After an on-air gaffe goes viral and jeopardizes her career, journalist Desiree Turner retreats home to Verbena, California for some peace and quiet. She begins working one of the quietest jobs around: presiding over funerals for her great-grandfather’s funeral parlor. But the action seems to follow her as a fistfight breaks out between neighbors Rosemarie Brewer and Lola Hansen at one of the first funerals she’s in charge of running. It exposes a nasty dispute and Rosemarie’s husband, Alan, is found murdered shortly after.
Lola’s husband, Kyle, is immediately arrested. Desiree, whose own father’s death was devastating, has always viewed Kyle as a second father. Determined to clear his name, Desiree jumps head first into the investigation and quickly discovers that Alan had several unsavory habits at his job and in his personal life, including putting assets into his mistress’s account to hide them from Rosemarie. People murder for money and love all the time, and there’s no telling who he offended just enough to push them over the edge.
Desiree is looking in all the right places, but she better catch the killer fast before they come for her next in A Grave Issue, the clever series debut by Lillian Bell.
An on-air gaffe that goes viral a rant against old people sends Los Angles TV news anchor Desiree Turner fleeing to her hometown of Verbena, Calif., where she ends up managing the family funeral parlor, in Bell's fun debut and series launch. When Rosemarie and Alan Brewer's pet emu, Vincent, suddenly dies, the couple claim that the barking of two dogs belonging to Desiree's neighbors and surrogate parents, Lola and Kyle Hansen, frightened Vincent to death. The police do not prosecute. When someone fatally shoots Alan, whose corpse is delivered to Desiree's funeral home, the police arrest Kyle. In her efforts to clear Kyle's name, Desiree gets help from a local cop, a local reporter, and the coroner, while remaining oblivious to their obvious attraction to her. Bell draws Desiree's suitors with enough detail for the reader to care which one she chooses, and supplies enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Cozy fans will find all the right ingredients for a satisfying series.