Book Review: The Corpse’s Secret Life by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Finding the Book

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My latest cozy mystery book review of The Corpse’s Secret Life by Nancy Lynn Jarvis is here!  This book, and series, was a joy to read, and I’m super excited to share it with you!

green and gray background with book cover and words cozy mystery book review the corpse's secret life by nancy lynn jarvis.

I am in some cozy mystery Facebook groups and had seen this author share the books in her newest series, A PIP Inc. Mystery series, and thought they definitely looked like books I would enjoy.

After saving them to my TBR list in Goodreads (you do that, too, right?), I happened to be contacted by the author asking if I’d like to read this series and possibly do a review.  I’m a huge fan of my massive TBR list organizing itself and giving me my next read without even thinking about it!

After binging on the first three books in this series, I can absolutely confirm that this series was indeed a fabulous read!  The below book review focuses only on the latest book in the series, The Corpse’s Secret Life, but please know that all of the books are worth your investment of reading time.

About the Book: The Corpse’s Secret Life by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Finding an heir to a deceased person laying in the county morgue should be a relatively simple job for new private investigator, Pat Pirard.  She gets the information from the coroner and immediately starts her investigation using her research skills gained from her years as a law librarian.  (Read this series from the beginning to follow Pat’s track from librarian to PI!)

She’s on a roll, discovering the next of kin for the deceased, but also finds a bit of a larger puzzle than she was anticipating when she discovers the dead woman had multiple identities.

Throw in a Canadian police officer living across the street from the deceased woman’s property, and the next of kin being an estranged brother across the pond in England, and Pat’s simple job has turned into quite a complicated investigation!

From the Publisher:  Pat’s fledgling private investigation company, PIP Inc., has a promising new case.

Pat is still wearing a wrist cast after breaking her arm in a confrontation with a killer, so when she’s hired by the City of Watsonville to unearth the identity of an older woman who died in her bed, she’s delighted that her next job promises to be a simple computer-based research project.

Why is it that things are never as simple as she thinks they will be? Pat soon discovers nothing is as it seems, beginning with a corpse who had secret identities, murder, and a post-death ritual thought to have last been performed decades ago.

What I Love

The Characters

I was attached to the Pat Pirard character from the first page of the first book in this series.  She has what I consider the “perfect” cozy mystery sleuth personality – smart, determined, and resourceful – without being portrayed as silly or lucky-to-stumble-across-clues as is sometimes the case in cozy mysteries.

The best friend Syda character seems to be the right amount of fun and BFF support for Pat’s character.  I enjoyed the relational play between these friends and thought the author did a fine job of making the best friend character fit into the storyline rather than being thrown in as a filler.

I also enjoyed the character of Tim, Pat’s boyfriend.  (Read from the beginning of the series to follow the path of this relationship!)  The author’s design of this police officer’s personality to be a supporter and partner to Pat’s PI character was a breath of fresh air in the cozy mystery world that often has the law enforcement characters, even those in a relationship with the main character, to be at odds with what the sleuth is doing to solve the case.  Well, done, Nancy Lynn Jarvis!

And if you like a bit of light, tasteful romance in your cozy mysteries, then you’ll very much enjoy that aspect of this series.  It is just the right amount of positive romance without being too much.

The Plot

I was quite surprised by the twists in the storyline for The Corpse’s Secret Life.  The corpse did in fact have a secret life with multiple identities, but the storyline went even deeper with an added twist to the secret life.  

The story unfolded with bringing in the corpse’s brother and the siblings’ ancestry of a new-to-me historical group that called itself “sin eaters.”  This was a bit of a lesson for me, and I enjoyed learning about something new to me, and I appreciated how it added depth and complexity to the mystery.

Final Thoughts & My Star Rating

I have to hand it to the author for bringing me not only a new series I enjoyed immensely, but surprising me several times in this latest book, The Corpse’s Secret Life.  The well-developed characters plus the detailed mystery storyline were definite wins, and I highly recommend this book and series.

I give this book a 5 star rating! 


Get the Book

Grab the book in Kindle ebook or paperback formats here on Amazon.

Follow the Author

You can find Nancy Lynn Jarvis, the author of The Corpse’s Secret Life here:






I would love to hear your thoughts when you read The Corpse’s Secret Life!  Please post in the comments, and if you enjoy following cozy mystery series, be sure to grab your free download with 45 cozy mysteries below!

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