Title: Grey Stones (Jess Bridges Mysteries #4)
Author: Joss Stirling (Julia Golding)
Published on: 27 Feb 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Grey Stones is the fourth book in Jess Bridges Mysteries by Joss Stirling aka Julia Golding. A contract for four books were signed between the author and One More Chapter (HarperCollins UK). I have my fingers crossed that Julia will continue to write more of Jess Bridges series because this is no doubt, one of my favorite mystery series.
The story alternates between Jess and Leo. Jess first met Leo months ago when she accidentally stumbled on a naked corpse. Ahem, Jess was naked too – skinny dipping in the Thames; nothing to do with the naked corpse. Jess began to ‘interfere’ in the police business, gathering clues and solving crimes. Jess’ interference led to Leo and Jess falling for each other – we had some pretty steamy scenes (in the garden) in the previous book.
In Grey Stones, we see Leo and Jess finally getting to spend some time with Leo’s friends – a reunion but Jess and Leo will have a four-poster bed to themselves. *wink wink* As they reach the venue, Leo’s ex Janice calls dibs on the four-poster bed (and has her eyes on Leo too…). The reunion goes sideways when Leo is called to investigate a local crime – one of the resort’s employees committed suicide – or so he was told. But certain clues point to the employee being murdered. Meanwhile, one of Leo’s friends dies of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Things ended a little ‘hawt’ in the previous book and I was eagerly waiting to see how this chemistry would be incorporated in the next book. I must say I am a little disappointed. Mostly got to do with the fact that I had high expectations from this book and I did not like the way things proceeded.
The mystery behind the suicide/murders seemed a little dragged – and boring. There’s also the angle of toxic relationships between Leo’s friends – somehow this failed to add a zing to the story. Julia Golding has also included a couple of real-life events – the human trafficking case in UK (a human trafficking case of Vietnamese people gone horribly wrong) and the pandemic(just the start of it; Story’s set in the month of Feb – one of Leo’s colleagues has contracted it already.)
I felt the story was all over the place – Jess trying to solve it, Leo trying to solve it, and the local cops being a pain-in-the-backside. Having said that, I really loved the twist in Leo’s life – the poor thing never saw it coming. I missed Michael – he played a major role in the first two books. He does make an appearance but guest-ish.
Overall, Grey Stones was an okay read. I didn’t enjoy reading it as much as I wanted to – like I said before, kept my expectations high. If you are new to the series, I highly recommend you to start from book #1. In spite of giving Grey Stones 3 stars, Jess Bridges is still a favorite sleuth and I am looking forward to reading more of her adventures. Fingers crossed for book #5.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.