I can never seem to get enough of mysteries. Even when I'm busy following a nonfiction bent, as I am right now with the SOE in WWII, I include mystery novels even in the midst of a huge nonfiction tome.
Nonfiction requires more thought and a slower pace, but mysteries...I just gobble them up.
I'm glad to discover a new author in Warren Easley and a new (to me) series of J.A. Jance. I've read several of her Joanna Brady books, but this is the first of read in the Ali Reynolds series. Both Matter of Doubt and Deadly Stakes were fast, entertaining reads.
Matters of Doubt by Warren C. Easley is a debut novel and the beginning of a new series.
Cal Claxton, a former big-time DA, decided to leave the high-powered world of L.A. and simplify his life in a small town in Oregon. The downturn in the economy is felt everywhere, and Cal's finances are suffering as well.
When a tattooed and pierced young man shows up at his office seeking help in finding out who killed his mother, Cal turns him down saying that he is a lawyer, not an investigator. But the kid has ridden his bicycle from all the way from Portland, and Cal is impressed enough to do a little research. What he finds changes his mind.
I was a little doubtful for the first few pages, but after that the story really picked up. I liked the characters, especially Picasso, who developed quite nicely. I'll certainly be interested in reading the next book featuring Cal Claxton.
NetGalley/Poisoned Pen Press
Mystery/Crime. Sept. 3, 2013. Print version: 250 pages.
Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance follows former reporter Ali Reynolds in her latest adventure. A teenage boy discovers the dying Gemma Ralston on a lonely road. He calls 911, but leaves the scene in fear. There are reasons for this, including the fact that he'd ditched school and brought a shovel to the scene.
When Gemma's ex-husband and his girlfriend Lynn are arrested for the murder, Ali is asked to do some investigating. Ali finds herself looking into a case that may or may not be related, trying to protect A.J., the young man who discovered Gemma's body, and eventually, trying to save herself.
Mystery. 2013. Print version: 304 pages.