cover image Brain Storm: Angela Richman, Death Investigator, Book 1

Brain Storm: Angela Richman, Death Investigator, Book 1

Elaine Viets. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-5039-3631-7

Devastating migraines send “death investigator” Angela Richman, the heroine of this well-paced, darkly humorous series launch from Viets (The Art of Murder and 14 other Dead-End Job mysteries), to the emergency room of the Choteau Forest, Mo., hospital, only to be heedlessly sent home by Dr. Porter Gravois. Nineteen days, six strokes, and a coma later, Angela awakens in the hospital, her life saved due to expedient brain surgery by the brash, outspoken, brilliant Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt. An outsider, Tritt is despised as much as Gravois is adored by the well-to-do locals, and there’s no love lost between the two. When Gravois is murdered, Tritt becomes the prime suspect. Brain-damaged Angela may have trouble telling fact from fiction, but she knows that Tritt is wrongly accused and is determined to prove his innocence. Angela’s endearing, spirited, and resilient humanity resonates on the page. Viets takes an entertaining detour from her usual cozy territory, though some sections don’t stray too far from the genre’s formulaic path. Agent: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Agency. (Aug.)