Mesozoic Murder by Christine Gendry is the first book of a mystery chronicles, starring Ansel Phoenix as the paleoartist-turned-detective. Ansel is a half Native America half-Caucasian woman who draws dinosaurs for a living. However, on a trip with her paleontology class, she discovers the corpse of her former lover, Nick Capos.
The mystery of Nick’s death draws Ansel’s interest, despite the fact that she and Nick haven’t been together for a long time. Ansel soon finds out that Nick was working on a project worth killing for, and becomes wrapped up in trying to save what he has discovered.
Though I do enjoy mysteries, I’d have to rate this book on the lower side. The plot was all right, but did not live up to my expectations of a good mystery book; instead, it focused more on science, and the paleontology facts that Ansel uses to deduce the murderer and to figure out what Nick was hiding. Throughout the series, Ansel also struggles with her identity, and how others view her as a “half-breed.”
My favorite books are those that dig deep into a theme. While Gendry’s novel had Ansel’s ethnicity issue, it only skimmed the surface of it, and did not provide a deeper message. If you’re into geology and paleontology, and would love to see science with a little mystery, Mesozoic Murder would be a quick and fun read.