Death in the Sunshine is a well-crafted murder mystery about four retired investigators, three from England and one from America. They all find themselves in a Florida retirement community known as The Homestead. The association prides itself for its safety with a nightly watch group of residence to make it even more so. So, when Moira, a pretty new resident and former DCI Investigator from England returns from her morning walk and finds a dead body floating in one of the pools on the property with thousands of dollar bills surrounding the corpse, needless to say she is pretty shaken.
Another resident, Philp, a former detective from London sees Moira in distress as she is speaking with the police and tries to help. Not only do the police not want his help, but Moira, who is trying to keep her former life a secret from the residence just wants him to go away. But Philip is persistent and insists Moira come and meet his wife Lizzie, a former CSI person, and Rick a former police officer.
As they begin to discuss the evidence Moira has witnessed at the crime scene, they come to the conclusion that not only do the police not want any outside help but have missed important clues. They decide that as a group they will secretly investigate the death and if they find out anything then they will bring it to the police.
The first piece of the puzzle falls into place when they discover there have been a rash of burglaries at the property which seem to have been squashed by the higher ups at the retirement community, perhaps because they fear it will not look too good to potential residence. The question becomes are the two crimes connected and what evidence can they gleam from the stolen property which could tie into the murder.
As Moira tries to keep her past from becoming her present, she finds herself being stalked by someone. Unfortunately, she is not sure the person is after her for looking into the recent crimes, or for the reason she decided to retire from a job she loved but due to her last case which had such a devastating ending, she needed to leave.
And Philip and Lizzie seem to have some skeletons in their past as well. Although Philip retired due to health issues, Lizzie seems to believe there is more to his story than he is telling her which breaks her heart that he feels he needs to keep secrets from her.
Retirement should never be this hard! As the group works together to solve the puzzles, they begin to open up to each other about their past lives and what brought them to this retirement community which they hoped would be so relaxing it would solve all their previous worries! But the group, through their questioning of suspects, has put themselves in danger. Can they solve these crimes before one of them becomes the next victim? Why does it seem the police continually seem to look the other way?
Death in the Sunshine is a terrific cozy filled with murder, mayhem and mystery. Enough so that I am sure book two will continue to give us more information about the retirees’ past lives as they continue to try and enjoy The Homestead.
Thank you #Goodreads #Thomas&Mercer #StephBroadribb #DeathintheSunshine for the advanced copy.