Sassy, sexy Cauley MacKinnon is dying to escape the obituary beat and become a reporter for the Austin Sentinel. She gets her chance when smokin' hot FBI Agent Tom Logan asks her to pen a fake obit for a federal witness.
Soon Cauley and her search and rescue dog finds herself up to her eyelashes in dead bodies, on the run from a corrupt sheriff and worried that the next obituary could be her own.
The first book in the series (Scoop) was so great, I went and got this book as soon as I was done reading the first. This could be read as a stand-alone, but works so well with the first book.
This book was just as an addictive read as the first book. The mystery was entertaining and the characters already felt like old friends after the first book. I like that Cauley's relationship with FBI agent Tom Logan went up a notch, both physically and emotionally. Central Texas/Austin area is as much of a character in the books as NYC is to Law & Order - you can't really tell these stories anywhere else.
I really love this world Kit Frazier created; so much, I downloaded the Kindle for PC app just so I could get a Christmas short story that is part of the series.
I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but there is the issue of copy editing - there is none! I only took one star off the first book for copy editing issues because it was free. This time, I paid money and wanted (expected) a clean copy. Unfortunately, the conversion from a print book (published by Midnight Ink) to an e-book did not work out. There is punctuation and formatting issues on every single page, which could make the book unreadable for many readers. My mind just fixed the errors as I read, but other readers may not be able to do. Since I read and am reviewing the e-book version, I am only giving this great story 3.5 stars.
I would recommend this book, but only the print version. I am looking for the third book (Morgue) in print plus I have the Christmas short story (which I only found on Amazon - get with it B&N!).
Cauley MacKinnon is staring down the barrel of twenty-eighth birthday, certain the only things standing between her and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck and a kick-ass hairdresser. Starting over after a truly bad marriage and armed with a freshly minted journalism degree, Cauley is disappointed to find that the only job she can get in her hometown of Austin is as an obituary writer - something that only happens to interns who've been very good, or reporters who've been very bad.
Somehow, Cauley's managed to do both. While on the hunt for a story that will get her off the Death Page, Cauley's life takes a turn for the worse when hapless childhood friend, Scott Barnes, threatens suicide and barricades himself in a dilapidated old shed where he phones Cauley for help. Cauley is soon devastated when she discovers Barnes dead at his computer with an empty bottle of bourbon and a computer-generated suicide note. Soon, Cauley is up to her eyelashes in dead bodies and everyone wants to know what Barnes said in the shed - the last time anyone saw him alive.
Please note that the book starts with an attempt by a major character's suicide attempt. Discretion is advised is you are triggered by such a scene.
This book kept me awake and reading until the wee hours of the morning. After finishing the book, I promptly bought the second in the series. I read this 663 page book in two nights, it was quite an addicting read.
It took a while for me to warm up to Cauley (about the first third of the book) because she suffers from "first book in cozy mystery MC awkwardness and airheadness" syndrome. Once I got into her groove and she began really investigating the murder, things clicked and the pages flew. The cast is rounded out by developed characters, but I wasn't given info-dumps every time someone new pops up. There is not a love triangle, but there was two potential love interests; at the end of the book, only one of the suitors was crowned love interest.
There are a lot of plot threads to keep track of. They wrap up nicely at the end.
There are a lot of copy editing errors in this first book. Missing words, quotations that were not set properly, etc didn't stop my pace of reading, but were so noticeable. That is why I took off a star in the rating. Someone needs to go over the copy with a fine tooth comb and fix all the errors.