Author : Steph Broadribb
Title : Death in the Sunshine
Series : The Retired Detectives Club #1
Pages : 320
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : March 1, 2022
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
After a long career as a police officer, Moira hopes a move to a luxury retirement community will mean she can finally leave the detective work to the youngsters and focus on a quieter life. But it turns out The Homestead is far from paradise. When she discovers the body of a young woman floating in one of the pools, surrounded by thousands of dollar bills, her crime-fighting instinct kicks back in and she joins up with fellow ex-cops—and new neighbours—Philip, Lizzie and Rick to investigate the murder.
With the case officers dropping ball after ball, Moira and the gang take matters into their own hands, turning undercover homicide investigators. But the killer is desperate to destroy all the evidence and Moira, Philip, Lizzie and Rick soon find themselves getting in the way—of the murderer and the police.
Just when they thought they could finally relax, they discover that someone has infiltrated their ‘safe’ community. Can they hunt down the murderer and get back to retiring in peace? And after all the excitement, will they want to?
| MY THOUGHTS |
As a huge fan of Steph Broadribb’s Lori Anderson series, I was excited to see what direction she would go in with The Retired Detectives Club but admittedly also quite worried, as that book description reminded me just a little bit too much of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club. The comparisons between the two are rather inevitable and for me, personally, this one falls a tad short.
Moira is a retired DCI, who moved from London to Florida to start enjoying an early retirement in a rather luxurious and, supposedly, incredibly safe community. But The Homestead is not the paradise it promises to be in the brochures. As Moira discovers when one morning she comes across the body of a woman floating in a pool. The local police force doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to investigate so Moira and three other residents of The Homestead, also former law enforcement, take matters into their own hands.
It’s clear that investigating has never really left these characters. Despite initial reluctance, it takes them no time at all to start looking for clues and digging up information. Who could blame them? This retirement stuff sounds awfully boring to me. Swimming, golf, bocce, crochet …. yawn. Wouldn’t you want some excitement in your life? Go chase a criminal or something? Furthermore, these pensioners are remarkably good at it too. It makes you wonder why they left their jobs as early as they did. That’s a thread that runs through the storyline because there’s no doubt there are very interesting background stories to discover, especially where Moira and Philip are concerned.
As for the murder mystery, I have to say that had me completely stumped. I didn’t even have a list of suspects and had no idea where to even begin. That is not to say the reveal comes from nowhere but just that it was hidden well and made me think I missed hints somewhere along the line. As the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together, it was all very plausible.
‘Death in the Sunshine‘ is an entertaining crime fiction story. There’s a good pace to it and surprisingly, it is quite a bit more action-packed than I expected. These retirees are fit, man! I enjoyed it for the most part but I also got thoroughly annoyed at half the cast of characters. Some I wanted to kick, some I wanted to grab by the collar and tell to grow a pair. Also, I am not a patient person, people. I don’t like it when I know there’s something to discover and this vital information is kept from me.
That said, it’s a pleasant way to start a new series and there is definitely more than enough here to set up a second book in this series.
My thanks to Thomas & Mercer for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.