Murder at the Doctor’s Office by Tanya R. Taylor

Title: Murder at the Doctor’s Office (Joe McCullen Cozy Mystery #2)

Author: Tanya R. Taylor

Published on: 28 September 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Murder at the Doctor’s Office is the second book in Tanya R. Taylor’s Joe McCullen Cozy Mystery series.

I read the first book of this series a couple of months ago and I liked the setting and the characters. So it was quite obvious that I would read the next installment. I kept my hopes high on Murder at the Doctor’s Office. I am disappointed that this book did not live up to my expectations. Before I move on what did not work for me, let’s take a look at what the story is about.

Melanie Robinson needed the help of a good doctor and she was convinced she’d found him – Dr. Mark Bridges. Bridges came highly recommended and had a pretty good track record. But when things went horribly wrong for Melanie, Dr. Bridges refused to accept his fault. Melanie’s husband Todd was furious and he said Dr. Bridges will suffer the consequences.

Cherry, Dr. Bridges assistant of twenty years, is retiring. After her send-off party, Dr. Bridges stays back at the clinic while rest of the staff leave for home. Dr. Bridges hears someone coming to his room – they point a gun at him and shoot.

It’s been a couple of days since Melanie died and Dr. Bridges murdered being on Melanie’s funeral day is no coincidence. When Todd disrespects Dr. Bridges coffin, he’s arrested. He soon confesses to killing Dr. Bridges. But father Joe McCullen knows Todd is innocent.

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In my review of Murder at the Convent, I said Joe McCullen reminds me of Father Brown. Well, I might have praised this series a bit too early because Father Brown, as far as I remember, started on a good note and then turned out to be a bore. The same can be said about this book too. I hope the next installment is better or I will be skipping this series for good.

There was no mystery here. No sleuthing either – unless one considers questioning a suspect or two and guesstimating the killer to be a totally different person (who was never suspected nor were they in town at any point of investigation.) I do not understand why the local police was so interested in closing the case without investigating properly. Even before his arrest, the police did not do their job of questioning all those who were present at the send-off party.

The killer’s identity was no surprise. There are two PoVs here – one involves Joe McCullen and his ‘investigation’ while the second is about Cherry and her life after retirement. What I did not like about Joe’s ‘investigation’ is that, after questioning two suspects, he knows for sure they are innocent. He cannot explain how he came to this conclusion but he knows they aren’t involved… Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

There was no proper investigation here. Just Todd and his antics. It seemed as if the reader is forced to believe Todd is the killer and out of the blue, the killer turns out to be someone else. The ‘best part’ about this – Father Joe has a light bulb moment, calls the killer and says they must confess. And the killer agrees. I leave it to you to decide if this is something you would like to read in a mystery novel.

This story was not for me. There was no plot-to-story development, no proper mystery, no nothing. While the first book was too good to be true, the second turned out to be a dud read.


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