Thursday, January 10, 2019

Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner - #review

Stilettos & Scoundrels (A Presley Thurman Mystery, #1)Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Never start reading a novel when you are feeling contrary. I did so with Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner, and for that reason, had trouble getting involved in the story. For instance, I thought Presley should have had a tape recorder running in her pocket when she went in to talk to her boss, who basically told her to 'put out or get out'

Luckily a good night's rest brightened my mood considerably and I have literally just 'turned the last page' in my Kindle reading app, and the more the story progressed, the more I was drawn in.

I can appreciate the ambivalence Presley had about going back to her home town. On the one hand, It was a great place to go to recharge her batteries after she was fired, and she needed to find another job. On the other hand, seeing all those people whom she had known before she left for college was probably somewhat strained. Especially the townsfolk of the 'old boyfriend' variety.

Most cozy mysteries start with a main character who is not a professional investigator. Presley was head of HR at a big corporation in Chicago before she was fired. She talked her way in to an interview with a US Senator, which led to Presley being one of the last people to see him alive. So, the Feds wanted to talk to her, the local LEO's wanted to talk to her, and Cooper, the Senator's private security wanted to talk to her.

Well, Cooper happened to be an old boyfriend. They hadn't seen each other in years, but it was obvious there was still a lot of sizzle. The author held back just enough to have just about anyone become a suspect at one time, but in the end, all the various storylines were drawn together and things made sense.

The revelatory scene made me think of a story where a hostage was describing the moment the soldiers burst into the building to take down the bad guys. She said, "He said, "Get down!" in a voice that said he meant business (so everyone did), and they were subsequently rescued.

I did really enjoy the way Presley and Cooper's increasing interest in each other was written. They didn't just see each other for the first time in years and then fall into bed. They teased each other here and there and they fought 'the inevitable'. It was like they were mad at themselves that something was still there. The progression of their relationship was as fun to 'watch' as it was to read.

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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book at no charge for signing up for the author's newsletter.  My review was voluntary.)


This book helps me fulfill the following 2019 reading challenges and read-a-thons:

#WintersRespite Read-a-thon
#BeatTheBacklist2019 RC
You Read How Many? RC
GoodReads RC
Pop Sugar RC
A to Z RC
Bout of Books RAT
Literary Escapes RC (Illinois)
Alphabet Soup Author (T)

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