Review of A Message in Blood by Catherine Maiorisi
This is such an excellent mystery series! It’s really well done and each book is better than the last. This is the third and possibly final book in the series and I could not stop reading it. This book is a little on the longer side, but I found myself actually wishing that the book would slow down since I seemed to be coming to the end far too quickly. This is a series I would easily recommend to any mystery fans.
I do have to give a trigger warning that one of the major crimes in this book is about sexually abused children. In this book, all of the abuse happened “off-screen” as they say, or it was related to memories. While it was absolutely heartbreaking and stomach-turning, I would say if you can handle an episode of Law and Order SVU, you could read this book. And while it is such a tough subject, this is a story about trying to get the bad guys but also hope for some of the victims too. I don’t care for books that are super depressing so I was glad this book had a good balance to it.
The mystery is all contained in this one book so you could start the series here if you really wanted to. I would recommend starting at book one, A Matter of Blood or at least I would suggest reading book two, The Blood Runs Cold, first. The main character Corelli has had some incredible growth in this series. She used to not even be able to say the letters PTSD let alone understand that it’s a part of her life. In fact, a lot of readers don’t even like Corelli, in book one, since she was a bit of a jerk. I like my detectives flawed and a bit moody so I always enjoyed her character but it’s still great seeing the new person she is becoming. Anyway, there is the growth in Corelli, the experience and backbone her partner grew, and just other relationships that you would miss out on if you didn’t start reading this series at book one.
I don’t really feel like I can put the romance tag on this. With everything Corelli has been going through she wasn’t even in the right headspace to date for most of the series. Things are changing and there was even a little kissing in this book, but I think of that more as a bonus and that this should be read for the mystery, not for a romance. And the mystery was well done again like in every book in this series. This time, I was happy to say that I could not figure out who the “bad guy/girl” was. I’m usually good at figuring it out from reading so many mysteries but I was hooked on the wrong person instead. I love when mystery authors can sneak one by me and Maiorisi is clever.
The way this book ended had a nice wrap up for not only the case but the characters too. It had the feel that this might be the end. If it is the end, I will really miss this series. Maiorisi is so good at writing mysteries that I hope if this is the end, that she will write more crime/mystery or even intrigue/suspense-romance books. I think she was born to write in these types of genres and I’d love to read more of them by her. If you could not guess by my glowing review, I would absolutely recommend this series to all mystery fans. 4.50 Stars.