Monday 20 February 2023

Fire and Ashes (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #2) by Elaine Viets

In the exclusive, gated enclave of Olympia Forest Estates, death investigator Angela Richman watches a mansion go up in a fiery blaze. With it, seventy-year-old financier Luther Delor, a drunken, bed-hopping rhinestone cowboy. Embroiled in a bitter divorce, Delor may have scandalized Chouteau Forest, but his murder has united it against the accused: Delor’s twenty-year-old girlfriend, Kendra Salvato, an “outsider.” With an engagement ring bigger than Chouteau County, she’s being railroaded straight to death row as a gold-digging killer.

All there is against Kendra is vicious gossip and anti-Mexican rage, and both are spreading like wildfire. Meanwhile, Angela is trying to douse the flames with forensic work that’s putting the Forest on edge. After all, facts could implicate one of their own. Now, sifting through the ashes of a vicious crime—and the guilty secrets of the privileged—only Angela can get to the truth, and prevent an innocent woman from getting burned.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Fire and Ashes is the second book in the Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets and it will kick up your adrenaline levels....  Brain Storm, the first book in this series introduces readers to Angela and her best friend Katie.  In this first book while Angela is recovering from having multiple strokes and being in a coma for a lengthy time, readers get to know her on a personal level and the way she works through situations in her death investigator job.  We also get to know Katie and their friendship.

In the second book Fire and Ashes you really get to see Angela and Katie in action and what they will do to solve a case.  And it doesn't hurt that Katie's boyfriend Monte is a powerful attorney.  In Fire and Ashes arsonists are targeting properties in the rich section called Forest Estates and when a fire results in the death of a very rich elderly member of the society, the police take no time at all arresting his very young Mexican fiancee Kendra.  

Angela knows Kendra, as well as everyone else in Forest Estates, as Kendra works at Killer Styles and does all the manicures.  Unfortunately Angela and Katie are the only ones that think Kendra is innocent and that the real arsonists are stil out there.

Angela, Katie, and Monte work together and in secret to prove Kendra's innocence and when her Kendra's father is also arrested and charged as an accessory to the fires, they know they have kick up their investigation to prove the police have the wrong people.

Luckily the team catches a break with an unlikely witness who will break the case wide open and give them everything they need to bring the real criminals down..... but they have to work fast so that no one else has to get hurt.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy Fire and Ashes as well as the first book, Brain Storm.  Brain Storm sets the stages for readers and Fire and Ashes takes you deeper into the lives of everyone involved.  I thought Brain Storm was going to be my favorite until I read Fire and Ashes.....I cannot wait to read the next book Ice Blonde.

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