Sunday, July 7, 2013

Book Review: Hide and Snoop by Sue Ann Jaffarian (Odelia Grey #7)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, fast and fun plot
Cons: Snoop as hard as you want; you won't find any
The Bottom Line:
A kid, missing boss
More puzzles for Odelia
A fun read for us

Come out of Hiding to Take a Snoop at Odelia's Latest Adventure

It was several years ago that I finally bought and read the first Odelia Grey mystery by Sue Ann Jaffarian.  I've been hooked on her books ever since, and I just read the latest, Hide and Snoop, in a matter of a couple days.

For those new to the series, Odelia is a paralegal in Orange County,California, who has become so infamous for finding dead bodies her friends call her Corpse Magnet.  This is her seventh adventure.  While you could jump in here, I highly recommend reading the series in order because there are some references to previous books in the series.

Things are changing in Odelia's world.  Her law firm has merged with another, and now she reports to a new boss, Erica Mayfield, who makes her long for the days she worked for Mike Steel.  Even worse, Erica has brought her own paralegal along, and she gives all the work to Mark Baker, making Odelia fear for her job.

Then Erica dumps her three-year-old niece on Odelia and disappears for the weekend.  Lily quickly charms Odelia, but Odelia begins to worry when she learns that the girl's parents are missing.  Can she find them?  Where is Erica?  And can Odelia keep her job safe from Mark?

Let's start with the elephant in the review.  Yes, the rival paralegal is named for me.  I made a donation to a charity to get my name in the book, and I had a blast with it as I read the book.  But what follows is still my honest opinion.

I've already mentioned how great the characters are, but let's go back to that.  With each book, the potential stable of characters seems to grow, and it's a great group.  Each of them is well developed and continue with little nuances in each book.  The new characters and even the walk ons are just as great.

You know that old admonition about never working with kids or animals?  It hold true in books as well.  Lily completely steals the show in all of her scenes.  If she doesn't work her way into your heart, there is something wrong with you.  I really gravitated to her, but the fact that my niece is just about her age probably really helped.

The story starts quickly and really keeps moving from plot point to plot point quickly with some nice twists thrown in along the way.  Just before the half way point, I thought the story might start bogging down, but it then got a jolt and never let up until it reached the climax.  In fact, I stayed up until 3 AM to finish the book, something I hardly ever do.

Another thing I noticed as I went along was how great the writing is.  I've always found Sue Ann's writing a fast, easy read, but I really noticed some of her phrasing this time around and how she sets scenes in some unexpected ways.  There are some funny scenes in the book, but some of the humor comes from how Odelia describes things.

This is another well written mystery that will appeal to Sue Ann's fans.  And if you haven't discovered Odelia Grey yet, go back to the beginning and catch up now.  You'll be at Hide and Snoop before you know it and anxiously awaiting the next in the series.

Need to backtrack?  Here are the Odelia Grey Mysteries in order.

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