An Unattended Death by Victoria Jenkins. Publisher: The Permanent Press (October 2012). Literary fiction. Hardcover. 214 pages. ISBN: 978-1-57962-284-4.
This is one of the most beautifully written mysteries I’ve read in some time. The setting—an island in Puget Sound in Washington State during the summer. The main character—Irene Chavez, a small town detective and single mom. She grew up in this area although lived and worked in Los Angeles for many years. The case—an unattended death. A body washes up in a shallow slough. Was it an accident or murder? The only female detective on this rural Washington State sheriff’s department, Chavez lands the case. The body is that of Anne Paris, daughter of a wealthy summer family who owns a home on a remote island in Puget Sound. She was a psychiatrist among a family of doctors and academics. The private family complicates matters in the investigation. They don’t particularly care who killed Anne. Chavez hits a ton of dead ends but never gives up in the pursuit of justice for Anne. An Unattended Death is a fascinating mystery. The landscapes and scenery will make you want to book a flight to Washington.
–by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.