Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review: A Dime a Dozen by Mindy Starns Clark (Million Dollar Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Callie and a mysterious plot
Cons: Writing, while stronger, is still a little weak.
The Bottom Line:
Another strong book
You won't be able to stop
Until the last page

Missing Migrants and Murder

Former PI Callie Webber has left behind her former work and now works for the J.O.S.H.U.A. Foundation. This organization was set up by philanthropist Tom Bennet to give money to struggling charities. Callie's job is to investigate the charities before hand and make sure they are worthy of the donation.

In the third book in the series, Callie is coming home - sort of. Her latest assignment is to investigate MORE, a non-profit set up by her in-laws in her late husband's memory to help the migrant workers who come through the area every year during harvest time. This is the first time Callie has been back to visit his death, and she's a little nervous about how it will go.

She's just relaxing at an impromptu family reunion when an explosion at the church shocks them all. It's just some stink bombs, but the body nearby is definitely dead. It's just the latest in a series of crimes targeted at Luisa, a migrant who stayed past harvest season because her husband is missing. It doesn't take Callie long to realize that these events directly relate to her investigation of MORE, so she begins to investigate the crimes herself. Will she be able to track down a migrant missing 6 months? Who is behind the vandalism aimed at Luisa? And who killed that John Doe in the church parking lot?

I was once again thrilled to be in Callie's presence. She's a great character I've really come to care about. She is strong and independent, yet still dealing with losing her husband. Frankly, I've come to care for her and like watching her get a little stronger in each book. All the other characters are new, and they are fairly well fleshed out.

Unlike the first two books in the series, the second half doesn't have quite the breakneck pace that kept me glued to the page. However I did feel plot was better paced, keeping me engrossed the entire time. There were still several twists I saw coming only a few pages before Callie, and the ending was certainly a surprise.

The author is also getting more comfortable writing. The awkward writing style of the first book is smoothing out and the Christian elements are blending in a little more seamlessly.

With each book, I'm more and more glad I found this author. If you enjoy Christian mysteries and haven't discovered Mindy Starns Clark, pick up the first book today. You'll be very glad you did and reading A Dime a Dozen before you know it.

You'll definitely want to read the rest of the Million Dollar Mysteries in order.

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