Death in the Sunshine by Steph Broadribb

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 01 March 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

About the Book

Four ex-cops in a retirement paradise. Sure they’ll rest…when the killer is caught.

After a long career as a police officer, Moira hopes a move to a luxury retirement community will mean she can finally leave the detective work to the youngsters and focus on a quieter life. But it turns out The Homestead is far from paradise. When she discovers the body of a young woman floating in one of the pools, surrounded by thousands of dollar bills, her crime-fighting instinct kicks back in and she joins up with fellow ex-cops—and new neighbours—Philip, Lizzie and Rick to investigate the murder.

With the case officers dropping ball after ball, Moira and the gang take matters into their own hands, turning into undercover homicide investigators. But the killer is desperate to destroy all the evidence and Moira, Philip, Lizzie and Rick soon find themselves getting in the way—of the murderer and the police.

Just when they think they can finally relax, they discover that someone has infiltrated their ‘safe’ community. Can they hunt down the murderer and get back to retiring in peace? And after all the excitement, will they want to?

Mandie’s Thoughts

When Moira moved from the UK to The Homestead in Florida she was looking for a quiet life, one that would help get her over the past and maybe just maybe finally stop the panic attacks she suffered from. What she didn’t want however was anyone finding out about her past, so when she found out there were other former UK police officers also residents she did everything in her power to distance herself from them, that is until a young girl was found murdered and Moira was right back in the situations she had been trying to escape.

The Homestead had been billed as the perfect safe haven, yet things were definitely starting to go wrong, and the murder is just the latest. The neighbourhood watch is run by a former police officer Phillip, who is a bit of a control freak and is determined to muscle in on the official investigation one way or another. His wife Lizzie is less keen as she wants him to slow down and take his health seriously, but she also knows that he is hiding something from her, and she is putting on a show as far as her marriage is concerned until she gets to the bottom of it. Rick is the only American in the main bunch of characters and he seems quite happy to go with the flow but is also more than happy to come to Moira’s aid whenever needed.

What I liked about the characters is how you could imagine them poking around where they are not wanted, if nothing else to satisfy their own curiosity, but their age and their lack of official capacity enables them to get answers from people who would clam up when questioned by the police. I can understand Phillips frustration with the lead investigator who seems determined to label the death as an accident or find the easiest route to closing the case but even I got frustrated by some of his heavy-handed tactics when trying to prove that he was right, and heaven help the person who tried to take some initiative.

Both Moira and Phillip were hiding secrets regarding their reasons for leaving the force and although they were heavily referenced, the truth was not revealed until near the end and at times I was tempted to read ahead just to get to that nugget of information. The story was told from multiple points of view giving the reader the feeling of being part of the investigation and the development between the characters relationships.

This is the first in the Retired Detectives Club series and I can’t help wondering what they will be caught up in next and if their retirement village will ever be the safe haven it was supposed to be.

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. A prolific reader, she adored crime fiction from the moment she first read Sherlock Holmes as a child. She’s worked in the UK and the US, has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) and trained as a bounty hunter in California.

Her other novels include the Lori Anderson bounty-hunter series and the Starke/Bell psychological police-procedural books (writing as Stephanie Marland). Her books have been shortlisted for the eDunnit eBook of the Year Award, the ITW Best First Novel Award, the Dead Good Reader Awards for Fearless Female Character and Most Exceptional Debut, and the Guardian Not The Booker Prize.

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