths that may or may not be connected. Fans of the intrepid and relatively sensible Angela will overlook the wobbly plot and wonky motives as they cheer on her burgeoning relationship with Christopher, who never gets in her way. Cozy fans will find plenty to like. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky. (Apr.)