Book Review: The Body in My Building (Gemma Cross #1) by M. D. Archer

  • Title: The Body in My Building
  • Series: Gemma Cross
  • Author: M. D. Archer
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Would I recommend: Yes. It’s a quick, enjoyable read, with a heroine who may be a little rough around the edges, but who’s a lot of fun!


A retired thief, her rescued cat, and her brand-new apartment.
Oh, and a dead body.
So much for a low-key life.

Recently retired cat burglar Gemma Cross is trying to go legit. But only days after she moves into her brand-new apartment, ready to start afresh, she finds a dead body.

She’s trying to keep a low profile but her building is now swarming with cops… including the detective who nearly caught her red-handed at her last burglary job.
And the cop she hooked up with just last night!

With a detective gunning for her and a mounting stack of incriminating evidence, Gemma realizes she’s going to have to solve this mystery herself, before she gets taken down for a crime she didn’t do.

The Body In My Building is the exciting, engaging and entertaining start to a new murder mystery series that fans of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum will love.
“I couldn’t put it down… I didn’t want to.”

A strong female lead.
A classic murder mystery.
A complicated romantic entanglement
A cast of entertaining secondary characters and a found family.
A contemporary city setting,
And a cat. (Mr. Solomon, to you).

There are five planned books in the Gemma Cross Sleuth Series, with a standalone murder mystery in each and a couple of overarching storylines that will be resolved by book five.
Dive in today.

My review:

Gemma Cross is a cat burglar. Retired cat burglar, that is. She’s just bought a condo in a building that really promotes the idea of community, and it’s an adjustment for her. She misses the adrenaline rush of scaling a building, and she isn’t used to people like new neighbor Penny popping up and being all friendly.

But it isn’t long before Gemma has a problem. Two, in fact. First, there’s the dead body in their building. Second, there’s the detective working the case. She’s seen Gemma before, at the scene of a double murder that ended Gemma’s cat burglary days and that took her partner in crime, Danni, away from her. And she’s determined to make Gemma her number one suspect for this murder.

Archer weaves a delightful story, and Gemma is a lot of fun to read. She isn’t used to fitting into polite society. She has to navigate rooftop cocktail parties and having dinner with her new neighbors. She makes no secret of her singleness, and she unabashedly goes out looking for male companionship. (No graphic details, but it’s not all entirely off the page, either. Worth a mention if you prefer the romance-type element of your books squeaky clean.) She’s also having a hard time finding an adrenaline buzz that matches what she gets from hanging off the side of a building where she isn’t supposed to be.

As all good cozies should, this story has a cat. Gemma rescued the cat from her final burglary (the one that went wrong and put her front and center as the current suspect), and she has a soft spot for him. Anyone who’s a cat person is my kind of people. When Gemma’s past rears its ugly head and Mr. Solomon (or Sol, to his friends – meaning Gemma) is in danger, she does what she has to do to bring him home safely.

And everybody in this story has a secret, it seems like! Is slightly-nosy neighbor Penny as good as she seems? What’s up with author Cassie’s sleaze boyfriend, Leighton? Even Nico, the lead detective on the murder, has something that she’d rather not talk about. There’s a little mystery and intrigue around every corner here!

The Body in My Building is a good start to a new series, and I look forward to reading more about what Gemma Cross gets up to. Will she adjust to community living? What else might pop up from her past? Will Gemma (and the readers) see more of hunky detective Jared Jackson? And will she have to get a regular job?! Oh, the horror. I can’t wait to find out!

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