Mr. Love has written a complex and entertaining piece of fiction that is easily one of the most remarkable books I’ve read in this genre. His writing is snarky, evocative, and smart. The mystery that drives this story is fascinating, yet equally shares time with a few strong subplots, which makes it even more fun to read. Although each character is given plenty of page time to allow you to get to know them, the protagonist is by far the most intriguing of the group.
Jamie Richmond is an emotionally and intellectually complex female character. She is one part writer (who doesn’t love that?), one part super-sleuth, one part business woman, one part daughter, one part mother, one part best friend, and one part strong romantic lead. Her story is interesting, not just because she’s a successful detective of her circumstances, but because she is genuinely human about all of it. She is passionate about her love life, and equally passionate about her devotion to her father and the legacy he left behind.
The pacing of this book is extraordinary. I read it in just three days, enjoying the tease of each character’s story. They all move together as in a well-choreographed Irish stepdance, one never getting ahead of the others nor the music of the plotline. Each character spends time in the spotlight, but not so much that we are distracted away from the ensemble. The entire company pushed their own arcs with dynamic growth, without interfering with the momentum of the mystery. Best of all, there’s a dog among the cast… and that’s always a good thing.
This book is heavy with steamy seduction, but not to the point of losing the pacing or the intelligence of the narrative. Mark does an excellent job of delicately balancing the elements of adult romance, new teen-age love, and a mystery that keeps you guessing. This is the third book of the series, but I had no difficulty following the characters or the story, even though I hadn’t read the other two. The narrative teases the previous mysteries, but never gives them away. I didn’t feel lost without the details of the previous books, and I am now tremendously curious to investigate the earlier mysteries. Nothing has been ruined for me by reading the book out of sequence. However, I was left with a few questions taunting my imagination, but that’s what I want from a great mystery writer. I am hopeful that there will be another Jamie Richmond Mystery, so perhaps I can get those riddles solved.
If you seek out books that offer equal parts steamy romance and intelligent empathy, while keeping you mysteriously on your toes, this is a story you will thoroughly enjoy.
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