Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – X-Dames by J.J. Henderson – #Review / #Giveaway

X Dames: A Lucy Ripken Mystery
International Mystery & Crime
*2nd in Series
Self Published
Setting – California/Mexico/New York
Paperback: 148 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533562982



An old friend calls Lucy Ripken out of the blue to offer her a job writing for a new reality TV show: The X-Dames, an all-female extreme sports competition, starting with a surfing contest. Lucy jumps at the chance—the pay is great and means she gets to travel down to the colorful little beach town of Sayulita and get out on the waves again.

While scouting the talent, Lucy makes a friend, an impulsively charismatic young surfer with a gift for both painting and self-destruction named Marcia. Winning the competition means she might be able to pay for art school… or rehab. Either way, it’s a win.

But things take a sudden, nasty turn, when one of the contestants turns up dead. It looks like an accident, but Lucy’s seen that movie before and suspects it was only made to look that way. One drugged drink later, and Lucy’s not only sure it was murder, she’s pretty sure she’s gonna be next.

With her reality show suddenly skewing less X-Games and more X-Files, Lucy and Marcia hit the beach to save lives, stop bad guys, and maybe work on a tan.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While Lucy is an amateur sleuth, this is not a cozy mystery. The book has explicit language and adult themes.

Lucy Ripken heads back to Mexico after a brief stop in California with the crew of a new television reality show featuring female extreme sports competitors. The first episode covers some extreme surfing, and when one contestants dies the first day of filming Lucy knows it wasn’t any accident. With a little help from her friends she is going to prove that. While she is in Mexico, her landlord is trying to get her booted from her rent control apartment and her boyfriend is in Florida on his own adventure.

I know some sites show this as the 3rd book in the series and others show it as the 2nd. The first book was not available so I jumped in with Mexican Booty last week and this one this week. They do read well as stand alone but in this installment there were more references to things I assume happened in book 1 but the author gives us plenty of background to keep us in the loop, but it does make me wish I could read book 1.

Again J.J. Henderson pack a lot into these 150 pages. We are getting to know Lucy Ripken a little better but I think we have just scratched the surface. I love that she gets a call and goes where the job is and this time it sounds like a great opportunity and very well paying.  I also liked the reality show aspect, you know when you bring a group of people together vying for a prize there is going to be drama. Unfortunately this time the drama included murder and the more Lucy digs the more suspects come to light. I was totally caught by surprise how everything connected.

I have started to get invested in these characters and the author surrounds them in a good mystery. I like that we meet new characters too in each installment. I also enjoy the way he describes the setting and action. Excellent for the reader to visualize without getting too wordy.

 I originally grabbed this book when it was free and I needed n “X” book for my Alphabet Soup Challenge. I am glad I decided to read the one before this one because now I want to read them all. I have added the rest of the series to my wish list.

enjoyable 2016

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about author J.J. Henderson on his webpage here.

*The book was from my private collection.


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Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge

Flashback Friday – Mexican Booty by J.J. Henderson – #Review

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I had purchased the 2nd book in this series X-Dames, for my Alphabet Soup Challenge. Since I recently read a series starting with the 2nd book and regretted it I decided to purchase this one to read first. There was another book listed as 1st in the series on Amazon and GoodReads from several years ago but that title has been taken down.


Mexican Booty: A Lucy Ripken Mystery
1st in Series
International Mystery & Crime
Explicit Language
Setting – New York/New Mexico/Mexico
Self Published (September 10, 2015)
Paperback: 156 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533562760
E-Book ASIN: B0157QLY06



Lucy Ripken is 30-something, single, and struggling to make it as a photographer in New York City.

Desperate to keep the roof over her head and caffeine in her cup, she takes a job on the Upper East Side, photographing some mind-bogglingly expensive pre-Colombian sculptures. But something is off about the woman she’s working for, and something is off with the pieces she’s photographing.

Overpaid and under stimulated, Lucy decides to bite the suspicious hand that feeds, travelling first to Santa Fe, and then to Mexico to unravel the mystery. Her part time paramour Harold Ipswich might have been able to help, but he’s fallen off the wagon and into a bottle, and much like his drink of choice, he and Lucy are on the rocks.

No man, no problem, though, as Lucy relies on her best friend, the recently engaged (but always up for adventure) Rosa. They’ve got spunk, and they’ve got style, but spunk and style only take you so far when you’re neck deep in shark infested waters, metaphorically… and literally, too. Can Lucy and Rosa make it through the choppy seas of conspiracy, betrayal, and apex aquatic predators?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I like Lucy Ripken, she is down but she is not out when she gets the call to photograph some Pre-Colombian pieces for a gallery catalog. When a friend she brings along to the shoot tells her the pieces are fake and the gallery owner assures her they are not she feels there is a story there. She pitches the story and gets funding to research the pieces. She jets off to Santa Fe and Mexico to find the truth never realizing the danger she has put herself in.

The author gives in depth and colorful descriptions of every place Lucy travels. It was so easy to picture them vividly. From beauty to ruins, each was crystal clear.

Lucy does have a friend in Santa Fe, Rosa, in fact Rosa’s fiancee recommended Lucy for the job at the gallery. Rosa along with a pre-Columbian collector go with Lucy to Mexico where we are introduced to more interesting characters. All these characters seem to be portrayed realistically, or at least realistic enough for fiction or television. The dialog between the characters is very well written.

This is a novella at 156 pages and an extremely fast read. The plot is intense but but there is a bit of humor in places too. The pages were turning very rapidly and I was surprised at how quickly we reached the end. I am ready for another Lucy Ripken adventure and I already have the next book ready to go on my Kindle.

enjoyable 2016

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about author J.J. Henderson on his webpage here.

Watch for a giveaway next week when I review book #2.

*The book was from my private collection.