Friday 18 September 2020




Jonathan Kendrick's grandmother lives in the upstate New York village of Felicity Grove. And whenever something of a criminal nature occurs, Grandma Anna is right in the thick of it. This time, the senior sleuth needs Jonathan's help to clear an innocent man's name. Zebediah Crummler, the cemetery caretaker, has been arrested for killing a member of the powerful Harnes family… Because of his childlike nature, Crummler is placed in an asylum, where his inconsistent tales and ramblings prove difficult for Jonathan and Anna to decipher. But they must be careful, for the Harnes clan has its own idea of rendering justice.

Sorrow’s Crown is the second book in Piccirilli’s Felicity Grove series after The Dead Past and it was enjoyed much the same as the first.

Small town setting, amateur snooping from Jonathan Kendrick and his disabled Grandmother – again due to a lack of confidence in the local sheriff/police chief – I forget which.

The simple-minded graveyard curator is the patsy for a murder; the victim being the son of the one of the richest and most powerful men in the state. Our intrepid duo, Jonathan and Anna, friends of the man. Crummler seek to uncover the real killer and in the mean-time cross swords with the head of the Harnes family; a man who is used to having his own way by fair means or foul.

Family history, secrets, a dysfunctional dynamic, power games, a long-ago suicide, psychopathic tendencies, money and influence buying silence, a local asylum as a playground for abuse, torture and more, an investigation, friendship, an elusive brother, and an outcome which goes some way to redressing the balance. The resolution worked well enough for me.

Enjoyable as far as it went. Nothing particularly memorable or conversely objectionable. Interesting story, interesting investigation, decent setting, decent characters – both familiar, due to the recent proximity of the earlier book in the series. We get where we are going soon enough, with no particular haste and with no sense of drag. The book itself is 20 years old, so there is no real reliance on tech to do the legwork in the investigation. It's more a case of asking questions and stirring the pot.

3 from 5

Piccirilli’s The Dead Past was enjoyed earlier in the month, to add to a few from the author in the pre-blogging days. I’ll read more from him in the future and look forward to them without actually causing a stampede.

Read - (listened to) August, 2020

Published – 1998

Page count – 231 (6 hrs 40 mins)

Source – Audible purchase

Format - Audible


  1. Sometimes those less-gritty stories featuring an amateur sleuth are just what the doctor ordered, Col. Even if the story didn't keep you enthralled, it sounds like it was enjoyable, and there's something about those small-town mysteries...

  2. I love Piccirilli but never read this series, sounds like something I'd enjoy. Thanks for the review!

    1. You're welcome, Cullen. I'm looking forward to more from Piccirilli.

  3. Definitely interested in this series. I like the sound of the old lady.

    1. Ha, you do like a strong female personality!

  4. This sounds too weird for me. Which is good, I have too many books, too many authors, on the TBR.

    1. No problem, maybe something else from him catches your fancy.