I just received this wonderful “hands down 5 stars” rating and review by the delightful Didi Oviatt!
In the Body in the Building, Natalie Shaw, or Nat, as we know her, has been thrown right in the middle of a murder investigation. Much like in the first installment of Jane Stockwell’s investigation books, The Map In the Fortune Cookie, Nat has found herself in quite the conundrum. Lucky for her, she’s a resourceful woman, with a right crafty head on her shoulders.
I really enjoy Nat, since the first time I read of her life I’ve taken a liking to her. She has a real feel to her, unlike a lot of fictional mystery books where the average lady randomly becomes a nearly super hero type heroine, sweeping in to save the day. Rather, she really just wants to live her life. She’s happy, content, and a very successful architect who actually has her life together. However, when she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, things seem to swirl and unravel, revealing the fact that everything in her life isn’t as safe and mundane as they may at first seem. Which forces her to wonder, was it really the wrong place, or was it exactly where she needed to be in order to save her own bacon from a very dangerous conspiracy that is far too close for comfort? She handles it like a boss, which I love.
You see, Nat has been working on the building of a shopping mall for some time now. They’re at the point of no return in the project, and have run into a water problem of sorts in the basement of the mall. Construction is underway, and due to the troubling water problems, the second level of the building is also having to be delayed. The pressure is on from Nat’s boss to get to the bottom of the issues so that the project will be finished on time. After having investigated the basement with a known contractor on sight, Nat goes about her day. Hours later, she realizes that her purse is missing from her handbag. After mentally retracing her steps, the only logical place for it to be is in the basement of the mall. While going to find it, Nat comes across quite the grueling scene! Not only is there a dead body by the water, but she later discovers that he’d left a note for her to find in her purse before being brutally killed in that basement.
As if finding a dead body on her worksite isn’t enough of a toll on one’s sanity, this note leads Nat to one shocking discovery after another! The cops are on her back, as it was her project where the man was killed, and because she was the person who found the body. Her boss is a pushy man who’s clearly upset about the setback. And, to make matters worse, Nat constantly has to watch her back, afraid that she may be next on the list.
Hands down 5 stars. This is a really quick read, that can easily be devoured in one or two sittings. It can be read consecutively with The Map in the Fortune Cookie, or each as a standalone. I recommend reading both, as they each show varying sides of Nat which ties in nicely.