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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Dead Man's Trail: Psychic Sleuths and Talking Dogs by Max Parrott is the tenth book in the Jaz and Luffy Cozy Mystery series. Jasmine has solved mystery after mystery and now she's finally embarking on a vacation with her friends, but leaving her sleuthing nature behind in Blackwood Cove is easier said than done. Blackwood Cove is described as being a safe town when she was a kid, only having been shaken up in recent years and creating the ideal backdrop for her adventures. On vacation, the quiet mountain provides the ideal location for Jasmine's new mystery which has a layer of darkness underneath that's revealed through her visions. The discovery of a body pulls Jasmine into another murder investigation and a cold case, but is she finally in over her head? As she digs deeper, tensions rise with her best friend Brandon, but how can she turn her back on finding the truth?
The use of a talking dog partner-in-crime is still golden as Luffy's innocent and delightful viewpoint and commentary continue to charm. Max Parrott delves more deeply into the after-effects of her visions and the dependence she has on them to solve mysteries. This latest mystery plays with the idea that her visions are starting to take a toll on her and create a conflict with Brandon (who is concerned for her). When she has a vision that fills her with a sense of dread, she begins to wonder if the visions have to do with her. Her visions are woven into the story throughout, taking Jasmine out of the moment and providing her with the next clues that drive her forward. This conflict adds a little drama to her life with the friendship bordering the brink of disaster and creating a dynamic between them that will either deepen or strain. This is another layer to their friendship which Parrott continues to explore with each mystery. Dead Man's Trail is another delightful installment in the series with humor, top-notch mystery, conflict, and a lovely setting.