Joyce Lavene, half of J.J. COOK, is back
and I am hitting her with
2. Favorite Candy – chocolate
3. Favorite Snack – hush puppies
5. Favorite Hard Drink – rum
11. Favorite Super Hero – Dr. Strange
13. Favorite Carnival Ride – tilt-a-whirl
19. Favorite Place to Write – our office
Find out more about Joyce and Jim and their books on their webpage here.
In Hot Water (A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)
3rd Book in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG5YNA
Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, has the world’s hottest and sweetest peppers—as well as a ghost that cooks and a fire chief who fights crime…
SPARK OF INTEREST
Stella Griffin should be bubbling over with joy now that she’s the full-time fire chief of Sweet Pepper, except trouble is brewing on her doorstep. An angry resident has purchased her cabin, and—with a bulldozer in tow—is ready to tear it down. But as Stella worries over the fate of her home and Eric, her ghostly roommate, there’s soon an even greater cause for alarm.
A suspicious house fire in the pricey Sunset Beach community at Sweet Pepper Lake claims the life of ex-state representative Barney Falk. The nature of the death has Stella feeling out of her depth, so she teams up with the state’s arson investigator. Moving full steam ahead with the case, they must smoke out a killer before the firebug strikes again…
I have to start out by saying that Joyce and Jim Lavene are some of my absolute favorite storytellers but they did it again!! This story ends with another cliffhanger!! That last page was a killer!! Oh my stars!!
Okay well let’s talk about In Hot Water. Stella has decided to make Sweet Pepper her home but her actual home, Chief Eric Gamlyn’s cabin, has been purchased out from under her and the new owner plans to demolish the place. What will happen to Eric’s ghost if his home disappears? The bulldozer has been temporarily stopped but Stella has her hands full with a house fire that looks like arson and the ex-politician owner that was killed. The investigation goes awry and Stella finds herself “in hot water” as she tries to catch the killer before it’s too late.
These characters are fantastic. Eric reminds me so much of my dad, who was also a fire chief. I would have loved to follow in his footsteps but that just wasn’t meant to be. Eric’s and Stella’s relationship is complicated and the biggest obstacle is that he is a ghost. They have grown quite dependent on each other. I think it is so funny that he loves to cook but he can’t eat. Circumstances in the story create a huge change for Eric and it adds a whole new dimension to their relationship.
In addition to the two main characters there are several supporting characters and as the arson investigation starts and halts abruptly Stella starts to wonder who in the town she can actually trust. The fire brigade gets some new members too. I was thrilled to see another female, Nancy Bradford join the team. There are also a few members returning after leaving for family reasons and that causes a little dust up within the brigade as the people that filled in have grown comfortable with their assignments. All these little subplots fire up the story as the main plot becomes the combustible backdraft leading to the extrication of the arsonist/killer.
Each A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery tops the last one. I can’t wait to don my virtual turnout gear and jump on the truck for the next fire and whatever else Stella gets herself into. All I can tell you is that that cliffhanger has me burning hot to get my hands on the installment.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”