One of the first books I checked out on my library’s Overdrive service was The Shape of Night. I was looking through the mystery section for something to read, and Tess Gerritsen‘s name came up quite a few times. Rather than delving into one of her mystery series, I decided to go with her latest book.
A cookbook author who needs a break from everything in her life, Ava Collette drives from Boston to Tucker Cove and manages to rent a house with an amazing view: Brodie’s Watch. Shrugging off rumors that it’s haunted, Ava struggles to finish her cookbook amid guilt and alcohol abuse, until one night an apparition does appear. Is it real or sprung from her imagination?
The Shape of Night is a book that I enjoyed for the most part. I’m a sucker for a mystery, and of course the location and surroundings spoke to my Murder, She Wrote-laced heart. Ava is likeable, even if at times it’s almost cliche that her drinking seems to dominate everything. She’s rightfully curious about the apparition, the house, and its history in relation to the town.
Among the few faults I found with the book was how most of Ava’s work was left off-page. We read about her cooking fairly often, but except for testing a few recipes on the house carpenters near the beginning we don’t learn just how she actually managed to finish her cookbook, with as much drinking and amateur sleuthing as she was doing.
The ending of the novel was satisfying, with just the right amount of tension and suspense, followed by a short but needed resolution, especially with Ava’s sister Lucy coming back into the picture. There’s almost enough hinted at near the end of the book that it could almost warrant a sequel, perhaps Ava exploring another old house or other location for her next cookbook.