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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Review: Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection: Box Set Books 1-3 by Barbara Venkataraman

This is an enjoyable bundle of amateur sleuth, legal related mysteries. Worth the price and available at Audible too.
by Barbara Venkataraman
File Size: 799 KB
Print Length: 338 pages
Publication Date: September 3, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Books 1-3 of the Jamie Quinn Mystery Series! Including:
"Death by Didgeridoo"-Winner of the Indie Book of the Day award. Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It's up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it's too late. It doesn't help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn't commit.
"The Case of the Killer Divorce"-Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It's business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie's client becomes the prime suspect. When she can't untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client's name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father.
"Peril in the Park"-There's big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn's boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind? If Jamie can't figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.
A preview of the next Jamie Quinn Mystery, "Engaged in Danger," can be found at the end of the book.

"Death by Didgeridoo"- Jamie Quinn is a 33-year-old divorce lawyer in Broward County, Florida. She had been on a depression fueled sabbatical for a year or so after the death of her mother. She has to crawl out of her stupor when her sensitive cousin, Adam, is accused of murder. Adam, a young man in his 20s suffers from autism. He finds an outlet in music and has been accused of killing his former rock star, music teacher. Jamie knows that her cousin could never kill anyone, but she doesn’t really know criminal law. She calls her best friend and former college roommate, Grace, for help. Grace fills her in on applicable statutes and encourages her to engage a private investigator (PI) to help.

The ‘woman magnet’ PI, Duke Broussard, works primarily from a local bar. He enjoys exchanging barbs with Jamie and is quick to help, especially when Jamie reminds him of the favor he promised when she helped him thorugh his acrimonious divorce. Jamie faces off with the new, slick District Attorney, then joins Duke as they interview witnesses and leads to find the clues necessary to identify the real killer.

I enjoyed this introduction to the warm characters as they unravel the murder mystery. I also enjoyed the legal scenes and the setting in Broward County where I practiced law for seven years. I agree with Jamie’s mantra: half the battle is showing up and the other half is being prepared as best you can with the information available.

"The Case of the Killer Divorce"- Jamie’s court adventures continue but in this story she is back in her field of expertise. The murder victim is her client’s husband who is suing to take custody of the couples’ children. Jamie doesn’t want to believe her client, Becca, is guilty of the crime but she had threatened her husband and the cause of death is connected to Becca. Jamie helps Becca find a good defense attorney and PI Duke is engaged to investigate.

While the murder investigation proceeds, Jamie has decided to look for her father who was gone before she was ever born. Duke and Grace are enlisted to help that line of inquiry and Jamie learns surprising facts.

"Peril in the Park"- Jamie runs into a high school boyfriend, Kip, and learns that he has returned to become the Director of the county Parks. Someone clearly doesn’t like Kip coming to town and is making things hard on him. His job is being plagued by vandalism moving from park to park. The pranks are escalating and even Jamie has received a threat. Kip, Jamie and Duke attend a Renaissance Festival with one eye out for the prankster but instead they stumble upon a dead body. The murder victim is another PI friend of Duke’s who was going to deliver some information about the threat against Jamie. Once again the pair are off hunting clues.

Meanwhile Jamie is enjoying a growing romance with Kip as she anxiously waits to see if her father can get a visa to come visit. Another (not so unexpected) twist throws up an obstacle and more surprises on the home front.

The legal elements of the stories are explained so the reader doesn’t have to be an attorney to follow. Ms. Venkataraman uses natural language that flows well and nice phrasing for crisp descriptions. Another fun aspect is the familiar references to authors, books, music and television shows.

The stories read quickly and the mysteries are distinct and resolved in good fashion. Each story can be read as a stand-alone but I thought the bundle was wonderful. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy cozy or legal mystery stories.

I received this from the author for an honest review. It qualifies for “J” in my Alphabet Soup Challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I love cozy mysteries, so I think I will give these a try. The Jamie Quinn Mysteries and Barbara Venkataraman are new to me.


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