Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

for the TBR pile: Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen

Blood Orange is a debut novel and the first, I'm sure, in a series about a Santa Barbara detective named Jaymie Zarlin. I've done a "Fresh Meat" segment on the book over at Crimional Element, but I'll be doing a full review later in the week. I really, really enjoyed this novel. The heroine feels real and she's got her quirks but she does not, as a friend of mine likes to say, wear a parrot on her shoulder. Keskinen has a knack for character and dialogue and also for setting her stage. The book takes place in Santa Barbara and takes us from the century-old houses inhabited by old money to the grittier parts the gangs refer to as "Santa Bruta." the crime Jaymie's investigating is brutal--the rape/murder of a lovely young woman--but the women she encounters in her investigation are anything but passive victims. Well, with the exception of one wife who may or may not know what's going on with her husband and his long-time lover. The book shares some elements with Janet Evanovich's popular Stephanie Plum series, but with more heart. If you like mysteries by and about women, you should check it out.

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