“Killed in Escrow: A Lauren Vellequette Mystery” by Jennifer L. Jordan
The first in a series - this is a well constructed mystery novel with a tight plot that introduces us to tough, smart lesbian protagonist, Lauren Vellequette.
Lauren Vellequette is a successful, but somewhat bored, real estate agent with a passion for solving mysteries. With a career selling houses chugging comfortably along, Lauren starts a side business in private investigation. She takes advice from her friend and PI expert, 65 year old Rollie Austin, and along the line somewhat reluctantly acquires a rebellious teenaged intern called Sasha, who pretty much employs herself and then places demands on the childless Lauren that she is definitely not used to!
The main plotline in this novel revolves around our protagonist solving the mystery surrounding the hit and run death of young Jessica Stasinowski after Jessica’s mother has engaged Lauren’s services when the police seem to be no longer particularly interested in the case. But there are also subplots and backstories that flesh out the characters and keep our interest with smaller cases that come along and are solved within a few chapters. We learn about Lauren’s past significant relationships and why she is currently single, and why Sasha is so secretive but also so very demanding.
The clues in the mystery are tantalisingly revealed and the plot is very tight, such that you’re kept questioning right up until the final chapter. It’s clever, sassy and definitely entertaining. I’m not one that usually has the patience to stick with mystery novels – I just want to know what happens! But this one kept me reading and interested and needing to know just how super sleuth Lauren Vellequette was going to put this all together. This is the first of a new series, and I’ll be looking for the new novels as they come out. And being a hopeless romantic I am also looking forward to that one book when enough space is cleared in her busy schedule for Lauren to find love!