If the Coffin Fits: A Funeral Parlor Mystery

If the Coffin Fits: A Funeral Parlor Mystery

by Lillian Bell


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Perfect for fans of Carolyn Haines and Donna Andrews, Lillian Bell makes the return with her second Funeral Parlor mystery featuring funeral director Desiree Turner.

When an unnatural cause of death finds one of her clients, Desiree must get to the bottom of the murder before she’s fitted for a coffin, herself.

Funeral director Desiree Turner deals with death by natural causes all the time. Death by unnatural causes? Not so much. Yet, she and her boyfriend Nate have heard some not-so-dear things about the recently departed. A suspicious remark by the late Frank Fiore’s daughters sparks some concern. And when Violet Daugherty faints behind the wheel of her car, Desiree suspects she’s got a front seat to murder.

Desiree can’t help but look into Violet’s untimely end, but soon after, rumors begin to spread that she’s accusing her clients of murder, which quickly spurs a mass cancellation and Desiree is on the verge of going out of business. What began as an effort to do due diligence for her client turns into a wild goose chase for Violet’s murderer. Desiree must find her proof before everything she works for is lost. But that’s easier said than done, because while everyone else in town is looking to take their business elsewhere, the killer sets sights directly upon Desiree.

Now it’s up to Desiree to find the murderer before she becomes the next body her funeral parlor serves in If the Coffin Fits, Lillian Bell’s second charming Funeral Parlor mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683317111
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Series: A Funeral Parlor Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lillian Bell was born in Dayton, Ohio. She moved when she was four and only remembers that she was born across the street from Baskin-Robbins. Lillian remembers anything that has to do with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or champagne. She recently graduated from the Creative Writing MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. This is her second Funeral Parlor mystery.

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If the Coffin Fits: A Funeral Parlor Mystery 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Angela_PT More than 1 year ago
It was so much fun getting back into the world of Desiree Turner. Her friends and family are a delight. Perfect series for cozy mystery enthusiast. Worth the purchase in hardcover. No need to read the first book in the series, but it’s helpful to be introduced to all of the main characters. With plot twists and turned, you will be left guessing until the end! I was lucky enough to receive the first book in the series to review and then to be given the second also was amazing! This review is my own opinion.
Kuzlin More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Funeral Parlor Mystery series. Although I did not read the first book in this series, it was easy to pick up on the characters' relationships with each other. Desiree Turner, her sister Donna and Uncle Joey are running the local funeral home. But Desiree's suspicions are raised after overhearing a conversation between Daisy and Iris Fiore, while they were planning their father's funeral. So she asks her boyfriend, Coroner Nate, to check out the body just in case, and while he is there he also checks out the other cadaver waiting for services, Violet Daugherty. While the father seems to have died of natural causes, Violet's death is a little more unusual. However, without concrete evidence, Desiree cannot get the police to check into it. So while helping a distant relative get Violet's estate ready, Desiree begins her own investigation. Along the way, she gains an adorable puppy, Orion, that belonged to Violet and has no apparent home. Together, Desiree and Orion talk to several people involved in Violet's activities for the past few days. Unfortunately her sleuthing must have hit a nerve because someone has decided that Desiree needs to be eliminated. This was a fun series filled with lots of clues as to the cause and identity of the murder. I loved how Orion quickly became an important part of Desiree's life. I also enjoyed how Desiree related to her family and friends. The subplot involved Desiree's suspicions that her father was still alive, despite evidence of his drowning. This is to be continued in the next book, which I look forward to reading. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing an advance reading copy of this book.
