Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: Secondhand Stiff by Sue Ann Jaffarian (Odelia Grey #8)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters, story, fun – as always
Cons: I’m already done with it
The Bottom Line:
Storage locker dead
Means another fun puzzle
With these great old friends

Bidding on Bodies

On the list of authors who can’t write fast enough for me is Sue Ann Jaffarian.  Her books are always a pure delight filled with great characters and fun mysteries.  Secondhand Stiff is the latest of her books, and I loved it.

This is the eighth book in the Odelia Grey series.  Odelia is a plus sized, middle aged paralegal.  She and her husband Greg Stevens are a lovely couple, and any time spent in their presence is a pure delight.

Odelia’s mom, Grace, is out visiting for Thanksgiving and has joined Odelia and Greg for the Stevens family Thanksgiving.  It’s there Grace meets Greg’s cousin Ina, the owner of a second hand store.  When Grace learns that Ina participates in real life Storage Wars, she begs to go along to an auction on Monday.

However, the last thing they expect to find in one of the units is a dead body.  Worse yet, it is Ina’s estranged husband.  When Ina clams up, Odelia and Greg decide to step in and find out what is really happening.  But with Grace tagging along, will they learn the truth?

To be truthful, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Grace being in this book.  She has never been one of my favorite characters in the series, even though this is only her second appearance.   However, I loved her here.  Yes, she is prickly, but that added greatly to the humor of the book.  Between Odelia’s double takes and her thoughts in the narration, I got a few good chuckles and plenty of grins.

Grace isn’t the only strong character; the entire cast is just as strong, and they are one of the reasons I love the series so much.  They are people I identify with and love to spend time with.  There is quite a rambling cast of supporting characters who make various length appearances here, and they are as great as always.  The new characters are just as engaging, which is good since they form the core suspects.

And the plot?  Like always, it starts off strongly and just keeps going.  There are plenty of twists, clues, and red herrings to keep anyone engaged.  The climax is logical and suspenseful.  I loved it.

But it’s not all fun and games here.  There is at least one chapter that if it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, there is something wrong with you.  Frankly, that just makes the book stronger for me.

Having praised it this much, I do have a serious complaint with the book – I’m already done with it and now have to wait a year for my next visit with these great friends.

Whether a long time fan or a new comer to the series, you can’t go wrong with Odelia.  Secondhand Stiff will be a great read you’ll be sorry to put down when you are done.

If you are a new comer, you'll want to back track to and read the rest of the Odelia Grey Mysteries in order.

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