I broke one of my rules for reading series. I read book number two before reading book number one in Tim Downs’ Bug Man novels. But I survived! It wasn’t difficult to follow the story and understand the characters, though I do have book number one, Shoofly Pie first on my TBR list!
Nick Polchak is a professor at North Carolina State University. He’s a forensic entomologist. Students flock to his classes to watch him, more than to learn about the bugs he studies. And his private research in decomposition has “spawned campus legends about missing undergraduates and shallow graves deep in the Carolina woods.”
His fascination with all things buggy leads Dr. Riley McKay to his door. Dr. McKay is a pathology fellow in the Allegheny County coroner’s office. She has a feeling that something is off with a few of the autopsies her boss has recently signed off. The fact that her concerns are brushed aside by the coroner make her cautious of involving any of her colleagues. She’s looking for someone to corroborate her suspicions that something is amiss.
Nick’s initial findings with which bugs laid eggs in what orifice (yep, sort of gross) seem to lead credence that the victims died under different circumstances than their death certificate indicates. But why? Their investigation leads them to an up-and-coming pharmaceutical company with a cash flow problem.
The pacing of the mystery is good. There were some plot twists I wasn’t expecting, and a few that I was. But I enjoyed the ride. Nick’s sense of humor as well as the sweet romance developing between Riley and Nick were additional treats. After catching up with book one, I intend to read the whole series, which now has six titles.
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