Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Review: 'Sweet Wicked of Mine' by Lotta Smith

Author Lotta Smith has a surprising biographical statement that bears repeating. She is most likely a physician, or see if you gather that form the following: ‘I fell in love with mystery the moment I developed consciousness. I'm especially fond of lighthearted murder mystery stories with a little sprinkle of romance. I went to medical school hoping to see real corpses and sexy professors. Back then, I was into this kind of mystery series about a smokin' hot forensic medicine professor and a quirky female student going a-sleuthing, cracking unsolvable cases. I truly, madly wanted to team up with a superhot professor and crack a difficult murder or two. (Note; I got to see the corpses, but sexy professors were nonexistent.)’ At lest we know lot has a fine sense of humor.

In a well structured Prologue we meet Jackie – ‘Detective Jamie Alabaster read the case file over and over, feeling edgy. She was investigating a serial assault/ murder case happening near Pier 26, and Jackson Frederick Orchard, a Broadway actor, was the latest victim. Though she was desperate to find the killer of the three innocent people and one other severely injured person, she was running out of time. Not that she was terminally ill or too old to expect tomorrow to come like any other day, but she was leaving the NYPD in a few weeks. Her family ran a high-end sports bar and restaurant near Yankee Stadium for generations, and her father decided to retire early. As an only child, she didn’t have much choice not to succeed him at the establishment, and obviously, a detective’s salary was just a fraction of the earnings coming from the family business. Reading through the case file for the umpteenth time, she finally realized what had been bugging her. She’d met all the family, friends, and acquaintances of the latest victim, but one of them triggered Jamie’s sixth— or seventh— sense as a detective. On the surface, the person— a choreographer from the Aladdin production, which Jackson had been working on just before his untimely death— seemed like a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but she felt an eeriness about him. She couldn’t exactly pinpoint the cause, but she sensed a sinister vibe. As she rallied her courage to pay him another visit, her desk phone rang. “Hello?” she answered. Words escaped her as the caller informed her Ryan Francine, the man who Jamie was going to meet, had died in a car wreck just a few hours before....Jackson Frederick Orchard, a.k.a. Jackie, sat alone at a table in the outside garden of City Vineyard at Pier 26. Watching the happy people coming and going across the riverside walkway for fun and exercise had been her favorite pastime when she used to be a budding actor. Jackie liked to be addressed as a female, and she was blessed to have friends who treated her as a lady without questions or argument. There were times when she was a male actor who was often described as a heartthrob among female audiences, but nowadays, gender didn’t mean anything to Jackie anymore. After all, touching someone was physically impossible— much less hugging, kissing, or making love.’

So as we now know the mystery and we know Jackie, the synopsis of this Book 5 of the series state – ‘Life is sweet for FBI Special Assistant Amanda Meyer. Her live-in boyfriend just happens to be her sexy boss, Rick Rowling, head of the Paranormal Cases Division, and cozy evenings at home are becoming a thing - but that just means a wicked new case is right around the corner. When a little girl is kidnapped, the evidence points to world renowned psychic Aurora Westwood but something just doesn’t add up. In exchange for her help finding the missing child, Aurora has a proposition for Amanda that could change everything. Juggling life-changing proposals, grim reminders of her haunted past and a parade of restless spirits is just another day at the office for the girl they once called the Reaper.’

Mystery, controversy, romance, and a touch of the paranormal in Lotta’s skilled hands make for a very entertaining book! Grady Harp, April 17
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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