Author: Jamie Lee Scott
Series: Kate Darby
Kate Darby grew up in foster care, as her mother was a drug addict and alcoholic. Although she grew up not trusting the police, she is now an officer in the small town of Peculiar, TX doing her best to keep her town safe. As she’s heading in to the end of what has, up until this point, been an uneventful shift, Kate attempts to stop a care for a minor traffic violation. Instead of stopping, the Mercedes takes off on her, leads her on a chase, flips, and the driver runs for it. If that weren’t bad enough, there’s a dead body in the trunk. Now Kate has to go to the reading of the will of a grandfather that she never knew existed before working this case with her rookie partner and her ex-husband (who’s also her Sergeant). No big deal, right?
This is the first in a new series from Jamie Lee Scott, author of the Gotcha Detective Agency Mystery and Willa Friday Food & Wine Mystery series’. I always enjoy Jamie’s books, but this one was very different from her other works in a wonderful way. It was much darker and grittier, but definitely still has her voice. The characters are all incredibly well developed and fleshed out, including all of the secondary characters. They all had a great foundational story built in this first book, and the ending just left me wanting more! I can’t wait for the second book in the series, Bang Switch, which is coming this month!
Author: Jamie Lee Scott
Series: Gotcha Detective Agency
Publisher: Novels & Coffee
Mimi and Nick have gotten married and have settled in to their beautiful new home. Married life seems to be going well, and all seems to be just perfect. But is anything ever really as perfect as it seems? Something always has to come along and rock the boat. When Charles offers Mimi cruise tickets as a way to escape the chaos she, of course, jumps at the opportunity. With Charles and Mimi on board, though, a relaxing cruise was never going to be just a relaxing cruise!
It was so much fun to be back in the world of the Gotcha Detective Agency! I had been waiting to see what happened after the end of book eleven, and book twelve did not disappoint! The ongoing storyline just got better, and the new mystery was a lot of fun. There was a bit of a “closed-door” mystery feel to it, as it was on a ship with limited access and limited suspects. Those have always been some of my favorite mysteries to read. The central characters have, of course, been well fleshed out over the course of twelve books. Scott did a wonderful job, however, with the introduction of the new characters and giving them great personalities, stories, and giving me a reason to feel some way about them. She also succeeded in giving this book great setting and atmosphere, as it was set mostly in a different setting than the usual Gotcha book. Overall, it was the reading experience that I was waiting for, and I’m looking forward to the next one!
Author: Lisa Carlisle
Genre: PNR/Military Romance/Mystery
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Eva Montreaux is a Marine, but not a “normal” Marine. She is part of a program that creates biologically enhanced military personnel. She and her team, NEO 17 (comprised of several supernatural beings), have been sent to Okinawa on two missions. The first is to find out who or what has been serially killing the American troops stationed there. The second is a civil mission, to attempt to create peace amongst the locals and the troops, as there has been much animosity recently. While on patrol one night, Eva runs in to a group of Marines that know her from a deployment before her enhancement. The problem, her memory from that deployment is gone. A side effect of her treatments was amnesia, leaving large gaps in her memory, save for brief flashes of the past. One of those Marines is Gunny Marcos Delacruz. Eva doesn’t remember anything about him, except for his piercing eyes. When she brushes him off, because she can’t explain her memory loss, he seemed incredibly angry although Eva doesn’t understand why. As Eva struggles to reclaim her memory and uncover her past with Marcos, the murders keep piling up. With everything going on on the island, Eva must untangle her feelings and the secrets that Okinawa is harboring.
This is the second book of Carlisle’s that I have read, and it just reminded me that I really need to read more of her work. This was a great outing for her! It was a PNR read, but the “romance” part of the story was not the primary focus of the book. It was more focused on the mysteries- who is murdering American troops, and what is the connection between Eva and Marcos that she can’t remember. The descriptiveness of the setting was great, and made it easy to visualize. The character development was wonderful, for the main characters. It may have been a little bit lacking in the secondary characters, but certainly not enough to take away from the story. It was very well paced, and thoroughly enjoyable. I truly hope that we get watch Eva and Marcos’ story develop.
Author: Jamie Lee Scott
Series: Gotcha Detective Agency Mystery
Publisher: LBB Company
Mimi Capurro (co-owner of Gotcha Detective Agency) is burned out, and in dire need of a vacation. She and homicide detective boyfriend, Nick, are planning on a trip to Italy. Nothing ever works out quite right for them, though. Meanwhile, a young girl makes her way in to the Agency, and in to Charles’ office. She claims that she was kidnaped and placed in to a sex trafficking ring. She says that she was taken with a thirteen-year-old girl, whom she was unable to save when she escaped. She begs for their help in getting her out. Now, the Agency is eyeballs deep in trying to take down a Russian sex trafficking ring, and may be in for more than they expected.
