Monday, December 09, 2019

Mystery Series Debut a Pleasant Surprise

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Journalist Nichelle Clark has one dream—to work as an investigative reporter for The Washington Post.  In order to earn such a coveted job, the 28-year-old first has to prove herself capable, which means she needs a major story, the kind that will grab the attention of the bigwigs at the Post.  With more seasoned reporters gunning for every lead, Nichelle has to fight for every crumb she can get.  When her "cops and courts" beat at the struggling Richmond Telegraph finally lands her a prime story, she can't wait to dive in.  As the deadly police boat collision she's investigating turns from accident to suspected homicide, Nichelle knows she's stumbled on a story that could make her whole career.

The deeper Nichelle digs, however, the more dangerous her life becomes.  Suddenly, she's dealing with missing evidence, drug dealers, and a sexy Mafia man whose sudden appearances at her home make her heart race—in more ways than one.  Add to that a bitter rivalry with the office bimbo and a handsome new colleague whose intentions she can't quite figure out and Nichelle's got a lot on her shoulders.  Can her designer stilettos hold up under the pressure?  Will Nichelle live long enough to sort her business and nab the story of a lifetime?  Or will the examination of Nichelle's murdered body be the next item on the coroner's to-do list? 
I downloaded Front Page Fatality, the first installment in LynDee Walker's Nichelle Clarke mystery series, because it was cheap on Kindle (right now it's only $3.99).  If I had seen its original cover (above right), I would have kept my distance, but the new art plus a compelling plot summary made me want to give this one a chance.  I have to say, I'm glad I did.  The book turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.  I enjoyed the newsroom setting, which felt very authentic thanks to Walker's extensive experience as an investigative reporter.  Despite Nichelle's sometimes annoying fashion and shoe fetishes, I found her to be an appealing heroine.  She's confident, funny, tough, and determined.  Plotwise, Front Page Fatality doesn't offer anything outstanding or original; still, it's compelling.  I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen next.  It's not my favorite mystery series debut or anything, but I've already bought the next two books in the series, so that says a lot about how much I enjoyed Front Page Fatality.

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Nichelle Clarke series by LynDee Walker)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, and innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Front Page Fatality with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

3 comments:

  1. That you've already bought the next two books in the series, says a lot about this first one. That's just about the best endorsement a reviewer can give, IMO.

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  2. I have this one to read, but have never felt the pull to get to it. Your review has got me rethinking it. I have the original cover on the one I downloaded quite awhile ago. This actually sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Great review Susan.

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  3. I like the added element of a journalist dealing with crime, I haven't read books with that angle.

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