cover image Easter Bonnet Murder: A Lucy Stone Mystery

Easter Bonnet Murder: A Lucy Stone Mystery

Leslie Meier. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3373-3

In bestseller Meier’s subpar 28th Lucy Stone mystery (after 2021’s Irish Parade Murder), Lucy, a reporter for the Tinker Cove, Maine, Courier, is relieved when Julia Tilley, “the town’s oldest and most revered resident,” pulls through pneumonia and moves temporarily to Heritage House, an eldercare facility. After visiting Miss Tilley at Heritage House, Lucy gets a call from the daughter of another resident asking for Lucy’s help in locating her mom, Agnes Neal, who failed to return from a birdwatching walk. All roads lead to Heritage House as Lucy later covers the home’s annual Easter bonnet contest. Ten days after Agnes went missing, her putrefied body turns up in a stairwell during a fire drill. Lucy eventually figures out who killed Agnes, but instead of going to the police, she decides to confront the man, who’s a dangerous war criminal, on her own. Lucy winds up in a situation that threatens the lives of Heritage House residents. Even cozy readers will have trouble with the initially plodding plot and characters who behave in unconvincing ways. This is for die-hard series fans only. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Feb.)