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House of Dads by June Gillam

House of Dads: A Hillary Broome Novel (Hillary Broome Novels) (Volume 2) - June Gillam

Note: While this is Book 2 in the series,  it works fine as a stand alone story.

The patriarch of the California Broome family has passed away and Hillary is off to attend the funeral and also get the details for her article at the newspaper. She’s a cousin to the powerful family, who own a construction company, and she has a lot to learn about them. During the funeral, Teddy, who had inherited the construction company, dies unexpectedly. Everyone suspects murder. Meanwhile, Hillary and Detective Ed Kiffin have had a whirlwind romance since they met two months ago in Book 1, House of Cuts.

I quite enjoyed the previous book in this series and this book was not quite as good. For me, the main disappointment was that the romance eclipsed the mystery and I’m not big on romance plots. While the first book had a solid murder mystery to pursue, this book didn’t have much detective work going on. Solving the case was more of an accident, of things falling into place at the last minute. While these two things made this story a bit less enjoyable than the first book, I still enjoyed it as a quick, cozy murder mystery.

The patriarch of the Broome Construction company set up his will so that only a male heir can inherit it, he having rather dated ideas about women in the work force. With Teddy suddenly dead, and no male heir waiting in the wings, the Broome women start battling for control of the company. Maggie is the remaining matriarch and her daughter Violet, per a clause in the will, has temporary control over the company until a male heir appears. Maggie wants control of the company and hatches an unlikely scheme for gaining that control. Meanwhile, Violet and her husband decide to get busy reproducing, hoping for a son.

There’s plenty of spying on one another and swapping gossip. In fact Hillary discovers a key piece of info and decides to share it with one of these ladies. Another body hits the floor. I thought it a bit naive of Hillary to share this info but then again, I know that she really wants to be accepted by this branch of her family.

Walt, Ed’s work partner, isn’t a big fan of the institution of marriage. However, he tends to enjoy his freedom a bit too much, over eating and over drinking. Still, he makes a charming side kick to Ed, who still struggles with his smoking addiction. While Ed has no doubts about a life with Hillary, she does have doubts. This creates some angsty romance stuff throughout the story that I found a little boring.

In the end, there’s a small twist concerning the number of murders that I quite liked. However, catching the murderer was a happenstance kind of thing that I felt was way too scripted. Over all, this book wasn’t as exciting and innovative as Book 1. It was still a pleasant read and I’m curious to see what happens to Hillary in Book 3.

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author (via iRead Book Tours – thanks!) at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Narration: Ginny Harman’s narration was OK. I kept getting the ladies mixed up as they sounded so similar. The male voices were easy to keep straight as they were each distinct.