DanieleK More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars IF THE COFFIN FITS, the second book in Lillian Bell’s Funeral Parlor Mystery Series, is light and entertaining. Its strong protagonist, appealing supporting characters, unique setting, and interesting murder mystery come together to make an enjoyable cozy adventure. Desiree Turner grew up in the family business but left home to be a TV investigative journalist. A bad end to her job leads her back to Taylor Family Funeral Home where she is biding her time, trying to decide what path she wants her future to take. In addition to her funeral duties, she also writes for the local newspaper and is the only person who believes her father, who disappeared without a trace, is still alive. When Violet Daugherty dies in an apparent accident, Desiree and her ME boyfriend Nate think there is more to it. Desiree cannot keep her reporter nose out of it and starts asking questions and making accusations. Questions that have led to a slew of funeral cancellations. Despite promising her family to stay out of it, she cannot help but follow the clues to uncover the truth. I worked in a funeral home for years so it is no surprise that this series caught my eye, and I was not disappointed in reading IF THE COFFIN FITS. I have not read the first book (but plan to remedy that ASAP), but I had no trouble jumping right into the story and feel like I already know the characters. Desiree’s unique reporter skills make her a top notch amateur sleuth, and I think she genuinely wants to help people. This sometimes leads her to do some stupid stuff, but, thankfully, she never crosses over into “too stupid to live” territory. The supporting cast is full of appealing, witty characters, adding interest to the tale. I especially like Uncle Joey and Nate. And the victim’s dog Orion is delightful and definitely my favorite. I hope he becomes an integral part of the series. The mystery surrounding Violet’s death is solidly written with an ever changing slew of suspects. There are plenty of twists and turns making the story compelling. I did guess whodunit and their motive pretty early in the book, but this did not deter my enjoyment, and it is fun to let the mystery play out alongside Desiree. The book does not end with a cliff hanger exactly, but I definitely now cannot wait for the next book to be released. I need to know. IF THE COFFIN FITS is a fun whodunit. I recommend it to any cozy mystery fan. I received a copy of this title from the publisher and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a cozy mystery as much as If the Coffin Fits, book #2 in the Funeral Parlor Mysteries series by Lillian Bell. This new-to-me author has crafted the most delightful storyline and a lead character that I want to spend more and more time with. Bell’s writing is smooth, filled with snappy dialogue, and flows steadily across the page; not a wasted word to be found here. The sense of humor that comes across effortlessly in the prose makes me wish I could meet this author personally. Two elements that surprised me personally turned out to be huge strengths. First, the funeral parlor setting and theme, which was not depressing at all. Quite humorous, in fact. Despite the best of intentions, Desiree seems to be accident prone when it comes to her words, which is kind of how she ended back up in the family business in the first place. And then there’s the family, the mystery around Desiree’s dad in particular. Is he really dead? Only time will tell. The second surprising element is Orion, a malamute and German shepherd mix who instantly stole this cat lover’s heart. I loved his antics, the way he interacted with Desiree and her reluctance to seek a home for him – but when he showed an unusual sensitivity to the needs of funeral parlor clients, I was hooked. The idea of Orion possibly becoming a therapy dog was fascinating. Strong secondary characters add depth and complexity, as well as possible romantic interests for Desiree. I also loved her easy curiosity and sense that the occasional deceased person might not have died a natural death. Cleverly woven into the narrative are several short articles Desiree has written for her hometown newspaper, the Verbena Free Press. The mystery plot is well crafted and easy to follow, but not easy for me to solve. If the Coffin Fits goes on my favorites list and I’m eager to read more of Lillian Bell’s mysteries. May there be many more books in this series! Highly recommended. Note: There’s some mild profanity that I wish had been omitted, but very clean otherwise. I received a copy of this book through the Review Crew and Crooked Lane Books. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
NikkiK94 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this second book in Lillian Bell's Funeral Parlor Mystery series. There are several different aspects that I enjoyed about the book. The first aspect is the characters. I found the main character, Desiree Turner, to be a very determined, hardworking woman. At the first sign that a death could be suspicious, she starts doing her own investigations. Even when no one in Verbena believes there could be a killer in their own neighborhood, she does not stop until she finds the culprit. I also really enjoyed the snippets of the newspaper articles that are included at the beginning of the chapters. I feel like they give a respite from the serious atmosphere. They also lead into the storyline and give the reader better ideas about what is happening. I am definitely interested in reading more from this author and more in the series!
