Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: Hell on Wheels by Sue Ann Jaffarian (Odelia Grey #9)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in a fast moving mystery
Cons: None to be found here
The Bottom Line:
Wheelchair athletes
Plus a boss with a secret
Another strong book

Quad Rugby Turned Deadly

While I enjoy both of Sue Ann Jaffarian’s series, Odelia Grey has a special place in my heart.  This plus size paralegal is a fun and real heroine, and I love spending time with her.  I recently had the pleasure of doing that with Hell on Wheels, the latest in the series.  My only complaint is that it is already over.

While Odelia’s paraplegic husband Greg cannot play quad rugby, he has always been a fan of the sport.  It’s a game played by quadriplegics as they try to get a ball across their opponent’s goal line.  Odelia has become a fan as well, and this particular weekend finds the two of them down in San Diego rooting for their friends on a local team in a major tournament.  Unfortunately, that also means a run in with Peter, an obnoxious quadriplegic who makes a pass at Odelia in front of Greg.  He’s also a poor sport on the court.  However, they are shocked when their friend Rocky loses it and starts beating on him.  They are even more surprised when Peter dies.  Obviously, it looks like Rocky did it, but Odelia and Greg question what they’ve seen and want to help in any way they can.

Meanwhile, Odelia’s boss Mike Steel has gotten into a beating of his own out in Perris, California.  No one even knew he was going to be there, yet he comes home bruised and asking Odelia to cover for him at work.  What’s really going on?

With the murder mystery (and yes, there is a mystery to what really happened to Peter pretty quickly in the story) and the mystery of what happened to Steel, this book doesn’t lack for plot.  That’s why I found the pacing strong.  Something was always happening to move one of the stories forward, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to learn what the latest clue or twist meant.  Everything led to a suspenseful climax that expertly wrapped everything up.

As I’ve already hinted, Odelia is a strong main character, and that continues to be the case here.  She truly cares about her family and friends, and that keeps getting her involved in dangerous situations.  As you’d expect by this point in the series, we’ve got a strong group of supporting characters, and we see many of them here.  I love them just as much as Odelia and always smile when we get to spend quality time with these well-developed characters.  The cast of suspects is equally as human.

The main mystery in the book is more serious than some of them have been, but for those looking for their fix of humor there’s the sub-plot with Steel.  Honestly, the scenes and lines involving him were some of the funniest in the series, and I laughed several times as that sub-plot unfolded.  The tones of these two stories is wildly different, yet the two combine seamlessly for a coherent whole book.

Fans of Odelia will be thrilled with her latest adventure.  And if you’ve missed this great series, go back and start from the beginning.  You’ll be racing through Hell on Wheels before you know it.

And if you have missed this fabulous series, I highly recommend you read the Odelia Grey Mysteries in order.


  1. Some how I've missed this series but I like the sounds of it. Ordelia sounds like a unique character. I'll have to look for the first book!

    1. Odelia is unique and fun. Definitely start from the beginning and have fun.