Book 2 in the Kea Wright Mysteries, this one works quite well as a standalone. I’m the living proof; I never read the first. It’s called “Cold Flood” and features a volcano erupting under an ice cap together a sneaky killer causing accidents on icy mountain slopes. As Mysteries go, that’s certainly an original idea, and I get the impression the author’s USP is knowledge about intriguing biological, geographical, and other scientific wonders he aptly presents to the readers. For me, that works.
Minor gripe – it might be good if reviewers were given the first novels of a series, just to get the general idea. But as I said, the Meerkat Murders work even without the first instalment, which is a definite plus.
First of all, it’s well written and the author takes a lot, and I mean a LOT of pain with the setting. How many cozies are out there based in the Kalahari? I could feel the heat of the sun on my skin, watch the meerkats mangle giant millipedes and cringe when the cobra slithered to the attack. Okay, sometimes there’s a bit much setting, and the pacing suffers. But in terms of atmosphere, this one really packs punch.
The story isn’t exactly fast-paced; it takes quite a while until the killer shows up (eeeek! No further spoilers….). But for what is essentially a cozy that’s okay. At the end, the speed picks up.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few typos and oddities a proofreader should have caught (ripple s, or internal thoughts not set in italics). But that doesn’t distract from the enjoyment of this original, and clever story.