By: Kellye Garrett
Opening Line: “He stared at my resume like it was an SAT question.”
Overall: This is the first book in a three book series called the, “Detective by Day Mysteries”. It is written by a black woman, and has a black woman as the lead character, so that is a nice change of pace in the usual mystery genre. The book centers around Dayna Anderson, who is a former actress that lives in L.A. with her eccentric cast of friends. She is broke, and also trying to help her parents keep their house. So, when she happens to witness to a murder, she decides to try and solve the murder to collect the reward money the police are offering. She is an out-of-work-actress, and has no idea how to go about solving a murder. So, basically the whole book is about how she muddles her way through all the clues and leads, trying to solve the mystery. There are a lot of Hollywood references and L.A. connections that make the story very entertaining. She unwillingly teams-up with an ex-cop who is also out to solve the case and seek justice for the victim. That helps to bring some knowledge and direction to her unqualified, beginner level detective work. They work together, along with some of her quirky Hollywood friends, to try to solve the case before the cops do, so that Dayna can collect the reward money and help her folks out of a jam.
Ovations: I loved the main character Dayna and her group of crazy L.A. friends. I feel that the author did a good job developing all the characters, so you got a full picture of what each one was like. Dayna is very real, down-to-earth. and seems like a best friend you would like to have. She has a lot of funny dialogue in the book, both talking to other people and to herself! I appreciated that her crime solving skills were written realistically for a normal woman. It is believeable that she tries her best to solve the crime, thinks she has, and often finds out that she is wrong. Her constant inaccurate calls into the police “tip-line” are very amusing! I also enjoyed all the inside Hollywood references, and all the fun, girly talk about fashion and shoes. The mystery itself is good and you really do not know who did it until the end.
Oh Well: I did not really believe the relationship between Dayna and her gorgeous “friend” Omari. They are supposed to go way back and be childhood friends. But, they constantly have nothing but awkward interactions and conversations. Their actions seem more like two people who just met and are attracted to eachother, rather than two close friends who are.
Opinion: I really enjoyed this funny, fresh, lively mystery. It was an entertaining book that makes me interested in reading the next books in this series too. Rating: 8 out of 10
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