The picture on the cover of this book was enough to get my interest. I happen to love shoes. The story inside lived up to the fun of the cover. It kept my interest from the very beginning.
Nichelle Clark is a reporter in Richmond VA on the crime and courthouse beats. She will do anything for a story and would like to move up to covering politics for the Washington Post. She's smart and funny and clever. She is one of the more likeable heroines I've met in a while. She hears about a dead body found in the woods over her police scanner late one night and goes to investigate. The stiff turns out to be a lawyer and lobbyist for the tobacco industry. As she doggedly pursues this case, it keeps getting deeper and deeper. She soon finds herself being warned off and that's enough to get any reporter's juices going.
The mystery in this story is a complex one and I enjoyed it. No simple solutions here. It's a pleasure to follow Nichelle's investigation as she sifts through the evidence using her own investigative skills and her arsenal of law enforcement contacts. I love watching a good detective at work. Her law enforcement contacts feel professional and competent. I love that she doesn't seem condescending toward the people around her. I really don't enjoy female detective that seem to think they are above normal life. Nichelle feels like someone you would be friends with.
This is more of a traditional mystery to me than a cozy though it has elements of a cozy. It's not set in a small town and the heroine doesn't have some weird hobby or shop that plays into the mystery like so many cozies. Nichelle actually has a legitimate reason to be pursuing this case and does it as a professional, it just happens to be a professional journalist rather than a professional detective. It's a quick read, it's not graphic with violence or sex and it's fun but it's not quite as soft as a cozy generally is.
There is a love triangle but for some reason it isn't as obnoxious as I usually find them though I do need it to resolve soon. Like most readers, writing love triangles is one of the most annoying things that writers do. They never feel realistic to me because so few men would put up with them.
It felt to me that there was one small continuity error when she was warned away from investigating one of her suspects. I didn't think that she had even mentioned to anyone else yet that she was following that path so I'm not sure why she would be warned away from it but that was minor. Maybe I had just missed something.
I can recommend this book for lovers of traditional or cozy mysteries. It should have great appeal to lovers of either genre and you don't have to have read the first in the series to enjoy this one. This is the first one I have read.
This book was provided by Netgalley and I appreciated the opportunity to read and review it.