I decided the overall writing was not worth it to continue the series. This book needs a copy editor to proof the story and fill in missing words. But it was the characters (most of them recurring) that I just could not deal with.
Mercy Watts is a great nurse and if the author focused the mystery using her medical knowledge, it would be a much better series. At that is what the story did in the beginning. But Mercy is an awful character and the biggest pet peeve I have about her character is that she is completely weak - mind, body, and emotionally. Her family/friends are abusive and she just keeps taking the abuse. She also doesn't have much deductive reasoning, making her a lousy detective despite having family members on the force and therefore (in cozy mystery land) the best amateur detective EVER (they are not all that smart either, regular group of Keystone Kops).
The characters fall into two groups: rich, pretty people and morbidly obese poor people. No depth whatsoever. The series is based in St Louis; I know this because in chapter twenty-two or so St. Louis is mentioned. Up to that point, I thought this might have taken place in any big city in the Mid-West (Chicago, Omaha, etc). That is how little the setting matters to the story or the author.
The mystery was sub-par and muddied by the constant crappy characterizations. 1 star.