This is the ninth installment in the Gotcha Detective Agency Mystery series. I love this series, and all the main characters in it. Throughout the series, Mimi, Charles, Nick, Max, and the rest of the gang have been continually developed in to amazing characters. The book can easily be read, even if you haven’t read the rest of the series, but it is even more enjoyable if you read the whole series! The plot is well researched, well thought out, and moves at a great pace. The story is told in alternating viewpoints (Mimi and Charles), but is done very well and never gets confusing. Although the story is centered on very disturbing subject matter, it doesn’t ever get graphic so there is no need for avoidance due to that. This book was a quick read, and great if you are looking for a fun mystery.
Author: William Rittner
Genre: Supernatural Mystery
Abigail Rook has left her home in need of a new start. When she arrives in New Fiddleham, the first thing that she needs is a job. While she is on the search, she stumbles in to the middle of a murder investigation. A serial killer is on the loose. The police believe that it is a run of the mill bad guy…Enter R.F. Jackaby, investigator of the supernatural. He is the only seer, gifted with the ability to see the supernatural. He believes that this is no ordinary murderer. Abigail finds herself following him in to his first investigation of the scene, and it turns out that she also has a gift, one that Jackaby needs- the ability to see the ordinary, important things. She lands a job as his assistant, and off they go to find the serial killer, whether the police want their assistance or not.
I can’t believe that I waited this long to read this book! It was a wonderful break from reality. Rittner has created a fantastic cast of characters, who all have depth and are well rounded. The secondary characters all have great personality. He does something very important, though: he leaves room for you to want to get to know them better. The world building was spot on. The plot line and overall story were very entertaining. This will definitely be a new series for me!
Author: Eric Qiao
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
As a young boy, Ed was adopted out of a Chinese orphanage. He grew up living the privileged life in LA. As a young man, he has decided that he is going to find the sister that he left behind. Part of that plan involves going to teach in rural China, as part of a UNICEF mission, with fellow UNICEF teacher, Lorie. At their first break, Ed flies out to meet his PI and finds out some distressing news about what is believed to have happened to his sister. Rural China is not exactly his idea of a good time, so he decides to take off. Before he can make a clean break, however, a young girl is murdered. The main suspect: Ed. Now, he and Lorie decide that they must solve the mystery behind this crime, no matter what.
This is Qiao first novel, and I would say that it is a wonderful debut. The story is unique; a premise unlike any that I have read before. The main characters were fully developed, with the secondary characters having enough to them to get a sense of who they are and to be able to visualize them. The setting of this novel is mainly in a very remote area of China (think no electricity or running water), and the author did a spectacular job with his descriptiveness of the location. The only real criticism that I have, is that it could have used a bit more proofreading, as there were some errors that stood out while reading. It was definitely not enough to turn anyone off from reading it, though, as they weren’t abundant or major errors. Had I not known that this was a debut novel, I would not have guessed that this was his first outing. I would say that this is an author to watch!
Author: Janet Evanovich
Series: Stephanie Plum
Stephanie’s latest skip, who was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler, decided to hijack another one. This is what he was in the middle of doing when Stephanie and Lula found him. This time, it was a truck full of Bogart ice cream. Lula swears she can drive the truck, and when she crashes it, out falls a dead guy dressed up like a Bogart Bar. Ranger just happened to have been hired to do security for Bogart, and needs Stephanie to go undercover for him at Bogart and their rival plant. This means spending a lot of time with the hot man himself. This could put some stress on her relationship with the other hot man in her life, Trenton’s sexiest detective who she happens to be engaged to be engaged to. Meanwhile, Lula and Randy Briggs have decided to be Naked & Afraid, and Grandma Mazur has a new biker boyfriend in her life. This could all spell disaster, but it definitely means a wild ride!
This was much like the other books in the series. It is a great fast and easy read, if you are just wanting something fun and familiar. There still isn’t much satisfying progress in the relationship area, which I know frustrates many readers of the series. If you are one of them, this book will ultimately not make things better for you. This one was actually better for me than twenty-two was, I think. I put the last one down a lot, and this one seemed to move at a better pace. Overall, it was a good read, and a good contribution to the series.