Title: Tattooed to Death
Author: Heather Redmond
Series: The Journaling Mysteries #2
Publisher: Severn House Publishing
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Pages: 224
Book Source: Netgalley

“Journaling blogger Mandy Meadows is determined to clear her friend’s name when she discovers a body by a dumpster.

Single mom, barista and journaling video blogger extraordinaire Mandy Meadows is distracted from her shift in the University of Seattle Hospital coffee bar when her friend – nurse and fellow journaling video blogger Reese O’Leary-Sett – receives a massage from hell at the hands of Coral Le Charme, the hospital’s new massage therapist. But concern over Coral’s dubious skills is the least of Mandy’s worries when she discovers Coral’s lifeless body by a dumpster later that evening.

What dark secrets was Coral hiding? Mandy’s tenant, homicide detective Justin Ahola, is on the case – and he has Reese firmly in his sights. Determined to help her friend, Mandy digs deeper into Coral’s life and makes some alarming discoveries. Can she clear Reese’s name and bring a killer to justice?” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

While Tattooed to Death by Heather Redmond is a cozy mystery, it actually touches on some very tough topics, and I applaud Redmond for incorporating them into the second book in the Journaling Mysteries.

It was wonderful to catch up with Mandy, her daughter, Vellum, and Mandy’s two friends, Reese and Linda. Redmond’s writing really shines when it comes to relationships. She’s created a group of woman that are caring and uplifting to each other. And how can you not love a neighbor that constantly brings over brownies?!? But the relationships are not all happy go lucky all the time, and Redmond can also write conflict in a very believable way too.

The heavier topics that are examined deal with ex-husbands who are horrible narcissists, teenage relationships, unwanted advances from men, stalking, and more. While these are heavy topics, Redmond is able to weave them into the story in a way that makes perfect sense and gives the reader something to think about, but doesn’t weigh the story down so you’re bawling your eyes out.

The killer does kind of come out of nowhere, but I am fine with that. Life is unpredictable and fiction can be as well. I like that the romantic angle shows that Mandy really is thinking about what’s best for her and Vellum, but I just hope that the uncertainty doesn’t linger for many more books. While I think romance can enhance cozies, I’m not a huge fan of the will they/won’t they (or love triangles), but that is just a personal quirk.
Tattooed to Death is another great addition to the Journaling Mysteries, and I am looking forward to book three.

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