2 out of 4 stars
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Notice of Death by Genesis Cotterell is the third book in The Ryxin Trilogy. It is a murder mystery that follows Private Investigator, Curtis McCoy, and his Assistant PI, Janux Lennan, as they try to investigate the "accident" of a Ryxin woman named Maggie Lavore. If like me, you haven't read the first two books of this series, then you must be wondering about the term Ryxin. Ryxin community consists of the species that migrated from their planet to Earth for survival. Although humans allowed them to take shelter, they never truly accepted their presence. They passed unfair laws and imposed difficult conditions to demean Ryxins. They did not take Ryxin murders very seriously and did not investigate properly; therefore, Ryxin Justice Department and Ryxin Private Investigation Bureau were established. These departments helped them receive justice -- sooner or later.
Anyway, Maggie Lavore supposedly fell off a ferry while returning home from an island. This case was closed by human authorities; however, when Curtis McCoy received a letter from Maggie's friend, Alys Mocelle, things changed. Alys stated in the letter that this was no accident, and she had reasons to believe that Maggie was pushed off the ferry. Recording Alys' statement added one more complication since she was serving her time in the prison for an armed robbery.
The added element of Ryxin species separated Notice of Death from any other ordinary murder mysteries. By mentioning various prejudices against Ryxins, the author made the concept of aliens living with humans quite believable. There is a romantic angle between Curtis and Janux, but they would have to face legal repercussions if they pursued this love interest. This is definitely a very intriguing twist, but unfortunately, I could not feel anything for their situation. Their romantic feelings are not very beautifully written. There was no spark in the words that expressed their feelings. In fact, their dialogues seemed quite animated to me.
I do not know how private investigators address each other, but the repetitive addressing of Janux as Assistant PI (instead of her name) by Curtis put me off every time. I know that the author used this technique to show when Curtis was addressing Janux in work mode, but all it did was lose my interest as a reader.
Since there were many characters in the book and two murder mysteries were going in parallel, Janux's report, summarizing suspects and interrogations, that Curtis asked her to prepare helped me to keep up with the plot. This was definitely a very clever trick of the author. The suspense remained until the end and the story developed in an intriguing way.
According to me, Notice of Death by Genesis Cotterell would appeal to the readers who wish to read a quick murder mystery. The inclusion of an alien species would prove to be an added perk to them. If it weren't for the animated conversations, I would have awarded the book with the perfect 4 rating; however, to me, it's very important to make a connection with the characters. Therefore, I would rate the book 2 out of 4 stars.
Notice of Death
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