On its surface Don’t Trust Me by Jessica Lynch is a murder mystery with an interesting puzzle. The prime suspect in the murder of Jack is his wife, Tessie/Tess/Tessa. That goes with the time-honored theory that it is more likely the spouse, or at least people closest to the victim, committed the crime. But Tessie was in jail during the night of the murder. While that mystery percolates in the reader’s mind, Tessie, although grief-stricken, seems to appreciate the possibilities of future relationships or play with Deputy Sheriff Mason who put her in jail for drunk driving on the night of the husband’s murder. She also is impressed, as in take-my-breath-away by Hamlet’s only doctor and medical examiner by default, Dr. Lucas, the guy that cremated her husband’s body.
The town has a tough-as-nails Sheriff, Caitlan, who also happens to be the ex-wife of Dr. Lucas. A beautiful woman obsessed with her job as Sheriff, she is also obsessed with Dr. Lucas. She didn’t divorce him; he had left her. Readers note that Dr. Lucas couldn’t stand Caitlin’s controlling nature. At this point, readers might remember that Tess and Jack were on a trip that was to be a second honeymoon. An accident resulting in a flat tire had landed them for one night at Hamlet’s only Inn. The two were going on a second honeymoon because their marriage wasn’t working out. As far as Tess was concerned, she could no longer stand Jack’s controlling nature.
One husband dead. Tess looking with lust at Deputy Mason. Tess looking with lust at Dr. Lucas. Caitlin looking with lust at Dr. Lucas. Deputy Mason looking with lust at Tess and with disgust at Dr. Lucas. The doctor returning feelings of disgust for Mason at a higher level as he tries to develop a relationship with Tess. Above it all, we have the shining, innocent, misunderstood Tess who just wants to go back to working as a kindergarten teacher. She doesn’t want anyone controlling her life. Having gotten away from one controlling man (the dead Jack) she doesn’t intend to submit to either Deputy Mason or Dr. Lucas.
I felt I had gone from reading what started out as an interesting murder mystery to a weepy, long, too detailed romance novel. Tess is constantly on the edge of tears for one reason or the other. Everything is a trigger for deep emotional trauma and depression. But that doesn’t stop her from playing an almost flirtatious role with competing suiters. She doesn’t encourage either of them; that would not be proper. But she can’t seem to avoid getting physically excited when around either of them. This drew out the mystery over many, many pages.
There is a surprise ending that I was sure I saw coming. I was half right. If your genre is romance, you will probably like this novel. If your genres are crime and mystery; this story drags on for too long. I give it 3.7 stars and will round the Amazon rating up to four stars. Readers of romance novels jump in and promote the story with more stars than I could give. I was happy that this was a free read through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.