3 out of 4 stars
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Death in Costa Rica: A Mary Jane Morris Mystery is the second book written in the fictional series by J. J. Jorgens. It can be read easily as a stand-alone book, as it is a complete story with no cliffhangers. Mary Jane Morris, though trained as a lawyer, is now a detective in Washington, D.C. Her once romantic notions of being a detective were fast coming to an end, especially with the case of Christopher Hill’s murder. The money-hungry family wanted their share of the Hill’s fortune, and Mary Jane was getting nowhere with the murder investigation. The family made terrible accusations against her and used reporters to attack Mary Jane’s credibility.
To get away from it all for a while, Mary Jane decides to visit her Aunt Carmen in Costa Rica. Jackson, a 14-year-old son of her renter, Sally, goes with her, and the two experience some adventurous and wonderful times in Costa Rica. However, they soon discover “trouble in paradise.” Uncle Klaus had recently and unexpectedly died, and at the same time, his best friend Nathan disappeared. Someone is sabotaging Carmen’s beach hotel business, selling fake ancient Indian art, and producing fake land registry papers. All of these issues are enough to keep Mary Jane busy during her time “away from it all.“
I liked that Mary Jane and Jackson got to do a lot of fun activities while in Costa Rica, and everything that they did do tied into the story leading them to a discovery. I liked best how the time ended in Costa Rica with all the loose ends tied up nicely. The time in Costa Rica helped Mary Jane solve the case in Washington, and the book ends with revealing the mystery to the Hill’s murder case.
I rate Death in Costa Rica 3 out of 4 stars. One of the reasons for not giving a 4-star rating is that the book had more than ten errors in punctuation and grammar. Also, two times the author used Christopher “Harris” instead of Hill. Another reason for the 3-star rating is that I feel like the story didn’t seem to flow as well in the middle as it did in the beginning and in the ending. I liked least that the book had more than 20 characters to keep track of and sort out. However, the book had many interesting aspects of Costa Rica, such as, preserving the rainforest, culture, and animal life along with believable small-town issues that make this book worth more than a 2-star rating.
People who like to read detective stories, want to learn a little about Costa Rica and don’t mind a slower paced story would like this book the most. This book would appeal the least to people who really do not like murder mysteries or detective stories.
Death in Costa Rica
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