cover image Grounds for Murder: A Jeannie Wolfort-Lang Mystery

Grounds for Murder: A Jeannie Wolfort-Lang Mystery

Betty Ternier Daniels. ECW, $18.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-77041-780-9

Daniels infuses her charming if uneven debut with a palpable love for the Canadian countryside. In the novel’s opening pages, recently widowed Jeannie Wolfort-Lang, 61, has a peaceful morning in her Saskatchewan garden interrupted by a call from her son, Jordan. He informs her that Monica Ashton, a high-powered Saskatoon realtor, wants to buy Jeannie’s farm for a mysterious client. Jeannie resists, and she’s not pleased when the overbearing Monica arrives a few days later during a fierce windstorm. By the time the storm clears, Monica’s car has been totaled by falling tree limbs, and she demands that Jeannie loan her a vehicle so she can return to Saskatoon. Jeannie agrees, and a short time later, her car is discovered at the bottom of a ravine with Monica’s body in the driver’s seat. Jeannie suspects foul play, worrying that Monica’s client may have been attempting to kill her instead. To investigate, she teams up with a hunky local cop, igniting the first sparks of a potential romance as she tries to stay of harm’s way and considers the future of her farm. While the pacing is a bit jerky, Jeannie is a winning protagonist, and Daniels’s descriptions of the bucolic setting are irresistible. Outdoorsy cozy lovers will enjoy themselves. (Sept.)