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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.7 out of 5
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  • Hustling to pay the bills

    Hildy Schneider is hustling like most people to pay the bills. When her hours at the hospital are cut she and her therapy dog, Roscoe, pick up a second gig using her social worker skills with the police department. She walks a fine line between her loyalty to her patients at the hospital and the police department and she is tested the first week in her new job when a patient is somehow mixed up in a murder investigation. With threats coming from the murder investigation and her boss at the hospital, Hildy does her best to keep her responsibilities balanced between her two jobs. Not believing her patient is a murderer, Hildy works to put the pieces of the puzzle together to prevent a far darker scenario that seems to be looming on the horizon. She just has to hope the final piece fall into place before she’s swept up with the remaining pieces and tossed away forever. The second book in this series gives us even more to love about Hildy and Roscoe. While flawed herself, she sees the good in others and strives to make life better for everyone around her. This gives Hildy and Roscoe a special place in my cozy loving heart.

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  • Police procedural with social worker - loved it!

    This is an interesting book, the second in the Helping Hands Mystery series. The premise is that this small town begins a program called Helping Hands where a social worker rides along with the police during their night shift, since the police frequently encounter situations where a social worker could be of use. Examples of this are when the police are trying to interview people who extremely distressed, or who have mental or substance abuse disorders. She can also help struggling people get set up with counseling or other services that the police can't. The combination of these two made me think of a police procedural from the view of a social worker. Hildy also brings her service dog along with her on the ridealongs with the police. In this particular book, one of Hildy's former clients is having hallucinations, specifically that he saw a ghost in the cemetery, where he goes to walk at night, and that he saw someone murdered. Later that week, the police and Hildy go to a local farm to do an unrelated welfare check, and find a dead body. This is the beginning of a plot with lots of twists and turns, since Hildy's client with the hallucinations talks about seeing a man killed and that a 'purple and pink spotted dinosaur saw it all', and there is a purple and pink ceramic dinosaur in the kitchen where the body was found. There is a developing romance between Hildy and one of the officers. I enjoyed it very much, and want to read the first book. The author also has another related series, the Mattie Winston Mystery series that looks very interesting. Mattie Winston is a deputy coroner and also is mentioned in this book also. Thanks so much to Kensington Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review an advance reading copy.

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  • Excellent!

    psych-social-worker, wisconsin, schizophrenia, therapy-dog, law-enforcement, murder-investigation, small-town***** Not an unbiased review: I live in Wisconsin, I share job history with author, daughter is a social worker. Use of present tense very disconcerting much of the time, other than that, I loved the way the mystery played out! Complex characters that many of us could have met and interacted with, solid plot with misdirections, twists, and outright red herrings all add up to a very fine read. No spoilers here. I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • A Fabulous Second Instalment

    Night Shift is a super mystery with some interesting characters and it is a great second instalment in this entertaining series. Hildy Schneider, a social worker, starts a moonlighting job in small-town Sorenson, Wisconsin, working with the police, supplementing her main employment at Sorenson General Hospital. On her second night, she visits a former patient, Danny Hildebrand, who has suffered from hallucinations for years. Danny believes he’s genuinely being haunted by the victim of a grisly murder he witnessed, but did nothing to prevent the killing. But when a body shows up in a neglected farmhouse with parts of the head missing, complex protagonist Hildy and Detective Bob Richmond start following the leads. Having previously read the series opener, Needled to Death in the 'Helping Hands Mysteries' I found this one, Night Shift, equally engrossing. There were several levels to this mystery and it contained a lot of depth and grittiness for a cozy. I loved Annelise Ryan's portrayal of Hildy and I liked her for her sympathetic, sunny nature and hard-working ethos. The story was extremely satisfying with snippets of humour, and a soupçon of romance, alongside some very good twists. I'm very keen to read the next in the series! I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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