I hadn’t heard of the chick-lit/mystery pairing before so this book caught my attention right away. As the blurb below suggests, it’s perfect for a fun, light read (besides the death of course)!
Take the Body and Run by Jada Ryker
~*~ 2016 Kindle Scout Winner ~*~
Macey’s first day in the college employee relations department ends with a knife at her throat.
Macey is certain things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong. An angry employee vows to put her on an online hit list. When he turns up dead, she’s a suspect–and on the hit list.
To keep her secrets and her life, Macey partners with two unexpected allies who cause her pulse to race with steamy attraction–and exasperating annoyance. Vince, a handsome, driven lawman, digs up more than just clues to the brutal murder. Brett, a fun-loving pathologist with a deadly sense of humor, drives everyone crazy with his fart machine-will travel. Macey’s supersized black cat Wikket, a possessing courage, curiosity, and crankiness in equal portions, assists in his own grumpy, feline fashion, golden eyes open and claws extended.
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If you think you’ve ever had a bad first job, I bet Macey will give you a run for your money! She begins her new job with a murder attempt and quickly gets wrapped up in an even bigger scheme. Trying to get herself off the suspect list, while also working to keep her real identity a secret, proves to be quite difficult in her new workplace!
There’s plenty of humour right from the beginning and I was glad to find that this book did live up to its claims. Macey is quite sarcastic and even with the numerous death threats, she never seems to find herself without a quick remark! I think the chick-lit aspect helps this comic side of this book, as it moves it away from a dark mystery to one who can laugh along with. There are also a few characters, a cat and a typewriter especially, that never fail to break up the mood!
I thought this one started really strong, and though the cast of characters took more time to learn to love, I really enjoyed the interactions between this mismatched group! That’s not to say that everyone is likeable. There are several that actually seem downright evil but luckily there are enough to even out the sides that it doesn’t feel like a failed mission from the start!
The good news is there was plenty of room for Macey to develop some really strong friendships and relationships. As the blurb above explains, Macey has two men fighting for her attentions and I was pleasantly surprised with their characterization. It’s still your traditional love interest set-up but they seemed to escape the typical male personality that many of these books employ, in that they were both respectful and especially attuned to Macey’s feelings. I liked that she could have that support behind her, and the men didn’t make it dependent on her returned attractions.
While I enjoyed the characters in this book, it was clear that this one is focused around 30-somethings and up. Macey works in a university and she consistently calls the students in this school “zombies” because of their supposedly constant texting/walking. Now, I know this isn’t really a big deal, but as a college student I do take some offense when it feels like the typical run of millennial hate. Many people at my school use their phone often, yes, but I would say 90% do NOT use their phone while walking. The ones who do can feel our glares on their backs as we struggle to move around them. Plus, there’s some who do know how to use their phone while walking at a normal speed. It’s a small thing to pick apart but with the older characters carrying the story, I felt like someone needed to stand up for my age bracket!
There is a lot going on in this story and in wrapping up these ends it felt a bit overwhelming. We’ve got a couple dead bodies, a hidden identity, a missing person, blackmail, thefts, a greedy widow, and it just keeps adding up. It doesn’t start as messy but as the story progresses it seems there’s no end to the trouble surrounding Macey. I don’t think the number of mysteries floating around really hindered my enjoyment of the story but I realized 80% of the way through that I still didn’t have answers (or any idea!) for most of these. Leaving so many of these loose ends until the very end felt like they were tied up too neatly.
I did have some issues with the representation of the book. There are several Black characters and I know this because their skin colour was always immediately identified, while the remaining characters had no such introduction. The worst part was in the way this was identified as one character in particular was described as having a “hot coffee” complexion. There’s also a group in the book that bears a striking resemblance to the KKK (purposely – the other characters do realize the problems with this group). I won’t mention how the group is involved to avoid spoilers but I felt really uncomfortable with how their involvement in the story almost set them up to be heroes. I don’t think it was appropriate to give them any redeeming qualities, no matter how it may play into the story.
The humour and quick-wit of the main character caught my attention from the first page but this ending did not sit well with me.
About the Author: KINDLE SCOUT WINNER Jada Ryker snagged the Kindle Press publishing contract for her new book, Take the Body and Run, through Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. The contemporary mystery/romance is about a hunted woman hiding under a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime.
Jada is the author of Dog Days of Karma, the first Carr-Maah Consulting mystery/paranormal novel; A Pink Zombie, with a Mist, a Shaken, Not-Stirred, mystery/horror adventure; and Murder Takes a Dare, the first book in the Takes a Dare mystery series. The books combine humor and murder in a total package of entertaining and fun southern adventures. At the same time, Jada sketches in addiction/recovery issues and childhood angst with a deft and compassionate touch.
Jada spent the first twenty-odd years of her life in rural Kentucky, many of those years without electricity or running water. In her writings, Jada draws upon her early years of deprivation
She now lives in central Kentucky with her wonderful husband and their cat, rescued from the animal shelter. In her day job, Jada works in higher education. She holds a masters degree in public administration.
Jada’s mystery adventures are available on Amazon in electronic and paperback formats.
Jada loves to hear from her readers.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own