Monday, February 25, 2019

A Justified Murder by Jude Deveraux

If you enjoyed the characters and their playful relationship in Jude Deveraux's first Medlar mystery, A Willing Murder, then you may want to pick up A Justified Murder. The "Medlar trio" is in fine form in this second book.

It's the cleaning woman who calls Sheriff Daryl Flynn to Janet Beeson's house. He expects to find the elderly woman died of natural causes. He doesn't expect to find a corpse that was shot, poisoned and stabbed. He immediately calls Sara Medlar to photograph the crime scene. He suspects that the Broward County Sheriff's Dept. will take over the case, and he wants the Medlar trio to have access to the house before he loses control. Sara, her niece, Kate, and "the grandson she should have had", Jack Wyatt, have a short time to examine the scene before they sneak out the back way when the Broward County officers arrive.

The trio solemnly vow they won't investigate this time. They'll just turn over Sara's photos and bow out. However, residents of Lachlan have other ideas. Sara's doorbell rings throughout the night as people show up to explain why they could have killed Janet Beeson, even if she did show kindness after they hurt her. It all sounds a little fishy to the trio. Then Sheriff Flynn rings the doorbell to find out what they learned.

A Justified Murder seems to be a straightforward murder case until a reporter comes to town with a wild story of the cold case kidnapping of an infant years earlier. He suspects the kidnapper had Lachlan connections. A retired police chief soon follows, a man who never let go of the kidnapping case.

Now, there's a woman murdered three times, who seems to either be a hated woman or a saint, along with a cold case kidnapping and a connection to the town. And, who is the skinny old man who seems to be watching the Medlar trio?

A Justified Murder is a convoluted story with a large cast and an unusual ending. Those who are looking for a straightforward mystery might be disappointed. Those who enjoy the Medlar trio and their snappy conversations, might be satisfied with this second book. I'm willing to give the third one a chance in a year.

Jude Deveraux' website is

A Justified Murder by Jude Deveraux. MIRA, 2019. ISBN 9780778308294 (hardcover), 336p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Kaye Barley said...

Thanks, Lesa! I love Jude Deveraux!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kaye!