Combining Work with Pleasure. And Murder.
It’s always a risk when an author takes their amateur sleuth out of town. Readers love the familiar characters and settings that are left behind. However, when the story and characters who are part of the trip are strong enough, it doesn’t really matter. That was definitely the case for Panty Raid, the eighth mystery for Samantha Kidd.
Samantha has been sent to Las Vegas to cover a lingerie show for her employer. She’s arriving a couple of days early and her fiancé, Nick Taylor, is coming with her. The two are hoping to spend the extra time relaxing.
However, when they go to check in to their hotel, Nick sees his college friend, Marc Rico. Nick’s surprised, and at first appears quite happy to see Marc, but then he turns cold. Samantha finally learns a little bit about Marc and Nick’s complicated past. Then one of the lingerie models turns up across the street from their hotel. Will Samantha figure out what is going on?
The book started out quickly, and I was hooked right away. My interested never waned, and I enjoyed the clues and the clever red herrings that were put in Samantha’s path. There were some creative complications along the way. As is often the case with this series, the ending was a bit fast, so one or two things were left for us to deduce ourselves, but they were minor here.
Since Samantha isn’t at home, she and Nick are the only regular characters we get to spend much time with. Not that I am complaining. I’ve enjoyed getting to watch their relationship grow over the last few books, and that continued here again. One other character we know does pop up in this book, and I enjoyed watching that relationship mature as well.
Mature really is the right word for Samantha. She continues to grow, and I love the direction her character is taking as the series progresses. It really is fun to watch. Not that she is completely changing. She has a new comfort food obsession here, and I’ve got to say, I was extremely jealous.
The rest of the cast is filled in with new characters. We don’t have time to get to know all of them well, but we get to know them well enough to care about the outcome of the story.
This book had some of the funniest moments in the series yet. Between Samantha and Nick and some of the situations Samantha found herself in, I laughed multiple times. It can be tricky to balance the comedy with the more serious elements, but author Diane Vallere balances it all perfectly.
So if you are looking for a fun, mysterious trip to Las Vegas, be sure to pick up Panty Raid. This is another fabulous mystery for Samantha Kidd.
Check out the rest of the Samantha Kidd Mysteries.