Amazon (free on KU)
A spooky book written in a way that mesmerizes the reader and draws you into the small village of Clun, England, a place where secrets abound and your silence may be what keeps you alive. I love romance written into mysteries, particularly murder mysteries, and Jeanine Englert did an amazing job of incorporating both elements into Lovely Digits. It was very unique - this is the first time I have read a book where the heroine is a 19th century mortician. It's the last thing I would find to be interesting, at least at first glance, but Englert wrote the heroine in such a relatable way. I loved her perspective on the job of preparing bodies for funerals and burial, and it shed a whole new light on the profession. Very enlightening, to say the least!
Lucy Wycliffe is known as Lovely Digits to the locals of Clun, England, and while she doesn't find it the loveliest of nicknames, she takes pride in preparing bodies for burial as a living. Having done so for ten years, ever since the death of her parents at the age of 17, she has kept the household afloat with the money she brings in. However, she becomes alarmed when the bodies of her childhood friends begin to be brought to her, found murdered with no reason or suspect. The new constable, John Brodie, is determined to find the culprit, and he enlists Lucy's help in determining what happened, who did it, and why. As clues begin to pile up and strange occurrences happen in the small village, Lucy and John realize that the murderer might be someone they know...or knew.
I loved the mystery of this story so much! When I can't figure out whodunnit, and then when it's revealed, I am shocked, you know it's a great murder mystery. Lucy is an odd bird, but I liked how she approached life. Having lost her sense of smell as a child, it certainly made her job easier, but I think it also made her seem very odd to friends and neighbors. Who would choose such a vocation? I enjoyed learning more about her motivation, besides the obvious income factor, and it was interesting to read about how John handled it so well. He was very accepting of Lucy, and granted, it was partially driven by past guilt, but I thought they made a very understanding couple. Both truly appreciated each other, and I found myself comfortably settling into the idea of them as a couple early on.
As Jeanine's debut novel, I say she did a splendid job! I can't wait to read what she writes next.
**I received a free copy from the author, and this is my honest review.**