Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jenn's Review: Dead in Red

Summary:  Sometimes it seems like murder and mayhem follow Jeff Resnick, challenging his psychic “sixth sense” to solve crimes. Since the vicious mugging that changed his life, he’s tried to keep his unwanted gift in check. But when a bartender at his favorite watering hole is murdered, visions of a sparkling red woman’s high-heeled shoe and a pair of bloody hands linger in his mind--and hit too close to home. When Jeff’s older brother, Richard, last helped him with an investigation, it nearly cost him his life. Still, Richard is determined to tag along as Jeff is drawn into the seamy world of fetishes and drag queens to find a murderer before another life is taken. ~product description

Review:  I really enjoy this series from L.L. Bartlett, and not just because it's set in my home town of Buffalo, NY.  Actually, that part is a little distracting for me, especially the juxtaposition of real places with the ones Ms. Bartlett has created for her story and the repurposing of buildings and places as something else entirely.  Honestly, if your aren't from the area, or only vaguely familiar with it it wouldn't bother you, but every so often it disrupts the narrative for me.  Occasionally, it cracks me up, like the outrageous number of drag clubs she has added to our city, or the fact that she has single handedly increased the crime rate in Amherst, NY which is considered among the 'safest cities in America'.

What I love about the series, is that it's a nice light mystery without being cozy.  Not that cozies and heavy crime novels don't have a place, I adore both, but sometimes you just want to fall into something easy.  The characters are interesting and in Dead in Red, we get a little more character development.  Jeff is finding his way again as he recovers from his life altering injuries and it's nice to see him strike out on his own a little.  There wasn't as much drama between he and his half-brother Richard, just a whole lot of guilt which causes some bickering.  I love the way Ms. Bartlett keeps the reader guessing, the mysteries are never what you would expect, which is a huge accomplishment.

I have already purchased the next two books in this series, and am happily adding them to my TBR pile.  They are great reads to have laying around.

Final Take:  3.75/5
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