Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review: Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau (Rebecca Robbins #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and an interesting mystery
Cons: The sub-plot involving Pop was icky
The Bottom Line
Debut mystery
Fill with fun characters you'll
Want to see again

Will a Killer Skate Away?

I’d read several positive reviews of Skating Around the Law when it debuted a couple years back, but somehow I never quite got around to reading it.  I finally dug the book out, and I can see why it was praised since it is an enjoyable debut.

Rebecca Robbins left the small town of Indian Falls for life as a mortgage broker in Chicago.  She’s returned home briefly to settle her late mother’s affairs, including selling Toe Stop, the roller rink that was her pride and joy.

Rebecca hopes to be in town a week or less, but that’s before she finds the body of Mack Murphy in the women’s bathroom.  Now with a killer on the loose, no one seems interested in buying the property.  Since the town’s sheriff is more interested in his garden than finding the killer, Rebecca decides to snoop around.  After all, the faster the murder is solved, the faster she can return to her normal life.  But when the threats start coming, Rebecca begins to realize she is in over her head.  Can she find the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Okay, admittedly in many ways this is a typical cozy debut, including the main character returning to her former home town and the introduction of a sexy love interest.  It seems most series start out that way.  It’s what the authors does with these staples that makes me decide to keep reading a series, and here the author did a good job.

First of all, there are the characters.  Rebecca leads off a cast of charming and eccentric people I enjoyed visiting.  There was enough development to make me feel like I knew them, and I look forward to getting to know them better in future installments.

The story was confusing and mysterious, going off in several directions that surprised me.  That includes several plot points that didn’t turn out like I expected.  I did figure out who the killer was before the book ended, but I was having fun, so I wanted to stick around to make sure I was right.

The one aspect I didn’t like was a sub-plot involving Rebecca’s Grandfather’s love life.  It and Rebecca’s reactions to it were supposed to be funny.  I, on the other hand, felt the same ick factor that Rebecca did.

The writing flowed well, keeping me in the story.  In fact, I often would get caught up in events and forget to check the time.  That’s not a good thing when you are reading on your lunch hour.

All told, Skating Around the Law proves to be a fun debut that leaves me wanting more.  I’ll be checking back in with Rebecca very soon.

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