REVIEW: Front Page Fatality (A Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery #1) by LynDee Walker

Release Date: January 29, 2013

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Summary (via Goodreads):

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke’s days can flip from macabre to comical with a beep of her police scanner. Then an ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor vanishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. As Nichelle gets closer to the truth, her story gets more dangerous. Armed with a notebook, a hunch, and her favorite stilettos, Nichelle races to splash these shady dealings across the front page before this deadline becomes her last.

If I hadn’t been reading this for a review, I don’t think I would have stuck with it. The story starts off choppy and uneven while Walker tries to juggle backstory, character introductions and humour.

It takes about 5 chapters for this book to really make you sit up and take notice. By the time it does, though, it hooks you deep and good. The conspiracies, the plot twists and the stakes build to a satisfying (and surprising!) conclusion.

This really is a hard-boiled thriller in the loose wrappings of a cozy mystery. If you lost Nichelle’s shoe obsession, it wouldn’t be cozy at all. The ‘cozy’-ness feels awkward and put on. I think this series would be a lot more successful if Walker dropped the cutesy cozy conventions and stuck to her strength – which is telling a damn fine thriller.

[Review copy generously provided by Henery Press]

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