Author: Joan C Curtis
Type: e-book for Kindle
Series: #1 in the Jenna Scali mystery series
Source: Directly from author
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
First Published: September 1, 2015
First Line: "All I wanted in life was a good man and a million bucks."
Book Description from GoodReads: On this anything but typical Monday morning, Jenna Scali, who works part-time for a shrink, opens an email that depicts the brutal death of a young girl. On that same day the police uncover a dead coed two blocks from Jenna’s house. The e-murderer’s description creepily echoes the death described in the newspapers.
When Jenna receives other emails, she takes what she knows to the police and thus begins her journey in the path of the e-murderer. Her curious nature impels her from e-messages to dead coeds to a ring of prostitutes. With the help of her quirky friends, Jenna learns that she’s more than a conduit for the killer. She’s his target.
THE E-MURDERER is a race to find a psychotic killer before he kills again.
This new mystery series with a young female sleuth promises to keep you glued to your seat until the last page.
My Review: This is the first book in a new mystery series. It has a good plot, some memorable characters and solid writing. The mystery is nicely paced and the use of taunting emails from the killer kept the creep factor pretty high. I can't tell you how happy I was that this book didn't spend a lot of time focusing on a romantic angle (it actually focuses on dysfunctional romantic relationships). Instead, the book spends time introducing characters, their relationships and giving readers a good, solid mystery to sink their teeth into.
Jenna Scali has just enough of an inquisitive nature and down to earth personality to make her a good, likable and relatable main character. She's head strong, smart, flawed and a wee bit sassy. The reasons why Jenna becomes embroiled in the mystery and sets herself up to be an amateur sleuth felt believable and I liked how she stumbled through the process. While she makes some rather dangerous decisions at times they don't feel ridiculous and having her best friends yell at her about these decisions for the same reasons that you were thinking helps too.
There are also a slew of interesting secondary characters - there are some you like, particularly Quentin - Jenna's friend, a professor and belly dancing instructor, Starr the quintessential southern woman and then there are some characters that are rather obnoxious whom you love to hate and are eager to witness their downfall. They all seem pretty well rounded and play their roles within the story well.
Curtis also gives her readers numerous red herrings each with very plausible reasons why certain people could be the murderer. Even people whom at first I thought could no way be the culprit made it onto my list of suspects at one point or another. I was able to guess the murderer but I admit that I kept questioning if s/he was the culprit or not because other suspects seemed to fit well too. I do wish there was a bit more of a big twist at the end of the book though. Something to ramp up the energy towards the end of the book and throw readers' predictions into even more of a tailspin.
This was an enjoyable first book in a new mystery series. With interesting characters and some good writing I eagerly look forward to reading more from this author.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to author Joan C Curtis for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.