All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Lethal Lifestyles by LynDee Walker

on September 16, 2016

lethal-lifestylesLethal Lifestyles (Headlines In High Heels #6)
LynDee Walker
Henery Press
2016, 288p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Wedding bells are ringing at the Richmond Telegraph, and maid of honor Nichelle Clarke is determined to give her friends the perfect fairytale beginning to their happily ever after. So when a corpse crashes rehearsal weekend, Nichelle ditches her wedding coordinator shoes for her crime reporter ones, and a little poking around turns up a big problem: the victim and the groom have a history, and it’s not a pretty one.

Evidence against groom Grant Parker piles up, leaving Nichelle wishing a hostile bridesmaid was still her biggest worry as she tries to fend off Richmond’s favorite TV reporter—and her own scheming publisher. At odds with the cops, her beloved editor, and the ticking clock, Nichelle races to uncover the truth and save the day before this perfect wedding turns into a funeral.

I love this series. I consider it one of my favourite discoveries this year and I was lucky as 5 had already been released when I came across it. I binged on them all during my cozy mystery stage and I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book and the next books in several other series’ as well.

I think the thing I really like about these books is that Nichelle is so damn good at her job. She’s not a bumbling heroine, stumbling from one disaster to the next or unemployed and constantly unable to make her rent or buy food. She is a crime reporter for a newspaper in Richmond, Virginia and she works long hours covering terrible incidents and quite often becomes invested in what she’s reporting. And involved. Nichelle does have a bit of a tendency to find herself in the firing line but it kind of works, the way that the books play out. She’s strong and dedicated with some interesting quirks.

In this installment, sports reporter Grant Parker, a regular in previous books, is marrying his girlfriend. Nichelle set them up in a previous book so the reader is more than familiar with them and due to her orchestration of their relationship, Nichelle is a bridesmaid who is going above and beyond the call of duty with wedding organisation and is determined that everything be perfect. The first spanner in the works there is the discovery of a dead body in a wine barrel at the wedding location and really, it all just kind of snowballs from there.

I always find the mysteries really interesting in these books and they do end up being quite intricate but without being confusing. Nichelle really does have a wealth of fabulous contacts and she is well versed in the politics of what she can and cannot use in her pieces so she manages to get the story without treading on toes or offending people. Nicey (what her friends call her) is involved in a friendly rivalry with the crime reporter for a local TV station with the two of them going head to head in the fight for exclusives. Nichelle and her boss Bob, an old-school reporter are constantly in the firing line from someone higher up who’d love nothing more than to be rid of both of them. Only Nichelle’s track record in getting the story keeps her employed and speaks of just how clever she is. She is passionate about her work and wanting to give victims a voice as well as get the facts across.

There’s some romance running through this series too. Nichelle meets the enigmatic “call me Joey” in book 1, an obvious mafioso who trades information in bits and pieces to further the agendas of his connections. However there are times when Nichelle’s quests put her in direct conflict with what Joey and his cohorts might consider a desirable outcome and as the chemistry and affection between Nichelle and Joey grows, so does Joey’s struggle with his two worlds. Given that he appears to be in the business of furthering crime in some way or another (his exact role has never been made clear and Nichelle has a strict policy of not asking) and Nichelle is in the business of uncovering and exposing it, it seems likely that eventually this will cause some sort of catastrophic explosion. Add in the fact that Nichelle’s former boyfriend is a hotshot ATF agent who wouldn’t mind a) removing the “former” from that description and b) uncovering Joey’s secrets and bringing down the entire hierarchy of the organisation he works for, there’s a lot of tension that simmers in these books nicely. For now Nichelle and Joey are moving forward (and I looove this because I really like Joey and especially Joey with Nichelle).

This was one of my faves of the series so far – they’re all good, continuing to get better as we get to know Nichelle more and her relationship with Joey develops and Kyle, the ATF agent continues to complicate matters. Now the only problem is waiting for the next one.

9/10

Book #169 of 2016

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