Review: Poison in the Pines by R.L. Syme

Posted August 25, 2021 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 2 Comments

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Poison in the PinesPoison in the Pines (The Vangie Vale Mysteries #3)
by R.L. Syme

My Rating: 4 stars

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

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal…

…after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder… as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Pastor Poisons Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a road block. Can’t have that.

Don’t miss a moment of Vangie’s new adventure.

My Review

This is the third book in The Vangie Vale series. After I just read a cozy mystery that missed the mark for me, I decided to return to this series as I really enjoyed the first two books. Luckily book 3 was just as good. It took a bit of time for the mystery to get started, but once it did I was hooked.

I really like how this author writes mysteries. They are just a tad different than most cozies and this makes it feel fresh. I also like how I can never predict how things are going to go. This mystery is filled with twists and turns. It doesn’t start with a bunch of suspects, instead the main character has to dive deeper to find possible motives and uncover more from the victim’s life. I like how it almost has an exploratory vibe with the main character learning more about the victim and their family and possible suspects. It was engaging to see the mystery progress and see the direction it took. The only thing that bothered me was a clue that to seemed obvious and important to me, but everyone seemed to forget about and it turned out to explain part of the how. I liked seeing how it all played out. It’s a bit sad when the whole truth comes to light, but it also made sense.

I like reading about Vangie, she makes for a great main character. I like how likable she is and how her curiosity gets her into trouble. She also has her flaws and I think those make her feel even more real. Something from her past turns up and seeing her deal with it shows a lot about her as well and how much it still haunts her.

I was curious to see how her romance would be now that they started their relationship, but sadly I am a bit mixed about it. In some scenes I really liked them together, their romance isn’t perfect, but I like that they both are working on it. And there are some great scenes that really show they care and are there for one another. In other scenes I didn’t feel their romance at all and I have my suspicions that she’ll end up with someone else after all. He could be a bit controlling at times and while I am sure he means well, the whole interaction between them got old quick with him wanting to protect her and be safe and Vangie wanting to have the space to do her own thing. It didn’t help that half the interactions with the sheriff are similar. Yes Vangie does get herself into danger a few times, but most of the time she is reasonable smart about it.

To summarize: I really enjoyed this one and the mystery kept me guessing. The mystery had plenty of twists and turns and I really liked seeing it all play out. I like how these mysteries feel just a tad different than the ones in most books and I am never sure what’s going happen. I like Vangie and how real she feels. I am not sure yet about her new romance, but guess we’ll see how that develops in future books. Another great read in this series!

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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2 responses to “Review: Poison in the Pines by R.L. Syme

    • I really love this series. The mysteries all feel fresh and the main character is awesome. I actually just read the next book in this series.

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