Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: Revenge on Route 66 by Kris Neri (Tracy Eaton #4)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun mystery with wacky characters
Cons: None for me
The Bottom Line:
A wacky road trip
Filled with mystery and fun
Tracy always great

The Mother Lode of Revenge

In the authors I wish would write faster camp is Kris Neri.  Her Tracy Eaton mystery series is always a rollicking good time.  It was killing me to wait the three months since Revenge on Route 66 came out until I could actually buy it when she was doing a signing here in Southern California.  Now that I’ve read the fourth book, it was definitely worth the wait.

Tracy is the daughter of Hollywood screen legends Martha Collins and Alec Grainger.  As a result, she’s grown up with a slightly different take on the world.  The result is a character that is wacky and fun.  Of course, the books are filled with characters even wackier than Tracy, and the resulting madness is a pure delight.

Growing up, Tracy and her dad took many pleasant trips along Route 66.  Now, Tracy is going to share that with her husband Drew.  They are starting out a few days behind Tracy’s dad and Drew’s Uncle Philly, but they plan to catch up in the tiny town of Tecos, New Mexico.

However, somewhere in Arizona, Tracy gets a phone call from her dad.  Seems people are seeing his old friend Lucy roaming Route 66.  That’s quite a feat considering she’s in prison for murder.  When Tracy and Drew arrive, they find that the town seems to be filled with secrets, and a modern day murder brings up memories of the murder Lucy confessed to committing.  So what happened all those years ago?  And how is that playing out today?

The book starts out like a nice, relaxing road trip.  Yeah, there’s some strange stuff happening, but it’s unfolding at its own pace.  But as the pages go by, things increase in intensity until you are turning pages as quickly as you can.  And all those events along the way?  They become important later.  That means I had one piece of the puzzle figured out early, but much of the rest of it didn’t occur to me until Tracy had figured it out.  Yet the pieces were always right there.

Tracy, Drew, Alec, and Philly have been around in earlier books, and it was great to see them and spend more time with them.  They had developed nicely, and their personalities were outgrowths of the previous books and what is happening to them now.

And the book has a new crew of crazy characters to entertain along the way.  As in keeping with the tone of the series, they are slightly out there but work in the context of the book.  I got to have one of the characters named after me, and I think I got the biggest kick out of the Mark Baker in this story.

And yes, this is a comedic mystery.  Tracy’s observations can be quite funny, and the odd ball characters help as well.  I was grinning through much of the book even as I raced ahead to find out what would happen next.

So if you are looking for something to pass the miles on a road trip, pick up Revenge on Route 66.  You’ll be full of smiles as you wonder just where all the events of the book will lead.

Looking for more fun?  Back up and read the earlier books in the Tracy Eaton Mysteries in order.


  1. Great review, Mark! I had never heard of this series, but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun -- especially this one, with its Rte. 66 milieu. Thanks for introducing me to the series! I will put it on my TBR list.

    1. That's my goal. To help others find series I love that they hadn't heard of yet. Glad I could help.