“The Overlook Murder” is the excellent second installment in the Wintergreen Mysteries series. It definitely lived up to the high expectations set by the first book. Retired police detective Bill is an instantly likeable main character, and I enjoyed learning more about him as the story progressed. I appreciated the way local law enforcement asked him to help with the murder investigation, acknowledging his past experience and admitting they needed his help.
Due to Bill’s past experience, he is able to conduct his investigation in a methodical, efficient manner. I liked following his process and gradually learning more about the victim, the accident (or murder?), and the potential suspects and motives along with Bill. There was plenty for him to look into, and once everything was revealed in the end, it all made sense based on what we learned along the way. I found this book to be the perfect blend between a cozy mystery and a police procedural; while the crime is serious and the investigation fairly classic, there’s no gore or other hard-core content.
This time around, we spend more time with Bill’s girlfriend Cindy (a local caterer) and get to know her better. Other characters from the first book also make appearances, and I enjoyed the continuity this provided. Readers who are new to the series should be able to pick up everything they need to know fairly quickly, and should be able to follow the story without having read the first book.
As an added bonus, the book is set in the beautiful Wintergreen, Virginia area. Having lived in Virginia for most of my life, I can confirm that the author’s descriptions are accurate and will truly allow the reader to envision the surroundings. Mentions of other local areas added even more to my enjoyment of the story.
As another added bonus, Bill spends some of his non-investigative time trying to befriend the groundhog that lives on his lawn. Just when I thought I couldn’t love Bill any more….this fine gentleman is a friend to rodents!
All in all, five out of five chunks of my favorite Provolone! Plus a little extra for the groundhog!