book cover of The Coroner
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The Coroner

(The first book in the Coroner's Daughter Mystery series)
A novel by

Home is where the bodies are buried in this “intense, riveting mystery” debut full of twists, romance, and family drama—for fans of Patricia Cornwell (Library Journal).

Summoned to take up her ailing father’s post as a medical examiner, surgeon Emily Hartford returns to her Midwestern hometown—and finds herself at the center of a murder investigation.

Recently engaged and deeply ensconced in her third year of surgical residency in Chicago, Emily Hartford gets a shock when she’s called home to Freeport, Michigan, the small town she fled a decade ago after the death of her mother. Her estranged father, the local medical examiner, has had a massive heart attack and Emily is needed urgently to help with his recovery.

Not sure what to expect, Emily races home, blowing the only stoplight at the center of town and getting pulled over by her former high school love, now Sheriff, Nick Larson. At the hospital, she finds her father in near total denial of the seriousness of his condition. He insists that the best thing Emily can do to help him is to take on the autopsy of a Senator’s teen daughter whose sudden, unexplained death has just rocked the sleepy town.

Reluctantly agreeing to help her father and Nick, Emily gets down to work, only to discover that the girl was murdered. The autopsy reminds her of her many hours in the morgue with her father when she was a young teen—a time which inspired her love of medicine. Before she knows it, she’s pulled deeper into the case and closer to her father and to Nick—much to the dismay of her big-city fiancé. When a threat is made to Emily herself, she must race to catch the killer before he strikes again.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Emily is strong and competent, vulnerable and kind... Add a twisty plot, romance, and family drama and the result is this satisfying first-in-a-series mystery." - Dawn Eastman

"If you like small town mysteries, twisty reads or books by Lisa Black or Patricia Cornwell, you'll love The Coroner." - Karen Harper

"Fast-paced and riveting, The Coronor by Jennifer Dornbush is filled with surprises, authentic detail and memorable characters. Well done!" - Carla Neggers

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