Hello, hello! Welcome to the last Wednesday of August. That means it’s time for another book review. This month, I’ll be looking at Edwin Hill’s debut novel, Little Comfort. It came out on August 28th. It’s a new cozy mystery series that I actually forgot I had requested from NetGalley until I received the approval notice. I must thank them and Kensington Books, the publisher, for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Little Comfort introduces us to Hester Thursby. She lives with her partner (but refuses to marry him) in Boston, though she maintains a separate apartment area above his for when she needs time alone. They have recently been saddled with taking care of his niece because his sister/Hester’s best friend took off. So, Hester took some time off work until they could find a new life rhythm. When things seem to be quieting down, a woman contacts Hester and asks her to track down the woman’s brother. Since finding people had been Hester’s side business for a while, she agreed. From there, things went very wrong.
This book was a little different from the cozies I’ve been reading because it shifted POVs. We start out with Hester (an interesting character), then jump to Sam, Gabe, and a couple of other characters (all interesting in their own right). The story shuffles back and forth around them. I, personally, like that method. I mean, following one character throughout the whole book as she figures out the crime is fine, but it wouldn’t have worked here. This way, we not only get to figure out what’s going on, but we get better insight into the minds of the bad people. The story isn’t really about whodunit, but how they ended up in that position and why they chose to do what they did. That’s why the rotating POV works here.
As far as the plot itself goes, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep it intriguing. My only complaint would be that the climax felt a little rushed. Normally, I’m all for a quick “end it while cutting off the villain’s monologue” type thing, but considering the person who actually ends it, I wanted more. More struggle, more explanation, more conniving on the bad guy’s part. I wanted the niece to have a bigger part because I didn’t believe the guy would just let her loose. That whole scene just felt too quick and easy. Granted, there’s some stuff after the climax that kind of makes up for it, but I expected a little more.
The writing was a little shaky at times. A lot of it was tight and pulled me along. But sometimes, especially in the beginning, there was a lot of focus on tits. Like, a lot. It was borderline comical/annoying. Don’t get me wrong, tits are great, but it felt like the author was overcompensating for something and I couldn’t decide what. Mostly, though, things either went along at a really nice pace or they went too fast.
Ultimately, I enjoyed Little Comfort enough that I’ll look for future Hester Thursby books. Hester was a great character and I’m interested to see what happens with the kid and the partner.
Overall, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. My issues with the story weren’t big and could be attributed to the fact that it’s the first book. If you’re into these kinds of stories, give it a shot. However, I’d say if you’re legit sensitive to certain kinds of topics or just have a tendency to say things need “trigger warnings,” this book probably isn’t for you.
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