I also thought this book started off well with a corpse discovered in a flooded cottage in the hitherto peaceful town of Shrewsbury. Coroner Martha Gunn is notified and the whole process of the Coroner's Inquest begins. As the author points out the Coroner is to make a determination as to the identity of the deceased and by what manner they died. While she can order forensic examination of the body she is not part of the police. Some Coroners have taken public stands on certain issues they think are important, but Martha has not done so in the past. (The Inquest on Princess Diana's death is one where a Coroner gained some notoriety in the exercise of his power.)
Martha is a physician rather than a lawyer, but her ten year deceased spouse was a lawyer so she can always remember something he said or they discussed when she needs to bring in some legal knowledge not supplied by the investigating police officer. She also has two children, twins, and a Scandinavian au pair to help with the child care while she performs her official and unofficial duties.
I was really going along ok with the story. The author introduces some plot strands that were obviously not going to be resolved in the current book: mysterious phone calls to Martha's residence, etc., and an odd sort of antique dealer who has opened up shop in Shrewsbury just in time to get flooded. Her refusal to take the stalking incidents to the police is frustrating to say the least.
I started to get impatient as I figured the heart of the mystery out much faster than Martha did. When she decided to disguise herself with heavier than usual make up, sun glasses and flashy clothes and go poking around like a private detective I nearly gave up. At this point the action slowed down and nearly ground to a halt.
However, I soldiered on to the end. The conclusion was what I expected after the first 3rd of the book. The whole book wasn't horribly written, but it also had quite a few things that made it a mediocre read.
I should note I listened to it rather than read it. It's available on Audible. The narrator is Patricia Gallimore who has a dreadful time with voicing children. She reads them consistently (and I mean as in every child in every book I have listened to her narrate) in a voice that sounds whiny and what I can only describe as pinched. Luckily she is better with adults although not one of my favorites by any mean. The unabridged version is 9 1/2 hours long.
First in the series, followed by Slip Knot.