The Case of the Sin City Sister
By Lynne Hinton
Eve Divine is a motorcycle-riding, boot-wearing nun who is discovering life outside the convent for the first time in a quarter-century.
Called from her reclusive life to care for her father, who has just lost a leg to diabetes, she has discovered she has a talent for helping him solve the cases entrusted to his private detective agency.
It turns out that despite her years of religious contemplation, she can function remarkably well in the secular world she left so many years earlier.
Lynne Hinton has a real gift for characterization, from the grumpy and opinionated father to Sister Eve’s cohort, a black police detective friend of long standing.
It has been weeks since Eve has heard from her sister, Dorisanne, a sometimes showgirl whose life in Las Vegas is apt to be problematic. Eve’s repeated messages asking Dorisanne to call have gone unanswered, so it’s time to find out why.
Extracting a promise from her father, who is now on crutches, that he will continue to follow doctors’ orders and take care of himself, she packs to check on Eve, expecting to go alone.
Instead, her father’s former partner accompanies her. Even with his help, their efforts to locate Dorisanne yield only sparse information.
Both of them are persistent, however, and eventually discover Eve’s sister and her spouse have left town, apparently to escape retribution from victims of their confidence games.
In the midst of all this action, Eve is experiencing a crisis concerning her vocation as a nun. Readers who enjoy this one are hard-put to regret the possibility of more books about her adventures.
It’s a light, fast-moving, character-driven mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed.
By Suzanne Enoch
It takes no time at all for Charlemagne Griffin, middle son of a noble family, to become attracted to Sarala, the daughter of a former army officer who has spent most of his career in India, where Sarala grew up.
After the death of his brother, he has inherited the title and moved his family to England.
For Sarala, the move has meant changes she hasn’t welcomed, though her mother is well pleased at the elevation of the family’s fortune and social standing.
It takes just a glance of the exotic Sarala to catch the attention of Charlemagne Griffin, the middle son of a famed noble clan. He has gained attention on two fronts — his business acumen and as a ladies’ man.
Charlemagne is so entranced that he brags about his business abilities, revealing secrets Sarala is able to use for her own and her family’s financial benefit.
Unaware of her familiarity with the world of trading, Charlemagne is indignant when he learns of her actions. The two of them proceed to engage in a battle of wits, but their encounters also spark a more personal interest.
The plot is a bit unusual for this genre of romantic suspense, but Suzanne Enoch does a good job fleshing out her characters to make it work.
Don’t expect riveting dialogue or plotting, but it’s an enjoyable choice for reading on a day when your brain isn’t ready for anything complex.
Girls Like Us
By Cristina Alger
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Returning home to settle her father’s estate after he has been killed in a motorcycle accident, Nell Flynn unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.
Nell is an FBI agent who is on leave after being shot and has been gone from the area for a long time. Her childhood was not a happy one, with issues ranging from her mother’s murder to her father’s issues with alcoholism and anger management.
When her father’s partner, Lee Davis, asks for her help in investigating the murders of two young women involved in sex for sale, she agrees, to find herself in the midst of a gritty investigation, uncovering clues that lead her to consider that her father may be a killer.
It’s an engrossing book, with a number of lengthy references to Nell’s earlier life that help the reader to understand her present and past actions.
I literally couldn’t put it down.