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy witty cozy mysteries with eclectic characters, look no further! I enjoyed this cozy mystery! It is the eagerly-awaited sequel to A Grave Secret, with humor through the worst of days, and challenging mysteries that Desiree gets caught up in. Desiree and Donna grew up in the multi-generational Turner Family Funeral Home, so it is normal for them to live upstairs from the mortuary. Donna’s husband seems content to live there with his bride. Donna is pregnant and doing everything necessary for herself and her child. Their mother died when they were young, so their dad and his brother, Uncle Joey, focused on raising Desiree and Donna while managing the funeral home. Nineteen months earlier, however, their father disappeared when he was surfing by himself. The local police think he drowned, but Desiree believes that he is still alive, perhaps hiding out for some reason, based on some unique little gifts left for herself and Donna at their home. Desiree overhears sisters Iris and Daisy as they come in to arrange for their father’s funeral. It sounds as if Iris may have done something to hasten the death of her father, who she returned to Verbena to care for several years earlier. Desiree asks some probing questions, which irritates Iris. Suddenly people are no longer calling Turner for their loved one’s funerals, they have cancellations, and her family is upset with her. Purely by accident, Desiree finds an interesting box of photos in the home of Violet, a recently-deceased woman’s home. Desiree asks even more questions, and people get mighty upset with the former investigative television reporter. Nate, the guy she is dating, is worried about her as the photo lady may have been murdered. Luke, the police chief, refuses to investigate, so Desiree is hot on the trail in this witty cozy mystery. I like the Turner family! Even when upset with each other, they have each other’s back. Desiree is a young woman who would like to get back into investigative reporting and does minor pieces for the local Free Press. She is the only person who has held on to the hope that her father is still alive and follows possible clues. Donna grieves the loss of her father but refuses to consider he might be alive. Uncle Joey and their father were closer than most brothers; his grief has been immense. Nate, the medical examiner and local practicing doctor, and Jasmine, Desiree’s BFF since preschool, support her as she searches for the truth. From the start, this was a novel that was easy to lose myself in. Desiree certainly has more courage than I do, and somehow the quirky characters fit together well. That includes the large puppy she is fostering, Orion. There were many people who might have wanted to kill Violet, but a few felt her nasty actions helped them change their lives for the better. Plot twists keep the mystery fascinating as potential suspects change. I did guess who the bad guy/ gal might be, and even the motive, a while before Desiree does, but none of the clues were obvious. There are still surprises at the end, and I look forward to the next novel in the series! I highly recommend If the Coffin Fits, to those who enjoy well-written and witty cozy mysteries, as well as a story in which dogs rock and at the end of the day, family is still family. From a grateful heart: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, and this is my honest review.
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the funeral parlor mysteries and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like Ms Bell's writing style, no over the top characters, just down to earth people that you meet. This mystery has plenty of twists between overhearing sisters talk that sounds suspicious, a car accident that could be murder, rumors about the parlor, a puppy with no home and the back story mystery of Desiree's father. This book keeps you entertained and I will continue on with this series. A good solid read *I was lucky enough to have received a copy of this book and this is my own opinion.
BookMomof3 More than 1 year ago
If The Coffin Fits is the second book in the highly entertaining A Funeral Parlor cozy mystery series by Lillian Bell. When I read A Grave Issue, I knew I was hooked and that I would read all future books in the series, and this one did not disappoint!! From the very first page, the action packed, well paced mystery grabbed my attention, and held it to the very end. I loved all the twists and turns , just when I thought I had it all figured out, I was hit with another suspect.. or motive. I recommend reading this book as a series, as there is an underlying mystery going on that continues through the first two books, and if you skip book one you are missing a some back story. Highly recommend this series for cozy lovers! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Desiree Turner is a Funeral Director. Her family owns and operates The Turner Family Funeral Home and now that she's back home in Verbena she's involved in the family business. Desiree has a healthy curiosity which gets her and the Funeral Home in trouble. She knows that someone committed a murder. She just needs to convince the Sheriff that Violet Daugherty was the killer's victim. As her family tries to convince her to stop, Desiree and her sidekick, Orion, follow the clues. I liked all the characters in If The Coffin Fits. Desiree is smart and uses her investigative skills to make sense of the clues. Orion, Violet's much loved pet, adds his unconditional love to the story. Rafe, the owner of The Verbena Free Press, adds a touch of romance which was unexpected. I liked how he helps Desiree get her priorities in order. Of course, we mustn't forget Nate Johar, her boyfriend, who gave her the initial clue. I felt that this was a joint effort by all these diverse characters. I couldn't stop reading this cozy mystery. I want to know what happened to Desiree and Donna's father. Is he still alive? I really need to know. