Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book Review: Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain (Maternal Instincts Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in a compelling mystery
Cons: A few minor issues with small details
The Bottom Line:
A mystery debut
That's a perfect companion
For midnight feedings

Bundle of Trouble?  Try Bundle of Fun for This Debut

Sometimes, a new mystery series catches my interest, and I can't quite put my finger on why.  That was the case with Bundle of Trouble, the first in the Maternal Instincts Mystery series.  I mean, I am a single man after all.  But I gave it a try, and I loved it.

Just before Kate Connolly goes into labor, she and her husband Jim get a phone call from the San Francisco coroner.  A body has just been pulled from the bay, and based on the bags found near the body, they think it might be Jim's brother George.  George has always gotten into trouble, and no one has heard from him in several months.

By the time Kate gets home from the hospital with her new daughter, the body has been identified, but that only makes things more interesting for the Connolly family.  As Kate runs into an old high school friend, the problems intensify.  Then another body turns up.  Can Kate figure out what is happening before her maternity leave runs out?  Can Kate figure out how to stay home to spend more time with her precious baby girl?

I wasn't sure how I would react to all the scenes surrounding Kate and her daughter, but those were some of my favorites in the book.  Maybe it's because I have an eleven month old niece and lots of friends who have very young kids, but I got that connection, and my heart melted as well.

I was also pulled in by the strong mystery itself.  The suspense never lagged until the climax.  In fact, each new twist just made it that much harder to put the book down.  The climax was logical and very well done.  And I appreciated the fact that, while Kate does take some chances, she was thinking about her safety much of the time and made several very wise choices in an attempt to stay safe.

And I loved the characters.  Kate and Jim were very strong and well developed.  The sub-plot about Kate wanting to stay home with their new daughter only added to her charm.  Kate's mom was a little flat as a character, but she does have potential to grow as the series progresses.  The suspects were very strong, on the other hand, making that part of the story very compelling.

The book is touted as a humorous mystery.  Maybe that's the part I've missed never being a new parent.  I found parts of the story amusing, but only laughed once or twice.  Not that I'm seriously complaining since I enjoyed every minute of the story.

The writing is strong for a debut novel.  I had no problem getting lost in the story and found the pages flew by much faster than normal.  I did catch a couple of issues with timing like a lost day, and one drink magically refilled itself in a scene.  But they were minor issues I quickly forgave as I got back into the story.

I already have the sequel to Bundle of Trouble waiting for me on my to be read pile, and I can't wait to get to it.  This promises to be a fun series with lovable characters.  I can't wait to find out what happens to them next.

Looking for more fun?  Check out the rest of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries in order.

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