Twilight at Blueberry Barrens (Sunset Cove Series #3). Colleen Coble. Thomas Nelson, Inc.. September 2016. 352 pp. ISBN#: 9781401690304.
Kate Mason is feeling stronger now, since she completed her chemotherapy and had a stem cell transplant for aplastic anemia and she and her sister are reunited. She’s loving the fact that she’s back at her favorite spot in the world, a remote farm in Maine. Even though it’s been a bad year for the blueberries, she and her sister Claire have put their thinking caps on and decided that Kate will renovate a small cottage on the farm and rent it out for the rest of the summer. Claire is about to get married and Kate hopes that union won’t separate she and her sister again! The rest of her family is in jail or nowhere near to comfort and support Kate who desperately needs some stability at this pivotal period of her life.
That piece is shattered when while looking through binoculars at a group of birds nesting nearby she sees the bodies of a man and woman at the bottom of a cliff. In very little time, the police seem to write it off as a murder and suicide, in spite of the fact they have little evidence other than the bodies to substantiate that claim.
The activity ramps up when Derek Carter arrives in the area with his two daughters. Outside of an elderly but spunky aunt nearby, Derek isn’t stating why he’s spending the summer here. He’s got his handful with these two girls as they are deeply hurting over the recent death of their parents. Derek and Kate meet and she agrees to rent him the cottage and a few days later accepts his offer of a summer job as a Nanny. From this point, the action swings into a fast-paced plot.
Kate learns that it was Derek’s brother and sister-in-law who were found dead but Derek believes they were murdered and that it is related to a deal related to a sale of drones. Kate’s home is broken into and she senses she is being watched but doesn’t know by whom. Here we also learn that her Uncle is out of jail and she believes him to be in the area after her. It’s at this point that one realizes reading the earlier novels in this series might result in less confusion about the way all of these threads connected to Derek and Kate cross each other, often creating confusion in the mind of the reader.
Eventually, each thread is solved after some theorizing and alert watching. While the mystery and its outcome is worth the reading, the end is rather anticlimactic with Claire dropping an unexpected bomb on Derek and Claire who by this time know they want to be together permanently. All in all, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens is a plot-driven mystery thriller that engages the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go. Nicely done, Colleen Coble. This reviewer is wondering where this series will go next and looking forward to it.