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. Lillian Bell has me hooked. She's written a suspenseful well-written cozy. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Desiree is still working at her family's funeral home after her hot mic incident as a reporter...growing up and working in a funeral home, she is no stranger to dead bodies, but when she senses that a dead body seems suspicious and an "accident" victim also appears suspicious she sets out to learn the truth, much to the dismay of her sister and the police. This was well-written and a quick read. I was completely captivated by the possibility that Desiree's dad may be alive after all! There was a great cliffhanger at the end of the book and I cannot wait for book #3! 4 stars I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley. #netglley #ifthecoffinfits #lillianbell
Bookaholic-mka More than 1 year ago
If you worked in a funeral home and your family had been in the funeral home business for many years, don’t you think you might begin to see something suspicious in almost every body that rolled in the door? That’s what people accuse Desiree of. In fact they accuse her of looking at every family member as a possible murderer. Does not bode well for the family business. Everyone wants to take their business, well maybe I should say relative, someplace else. But someone might really have killed Violet. She had a lot of dirty little secrets recorded. What a shame, a little old lady with nothing to do but to spy on people. Sure makes for a lot of suspects. This was a cute cozy mystery full of curious odd characters living in a small town. It’s a fun read with some wit and humor. I mean, you have to have a little humor when you write a cozy with the funeral home business as the focal point, don’t you? There are some hints thrown in and some red herrings pop up now and then so do not think you can necessarily predict the ending. This is Book 2 of Lillian Bell’s series titled “A Funeral Parlor Mystery”. Looks like Book 1 has good reviews too so I’d read both. ***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
AmyWeidenaar More than 1 year ago
Jumping into the series on book 2, I enjoyed meeting Desiree, her family, and friends. Having returned to the family business after tanking her previous career as a reporter with a hot mic gaffe, Desiree seems to be trying to find her niche. Juggling her duties at the family funeral home as well as writing for the local paper, Desiree isn't afraid to use one job to help get details for the other. When she hears clients of the funeral home having a suspicious conversation, she can't help but try to figure out what it's about. When it seems to lead nowhere, she looks into another case with her boyfriend but everything seems to keep leading back to the clients she was first suspicious of. As the case progresses, she finds a clue about her father's disappearance. Overall, I enjoyed the story immensely. There was so much going on but it never became overwhelming or confusing. Lillian Bell is a master at weaving different story lines into one masterfully written book. There was humor mixed with suspense as well as believable characters and a beautifully developed town. I highly recommend this book and look forward to going back and catching up with the first one. Thank you to Lillian Bell, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for the chance to read this book and share my thoughts and opinions with others.
Charlotte Pawson More than 1 year ago
Second book in the Funeral Parlor mysteries. Desiree is part of the Turner family funeral home. She has had to return home to small town Verbena after her reporter career doesn’t work out. Overhearing a conversation at the Fiore funeral gets her reporter ear twitching. The accidental death of Violet Daugherty puts her instincts on alert to look further. This lovely little mystery shows you small town secrets will always rise to the surface. A good central character will keep you rooting for her and especially her dog Orion. I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
1335sj More than 1 year ago
It’s always a treat to hang out with Desiree Turner and friends again. While reading this series you find yourself forgetting that the setting is a funeral home. Somehow Desiree’s knack for bringing scandal to the Turner Family Funeral Home makes you forget about that. This book finds Desiree up to her neck in trouble. She’s still working as an assistant funeral director while her sister, Donna is slowly getting off bed rest due to her troubled pregnancy. Desiree has promised she would stay out of trouble so Donna could rest peacefully. Well, that’s not going to happen. Desiree finds herself overhearing two sisters squabbling over the finalization of their father’s funeral; a few days before a young woman who was healthy by all accounts has a car accident that raises Nate’s suspicions, he’s concerned by several factors of this woman’s death. He’s brought it to Luke’s attention, the detective for VPD and it’s fallen on deaf ears. But Nate is convinced of foul play. Desiree contacts the deceased woman’s next kin and she's clueless, not only is she across the country but she’s never met Violet, Desiree feels sorry for the cousin and agrees to help take care Violet’s estate for her. She finds more than she bargains when she agrees to help Nate investigate Violet’s death and deal with her scattered brained cousin. The only plus so far happens to be Violet’s puppy which at first leaves Desiree in a full panic. What on earth will she do with this lovable puppy? She’s promised her family she’ll get rid of it but as time goes on, it’s harder and harder. Several odd things happen while they are investigating Violet’s death. Again Desiree has brought trouble to the family business, they are getting cancellations and talk is going around about Desiree’s crazy accusations. She’s finding out a lot about certain members of the town. Violet wasn’t a very likable person and Desiree is caught between a rock and hard place with all the information she’s gathered. She’s also discovers something that will change her families lives forever. This is such a fun cozy, I’ve read the first one but it reads well as a stand-alone. The characters are so engaging and I love the way the writer left it open. I would love to see another book in this series. DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy of this galley from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinion I expressed above are my own.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
