Review: Fugitive in the Forest by R.L. Syme

Posted April 7, 2023 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 2 Comments

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Fugitive in the ForestFugitive in the Forest (The Vangie Vale Mysteries #6)
by R.L. Syme

My Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Even in the great white North, Vangie gonna Vangie. She just cannot keep herself out of trouble, no matter where she goes. And when an old nemesis shows up and surprises her on her vacation, she can’t help but investigate.

This was originally written as a novella for the Passport to Murder anthology in Summer of 2021, but it’s on its own now, and we hope you enjoy!

My Review

I received a free copy for review from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.

Fugitive in the Forest is the sixth book in this series. I love this series and excitedly dove into this one. Unfortunately I hadn’t realized this book would be so much shorter then the usual books and I felt that it lacked some of the things I’ve grown to expect from these books due to the shorter length. While it is much shorter than the rest of the books I do feel it covers some important ground, mostly seeing how Emma’s doing now that’s she divorcing her husband. So I am still happy I read it, but it was just so short compared to the rest of the series.

The mystery doesn’t have the same build up and twists and turns as the other books in the series, but I thought it was still well done how the author still manages to have the murder, investigation and conclusion in the book. It did feel complete and got wrapped up. There is a nice twist about who the murderer was, but due to the book being so short I wasn’t invested as much as the murder basically gets solved in a few chapters. There is no guessing or trying to figure things out as quickly after Vangie starts investigating she figures it out. And as this series usually has quite complex mysteries it felt a bit flat. I did feel it was very in character how Vangie gets involved into another mystery and the different setting was interesting even though it was hard to fully get a feel for it due to the short length.

As always I enjoyed reading about Vangie and there are some typical Vangie moments, but due to it’s short length there just wasn’t as much of it. I think that’s just what I keep coming back to, I hadn’t expected this book to be so short and felt it didn’t have the same vibe and depth the other books have due to that. If you’re a fan of the series definitely read it, but don’t expect the same level of depth than previous books due to the shorter length.

To summarize: Fugitive in the Forest is a short read with Vangie and Emma on vacation in Canada. It’s has a mystery and we see Emma deal with getting divorced. This book is a lot shorter than previous books and the pacing and vibe is different due to that. The mystery has a murder, investigation and conclusion, but it all follows one another quite quickly and missed the depth the rest of the books had. I liked reading more about Vangie, but had expected a bit more from this book. It covers some important ground for the characters and ties up something so still worth the read if you like the series, just go in expecting a way shorter read.

3 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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