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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
Cold Case No. 99-5219 is the fourth book in the Samantha Church Mystery Series by Betta Ferrendelli. When she visited her sister's grave, Sam found another grave with a very peculiar headstone. The inscription on the headstone did not say anything about the real name of the child who was buried there; instead, it called her "Baby Hope" and had an appeal to the general public to call the given number if they knew anything about the infant. Sam was deeply touched by Baby Hope and decided to dig more to discover something that might help solve this cold case. She talked to her friend and the owner of Perspective, (the place where she worked as a reporter) Wilson, and convinced him that there might be a story here. Although he wasn't happy with the idea, she got the go-ahead from Wilson and started digging around. Amidst this very important murder investigation, she was also dealing with her personal troubles. Earlier Sam had had a problem with alcohol and was unfit to raise her daughter, April. Given this scenario, April had been living with her grandmother, Esther. The relationship between Sam and Esther was very bitter since Esther held Sam responsible for the suicide of her son. To get April back, Sam started going to the AA meetings and soon she would have to stand in front of a judge to get full custody of her daughter.
I thoroughly enjoyed Baby Hope's murder investigation. The author has included so many emotional tidbits in the plot that only a stony-hearted reader could remain detached. When I started reading about the cops finding a baby's corpse in a dumpster and then never being able to solve the case, I wasn't instantly glued, but then the author worked her magic wand and I was hooked to everything related to the case. The subplot involving Sam missing her daughter was quite emotional, too. Her intense feeling in hearing April's voice and her helplessness in getting hold of April on special occasions - due to Esther's resentment towards her - added an extra emotional factor to the already emotional murder mystery. The romance was sprinkled into the plot -- only sprinkled-- but it neither took center stage nor got any vocal acknowledgment from the characters. Every character is very much relatable and the events are quite practical. Nothing miraculous happened which might take away from the plausibility of the plot. Everything from the characters to the intrigue of the murder mystery is well executed. To rate Cold Case No. 99-5219 by Betta Ferrendelli anything less than 5 stars would be an injustice. Readers who like an emotional, turmoil-packed murder mystery will be highly pleased with this heartfelt work.