In Sickness and In Death, the third installment of the Broken Vows mystery series, releases September 2011.
Here’s the cover blurb:
“Jolene Parker isn't sure what to think when her police deputy husband, Ray, unexpectedly brings home a new foster child. The impulsive son of a jailed car thief, twelve-year-old Danny has talents that include picking locks and hotwiring cars.
Following Danny's brief joyride in the car that he says is his dad's, a horrific surprise turns up in the trunk: a woman's arm. While Ray hunts down the victim's identity, Jolene tries to determine whether Danny's father did the deed. And it drives her straight into the killer's sights.”
The Broken Vows mysteries have an underlying story arc involving family relations that hangs in the balance from book to book. Those of you who read the first book in the series know it had a happy ending for the protagonist. Book two, not so much. I debated with book three. It could have easily gone either way and the mystery would not have lost any of its punch. I had a perfect moment and a perfect line for a happy or a bittersweet ending.
I debated whether readers who now have a vested interest in the family saga would tolerate two unhappy endings in a row. Is that too much of a downer? Are most readers like me, preferring the “happily ever after” ending? Of course if they are like me, they write that ending in their own heads and wait to see if that’s what occurs in the next book.
So, when you’re vested in a character and a series, do you prefer a happy ending or doesn’t it matter? Does your answer depend on whether the series is more of a cozy or not? Whether it’s the last book in the series or not?
(Psst…In Sickness and In Death is available for pre-order. Pass the word, please.)