Monday, March 11, 2013

Chasing Venus by Diana Dempsey

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥♥
Two parts whodunnit, one part crazy sexual tension for a total of three parts feeling edgy and tweakish.

I must say I am surprised to have not read anything by this lady before! She is a really solid writer. I don't know how to describe it but you feel like you are in the hands of a pro - perfect grammar, sentence structure is clean and crisp and she didn't have those tics that some contemporary writers have that end up being irritating to the reader (e.g. weird, affected Southernisms to demonstrate the H's aw-shucks charm).

He: Ex-cop, host of an America's Most Wanted-like show that helps track down criminals by appealing to the public. Backstory is that he had lost a fiancee to a crime so has attending internal turmoil related to that.

She: Crime writer who gets mixed up in a string of serial murders of other crime writers. Her issues are related to having had a bad relationship in her past and is now determined to break free from her earlier patterns with men and to assert her girl power.

Conflict: There is immediate chemistry between the two but then she becomes a suspect in the murders and he's the only one who can help her clear her name. He has to fight his attraction for her, help her solve the mystery while risking his own reputation as an investigative reporter if he ends up being wrong about her.

The mystery was tight and interesting, the conflicts were believable and while it may seem like a damsel in distress tale, there end up being some fierce scenes where she takes care of business herself.  

Side note: There was a really interesting and well-written side story about one of the minor characters who has feelings for the H. It was sympathetically written, not over blown and really touching.

It's hard for me to re-read mystery stories but I need to find more from DD! 

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