I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.In Sickness and in Death by Lisa Bork
is a Cozy Mystery
This edition was published by Midnight Ink on September 8, 2011 in paperback and has 278 pages.
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Third in the Broken Vows mystery series revolving around Jolene Asdale Parker, the owner of a business specializing in high-end luxury autos in Wachobe, New York in the Finger Lakes district.
I must give Bork credit for her imagination! She keeps things hopping with the foster son, Erica’s antics, and the farm twins with all their complications. And I would enjoy it if Jolene weren’t such an ass. She’s whiny and stupid. As the wife of a cop and with at least two previous experiences with murderers and danger, you’d think that Jo would consider informing her husband, Cory, or the cops that she’s heading into dangerous territory. But no-o-o-o, what would be the fun in that!
One of the reasons her marriage broke up (see For Better, For Murder) is Jo’s obsession with taking care of her sister Erica. So, what does Jo do? She loves being back with Ray. She’s worried he’ll want to leave her. So, after ignoring everyone for months and now wallowing in the guilt of “abandoning” her sister all that time, she takes her sister in and puts her in bed with her, forcing Ray to sleep on the “too-short couch”. Um…what’s wrong with the sister getting the couch? Then when Maury is calling Jo because Erica is having all these issues, why doesn’t Jo just tell Maury to come get Erica’s medication instead of making demands of the poor guy??
That whining aside, Bork has created a homey series with a few staunch friends and as much as Jo irritates me, her heart is in the right place.
I think the Parkers’ experience with Danny has made Ray re-think his stance on children! And Jo is finally realizing that she no longer has to be responsible for her sister…she has a new kind of help now!
Ray is fed up with Jo’s depression and hands her an ultimatum — clean up and get re-involved or he’s calling the shrink! Then, in true Ray fashion, he decides that taking in a foster child will help Jo cope with losing Noelle.
Jo then learns that Erica has gone off the rails so now Jo has two children to handle — Erica and Danny. It’s when Jo is taking Erica to Dr. Albert that Danny’s knee-jerk response ends up in the discovery of a woman’s arm in a cooler in the trunk of the car he steals. An arm that sets up a whole slew of complications when Jo insists on pushing to discover the arm’s owner’s identity, how Danny’s dad could be involved, helping Leslie achieve her greatest desire, and the whereabouts of her sister.
Jolene Asdale Parker is incredibly depressed right now; the state took baby Noelle back (see For Richer For Danger), and it’s tearing her apart. She also fancies herself as a detective. She and her county deputy sheriff husband, Ray Parker, got back together to adopt Noelle after being separated for three years. Erica is Jo’s bipolar sister who seems to be having a lucid period right now.
Cory Kempe is Jo’s best friend and the mechanic on the maintenance side of her high-end garage. Brennan Rowe is a hunk of a contractor who has done quite well for himself. Well enough that he has a nice garage full of even nicer cars. And, he’s dating Cory.
Danny is a 12-year-old in need of a home while his dad is in jail for grand theft auto and possible murder.
Maury Boor was a classmate of Erica’s in high school with a mad passion for her, even though she turned him down every time. Now he’s got a rep for stalking. Leslie Flynn and her twin brother Peter run a farm selling eggs, milk, and plants.
Gumby is one of Ray’s coworkers, and he’s married to Briana, a stripper at The Cat’s Meow. Celeste Martin works at Talbott’s, a clothing store across the street from Jo’s garage. The town gossip, she rarely has anything good to say to Jo.
The Cover and Title
This cover is the first one without a butcher’s knife or a wedding theme. Initially this cover made me think of a picnic but after reading the story, I think it’s simply a reference to a design used on old fashioned ice coolers. Appropriate since the arm laden with rubies and zircons is found in a cooler. I do like the use of the old-fashioned green metal cooler on the cover.
The title certainly reflects the story since Jo is caught up in the throes of depression following the Parkers having to give Noelle back — the Parkers are definitely dealing In Sickness and In Death.