(A Nicki Valentine Mystery)
Henery Press (October 7, 2014)
Paperback: 276 pages
E-Book File Size: 590 KB
She’s a parent. She’s (almost) a P.I. No one gets on your case like mom.
Suburban widow and P.I. in training Nicki Valentine can barely keep track of her two kids, never mind anyone else. But when her best friend’s adoption plan is jeopardized by the young birth mother’s disappearance, Nicki is persuaded to help. Nearly everyone else believes the teenager ran away, but Nicki trusts her BFF’s judgment, and the feeling is mutual.
The case leads where few moms go (teen parties, gang shootings) and places they can’t avoid (preschool parties, OB-GYNs’ offices). Nicki has everything to lose and much to gain — including the attention of her unnervingly hot P.I. instructor. Thankfully, Nicki is armed with her pesky conscience, occasional babysitters, a fully stocked minivan, and nature’s best defense system: women’s intuition.
Nicki Valentine has a degree in forensic psychology and is attending classes to become a private investigator all while taking care of her two young children. It didn’t take me long to see that Nicki has a huge heart and finds it very hard to say “no” to anyone. When her best friend’s surrogate disappears Nicki barges right into an investigation without really giving it much thought. Thankfully her extraordinary handsome instructor is there to help her better format a plan and move forward more carefully. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t find herself in some scary and dangerous situations. Nicki is more of an act first – think about it later sort of person.
The author has created some wonderful characters including Nicki’s mom, her friends Kenna and Andy, and P.I. Instructor Dean. All the characters have plenty of room to evolve as we get to know them better in future installments. We know Nicki and her kids are vegetarian and like most single moms housekeeping is not high on her priority list. Kenna wants to be a mom more than anything and her husband Andy is worried about what another disappointment could do to her and their relationship. They have been through a lot but their relationship has remained strong so far. Nicki’s mom is her go to babysitter unless she is off visiting her sister in Florida. She would do anything for daughter and grandchildren. Dean, oh Dean, this plot was just starting to thicken as this story came to its end but it looks like things could get very interesting.
A missing person case is an unusual case for a cozy mystery but I must say it was fun to read especially when you have rival gangs and drugs that could be involved. There is more than one edge of your seat moment! I was really surprised by the ending. I thought I knew the who but couldn’t figure out the why until everything all came together.
This series is off to a good starts and I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”