cozy-mystery, murder-investigation, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, reporter, family-dynamics, friendship When Desiree bombed very publicly at her job as reporter and got fired, she went back home to her sister, uncle, the family funeral home business, and unresolved issues regarding the father who is missing and presumed dead. To further complicate things, her sister is nearing the end of a precarious pregnancy. The first problem arises when Desiree overheard part of a conversation between two daughters of a man who was in hospice care at home and questions one of them. Almost concomitantly there is business in the form of a relative newcomer who died in a car wreck but the autopsy is rather iffy, and things get even more interesting when the only known relative who lives on the other side of the country coerced Desiree into performing all the other local tasks. Turns out that the woman who died was unpleasant among other things and also had a rather marvelous young dog who quickly insinuated himself into her heart. Enough of the recapping. The mystery is more than just entertaining but is solid and has lots of suspects and red herrings. It's not the doom and gloom sort nor a gigglefest, but a real brain grabber that keeps you reading beyond a reasonable hour. The characters are interesting and engaging and the situations and conversations ring true. I was unaware that it is second in series until after I finished, but, at the moment, the first is on sale so I snaffled a copy. I requested and received a free review copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
It's a normal business day at the Turner Family Funeral Home until funeral director/reporter Desiree Turner overhears a conversation that arouses suspicions about the death of one of her clients. Did she misunderstand what she heard, or is she once again involved in murder? As the family business starts to suffer, and Desiree's life is in danger, she knows that she (and her new canine companion) have no choice but to investigate. Excellent little cozy mystery, with just the right amount of humor and romance thrown in. If the Coffin Fits by author Lillian Bell receives an A+ from this happy lover of cozy mysteries!
chefdt More than 1 year ago
If The Coffin Fits is the second book The Funeral Parlor Mysteries series. The story begins with Daisy and Iris visiting the Turner Funeral Parlor to make burial arrangements for the father who had been in home hospice care. Desiree Turner asks a question that the sisters take as accusing them of bringing their father to an earlier death. Soon Desiree is sent to the hospital to pick up the body of Violet Dougherty who has died from injuries in a single car accident. Desiree is surprised that nothing had been found to call the death anything other than an accident. As a part-time reporter for the Verbena Free Press, she had covered the accident and she has her doubts that is was simply an accident. She keeps asking Nate Johar, the M.E. if he is absolutely sure that there were no questionable marks on the body. Finally, he does find some questionable marks on the body. Desiree calls the only relative of Violet, Lizette a cousin who lives across the country, to work out the details of Violet’s funeral. But basically, she asks to handle the planning and to also do what would be necessary to put Violet’s house for sale. This is far beyond the responsibilities of a funeral home but makes it easier for Desiree to look into how Violet actually died. Going through the house Desiree finds some candid photograph of residents of Verbena in embarrassing situations. She soon learns that Violet was not well liked and that Violet might be using the pictures to bribe or blackmail those in the pictures. But first, she needs to find who might have the most to lose if their pictures became public. Another well-told and plotted story with an interesting cast of characters. I will be watching for the next book in the series to see what Desiree might be up to next. Also will be interested in seeing what new information regarding her father’s disappearance.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Working in the family funeral parlor, Desiree Turner not only deals with the deceased, it seems she spends quite a bit of time figuring out their cause of death. Must be the journalist in her, but when she over hears two sisters conversation as she is planning their fathers funeral, she questions whether they sod up their father’s death. As Desiree and her boyfriend Nate, the local medical examiner, discover another questionable death it seems the town begins to fear being accused of murder when they bury a loved one. As a result business drops off and Desiree is pressured into giving up her snooping. But that doesn’t last long and she’s back at it. You won’t guess who did it and why until the very end. OK, I’ll admit it. Funeral parlors creep me out. I mean it’s the thing my nightmares are made of. Yet I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at the Turner Family Funeral Home...and can’t wait until the next viewing, I mean book.