Book Review: Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert (Shana Merchant, 1)

Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert is a locked room mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. The story follows the protagonist, Shana Merchant, a former FBI agent turned private investigator who is called to investigate a murder at a remote island estate. The victim is found dead in a room that was locked from the inside, and all the suspects have alibis. As Shana investigates, she uncovers a web of secrets and lies, and begins to suspect that the killer may be closer than she thinks.

The novel is well-written and skillfully plotted, with a focus on character development and psychological suspense. The pacing is excellent, with tension building steadily throughout the story. The setting, a remote island estate off the coast of Maine, adds to the sense of isolation and danger.

One of the strengths of the novel is its protagonist, Shana Merchant. She is a complex and well-developed character who is both intelligent and flawed. Her struggles with PTSD and alcoholism make her a sympathetic character, while her determination to uncover the truth and her sharp investigative skills make her a compelling protagonist. Her relationship with her estranged husband, Tim, also adds an emotional depth to the story.

The supporting characters are also well-drawn, with each having their own distinct personalities and motivations. The suspects are a mix of family members and staff members, each with their own secrets and reasons for wanting the victim dead. Each character adds a layer of intrigue to the story, and it’s never clear who can be trusted and who is hiding something.

The writing style is engaging, with descriptive prose that creates a vivid picture of the setting and characters. The author also does an excellent job of building suspense and creating a sense of unease throughout the story. The use of flashbacks and Shana’s internal monologue adds an extra layer of depth to the story.

The plot is intricate and well-crafted, with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. The locked room mystery is a classic trope of the genre, and Tessa Wegert handles it skillfully, keeping the reader guessing as to how the murder could have been committed. The final reveal is satisfying and unexpected, tying together all the loose ends and leaving the reader with a sense of closure.

Death in the Family is an excellent locked room mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. With a well-developed protagonist, a cast of intriguing supporting characters, and a plot full of twists and turns, this novel is a must-read for fans of the genre. Tessa Wegert has crafted a gripping and suspenseful story that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.


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