#BookReview: Cold Case No. 99-5219 – A Samantha Church Mystery Series Book 4 by Betta Ferrendelli

Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite

Cold Case No. 99-5219 is the Fourth book in A Samantha Church Mystery Series by Betta Ferrendelli. I assume that the protagonist, Samantha Chuch, lost her dear sister, Robin, in one of the previous series. When she visited her sister’s grave, Sam’s daughter, April, found another grave with a very peculiar headstone. The inscription on the headstone did not say anything about the real name of the child who was buried; instead, it called her “Baby Hope” and had an appeal to the general public to call the given number if they knew anything about the buried infant. Sam was deeply touched by Baby Hope and decided to dig more to discover something that might help solve this cold case. She talked to her friend and the owner of Perspective, (the place where she worked as a reporter) Wilson, and convinced him that there might be a story there. Although the managing editor of Perspective wasn’t happy with the idea, she got a go-ahead from Wilson and started digging around. Amidst this very important murder investigation, she is also dealing with her personal troubles. Earlier Sam had the problem with alcohol and therefore, she was unfit to raise her daughter, April. Considering this scenario, April had been living with her grandmother, Esther. The relationship of Sam and Esther is very bitter since Esther holds Sam responsible for the suicide of her son. To get April back, Sam started going to the AA meetings and soon, she would have to stand in front of a judge to get a full custody of her daughter.

Since this is the fourth book of the series, there are several references to the incidents that must have happened in the earlier books; however, if you are not a very curious cat, you would survive the suspense. The mention of Sam’s ex-husband killing himself, the murder of her sister, Sam’s alcoholism, Sam’s kidnapping, and Esther’s bitterness toward her for reasons other than her holding Sam responsible for the suicide of his son are few of those references. Fortunately, I can suppress my curiosity and focus on only the main plot, I thoroughly enjoyed the Baby Hope’s murder investigation. The author has included so many emotional tidbits in the plot that only a stonehearted reader can remain detached to feeling an heartfelt sympathy for Baby Hope. When I just started reading about the cops finding a baby’s corpse in a dumpster and then never being able to solve the case, I wasn’t instantly glued to the case, but then the author worked her magic wand and I was hooked to everything related to the case.

The subplot involving Sam missing her daughter was quite emotional, too. Her intense feeling to hear April’s voice and helplessness in getting a hold of her on special occasions due to Esther’s resentment towards her added an extra emotional factor to the already emotional murder mystery. The romance was sprinkled in the plot — only sprinkled– but it neither took the center stage nor got any vocal acknowledgment from the characters. Every character is very much relatable and the events are quite practical. Nothing miraculous happened which might take away the plausibility of the plot.

Everything from the characters to the intrigue of the murder mystery is well executed; therefore, I have nothing negative to comment on the book. To rate Cold Case No. 99-5219 by Betta Ferrendelli anything less than 5 stars would be an injustice. The readers who like an emotional turmoil packed murder mystery would be highly pleased with this heartfelt work of the author.

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