Whew! Finally back from holibobs and thankfully I have a little hoard of reviews lined up for the coming weeks. I took a little foray into the crime fiction world, and I hope that you enjoy these next few titles as much as I did!
When browsing new additions on NetGalley I was caught by the title and description of this book, and it didn’t take long to realize that I was not going to be disappointed. Set in Vegas, Copper Black is peppy, persistent and breathes new life into journalism and murder mysteries. This book was fun, engaging, and absolutely worth the read!
Title: Full Service Blonde
Author: Megan Edwards
Publisher: Imbrifex Books
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Investigative Mystery
Themes: Family, Journalism, Murder, Prostitution
My Rating: 4.5/ 5
A working girl is found dead in the desert. Can a calendar girl uncover the truth?
In this prequel to GETTING OFF ON FRANK SINATRA, it’s Christmastime in Sin City. Aspiring journalist Copper Black meets Victoria McKimber, an outspoken prostitute at one of Nevada’s legal brothels. She’s offered Copper the exclusive right to tell her story. Not only will the Las Vegas Light’s -calendar girl- get a byline, but she can also impress her boyfriend and parents when they arrive for the holidays.
Copper is busy with work, Christmas shopping, and fantasizing about a whole week with her long-distance boyfriend. She’s also helping her brother, a civic-minded pastor who is spearheading plans for a new center to serve the homeless. Things are hectic but under control when shocking news breaks. Victoria McKimber has turned up dead.
As she investigates the violent death, Copper evades enemies, juggles boyfriend, work, and family, and races against time to save her brother from a sinister plot. Unless she can expose the truth about Victoria McKimber, somebody just might get away with murder.
Okay, I loved this book. It’s short, sassy, and packed to the brim with murder, mystery, and some controversial issues to boot. I read this baby on an overnight flight and found myself the subject of neighbouring stink-eye more than once as I laughed a little too loud and a little too often. I was particularly fond of Sekhmet the cat and her crazy hunting/ gifting tendencies, not only because I have had kitties with similar habits, but also because she served as the perfect tool for plot advancement and comic relief on so many occasions.
And without too many spoilers, I really enjoyed Edwards’ exploration of relationship cycles and how to deal with them maturely and compassionately. From acknowledging that you can be madly in love with a legal prostitute to the fact that love can fizzle while the sex is still fantastic, and from the acknowledgement of repressed sexuality to the emotional roller-coaster of adopting a child every situation is handled with tact and genuine emotion. Not once did I feel that reactions and scenarios were contrived as they encapsulated shock and confusion alongside acceptance and personal growth.
Now, on to the murder mystery part of the story. What fun! Even though the subject matter wasn’t light, it was presented in such a manner that I never felt the need to take a break. This didn’t have the intense emotional ride that comes with some of the darker psychological thrillers, but I don’t think that Full Service Blonde was ever intended to be so dark and twisty that you need a few days to recover. The balance between humour, investigation, and stepping into some questionable situations was really well done.
Would I recommend this book? Oh, heck yes! It’s the perfect book to accompany your winter vacation when it comes out this fall. Don’t miss out on this upcoming Copper Black Mystery, and while you’re at it don’t forget to check out Getting Off On Frank Sinatra if you haven’t done so already.