A thread of conspiracy and intrique is building slowly throughout the series, forcing the characters to choose whom they will stand beside when the final confrontation occurs. Penny also has added a more human (and humorous) element to her books by splitting the action between Montreal and an idyllic rural community where the residents seem to have a penchant for murder.
Family Skeletons by Bobbie O'Keefe is an almost cozy-type mystery novel set on the northern California coast that includes a missing dad, an old Victorian home and the heroine who has survived two marriages and an addiction problem.
The heroine's problems are used to develop/explain her personality traits and not long scenes of being high or family fights. The characters are easy to relate to and care about. There is suspense, humor, and romance; but all done with a light hand. "Family Skeletons" makes a good quick read and can be found in mystery section.
-- review by Barb Read, Library Director