I did not get a chance to read the second, but I did read the first: Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass and enjoyed it.
Belinda Blake is happy with her new life in the Carriage house, but things back home are a little rocky. Her ‘friend’ Jonas’ mother is terminally ill and passes away in the very beginning. There is a continuation of conversational ease here which makes even the sad scenes very realistic. The only thing I did not buy in this instalment was the need that Belinda fell to entangle herself in the local death(s) which eventually does not turn out to be too good for her. Once she does, she keeps the regular updates of her thought process very clear. This is a shorter book than others of its ilk but packs a lot into it. We have a local boy who was run over, and some found the situation and the event very suspicious. Belinda finds out that an old friend of hers is the reporter handling the story. That is how she finds herself questioning people and building a case. It just so happens she does not get it right at all. This absurd scenario culminates in a hostage situation, although Belinda survives.
I would recommend it to readers of the genre because it is an easy read and there is as much stunned incomprehension and discussion about the killer’s identity after its revelation as any reader would have shown. I think it can even be read as a standalone thanks to all the background information provided. It does have a lot more personal drama than the first instalment.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience and my prior reading of the first book of the series.