Review: Corpse in the Coulee by R.L. Syme

Posted December 2, 2020 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 5 Comments

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Corpse in the CouleeCorpse in the Coulee (The Vangie Vale Mysteries #2)
by R.L. Syme

My Rating: 4 stars

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

Mystery, murder, missing people, and Bunco. Who could ask for anything more?

When Vangie brings a few fancy custard tarts to her Bunco group, she’s hoping to impress the guest of honor with her pastry skills. But when the guest of honor never shows up and her body is discovered, everyone at the Bunco group is a murder suspect. Wrong place at the wrong time.

Vangie Vale finds herself in another predicament trying to solve a murder in a neighboring small town before her mugshot shows up in the local anonymous gossip blog. And just when she hoped her Sherlocking days were done. No rest for the wicked…or the clergy.

Pick up your second book in The Matchbaker Mysteries today. You’ll never guess whodunit.

My Review

After reading the first book in this series earlier this year I couldn’t wait to get back to this series. This series has become one of my favorite cozy mystery series already. I love how it has elements I except in a typical cozy mystery, but also is unique. And I enjoy reading about Vangie Vale, she’s such a great main character.

I liked the unique twist this mystery had, it starts with a missing person, not a body. And for quite a while you aren’t sure whether she’s still alive or not and what happened to her. It was interesting and kept me guessing about what happened to her. There were some great twists and turns along the way and it made for a gripping mystery. I did manage to guess to culprit right early on, because something somehow made me suspect that person. Even so I wasn’t quite sure of my guess until the end and I had no idea how the pieces connected. I had the person and the motive partly, but couldn’t figure out the why and how everything happened.

I liked how there is plenty of progression throughout the book. There is often new information that comes to light or conversations that reveal something or add to the information you have. I like this in cozy mysteries. It makes it feel like there is progress even though we won’t know the culprit till the end of the book.

I really like main character Vangie. She just feels so real. I always understand why she acts in a certain way and why she makes certain decisions. I feel like I get a good feel for her personality and understand who she is and this makes it great to read about her. I like how it’s clear why she gets involved in these mysteries even tough it could cost her a lot and puts herself into danger and how this ties into who she is as a person who wants to help others and wants to figure things out. I like how those two sometimes conflict, she wants to be a good person and help others, but at times she has this almost morbid curiosity and fascination to want to know more about the mystery. I like how she’s there for others and genuinely wants to help them. I find her a likable character and I enjoy reading about her. She also makes mistakes and isn’t perfect, but that just makes her feel more real.

There is a bit more romance in this book than in the previous one. There are two possible love interest and for a while I wasn’t sure where things would go. Vangie’s relationship with both men develops in this book and I liked seeing how they interacted, even with the way things go at the end of this book I am not sure with whom she’ll end up in the end.

There were plenty of recurring side characters from book 1, which was fun. And the mystery plot focused on a completely different groups of characters. The first few chapters were a bit overwhelming getting to know so many new characters, but soon it got easier as the way this author writes characters makes them al feel unique and it makes it easy to remember who is whom.

To summarize: This was another awesome read in this series! I like how this author writes cozy mysteries, how they have some of the typical elements, but also feel fresh and original. The mystery in this one was a bit different as there is a missing person, but for a long time you aren’t sure whether she’s dead or alive. There were some great twists and turns along the way and I enjoyed the mystery. I did manage to guess the culprit early on, but I wasn’t fully sure and there were still plenty of things I wasn’t sure about, which made me eager to keep reading and find out more. I like the progression in this book, while you don’t find out who did it until the end, there is constantly new information coming to light or conversations that add to what we know. It’s great. Vangie Vale is an awesome main character. I really like her and she feels so real. I like how we get to know her and how I understand why she acts a certain way. I like her drive to solve these mysteries and also how she likes to help other people. The romance progresses a bit as well and I look forward to seeing where things go. This was another great read in this series and I am looking forward to the next one.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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5 responses to “Review: Corpse in the Coulee by R.L. Syme

    • It really is an amazing series so far and I love how real the heroine feels and all her actions make sense. I definitely would like some characters to be real so we could be friends, that would be great.

      I liked how it started with the missing person instead of a with a body. The way the story progressed felt different because of that.

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