Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Review: Mischief in Mudbug By Jana DeLeon



Book Review: Mischief in Mudbug
(A Ghost-In-Law Mystery Romance)
By: Jana DeLeon
Love Spell – Dorchester Publishing
3 Heart Review

Everyone in Mudbug, Louisiana, knows that when Helena Henry shows up, no good will come of it. Especially now that Helena is dead. And more meddlesome than ever.

Sabine LeVeche needs to locate a blood relative fast – her life depends on it. Her only ally is the smart-mouthed ghost of Helena Henry. Until Beau Villeneuve agrees to take the case. The super-sexy PI is a master at finding missing persons – and all the spots that made Sabine weak in the knees. But as they start to uncover the truth about the past, it becomes clear that someone out there wants to bury Sabine along with all her parent's secrets. And she realizes what they say is true: family really can be the death of you.

This is one romantic mystery that really kept me guessing until the end. There were some many twists and reveals that you won't absolutely know the villain until the end. Surprises abound and the book makes for a fun and delightful romp through the bayou!

One thing I really liked was how spunky Sabine was. She was trained in marshal arts even if she isn't some kick-ass assassin or bodyguard. Love that! I also really liked Mildred as the mother figure and of course, the ghost Helena. The history of the characters makes for a charming set-up and all the characters were original and engaging.

A trend I love and that is found in this book is the tweaking of a traditional cozy mystery into something new and sassier. The heroines are more modern and they are sexual! It's great to see a more contemporary feel finally find cozies. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE cozies. But, I love my amateur sleuth and comedic hi-jinks with a little steam and sauciness! I refer to them as modern cozies, but I think the time has come for an official industry name for this new breed.

My only issue with this book was that I did have some trouble with the names. They might be authentic, but not being able to easily read names makes it harder to identify with a character. It kept me from being totally immersed in the story. I felt like I had to stop and try to pronounce the names or to get straight which character it was. Not a good way to keep the reading flowing.

Note to authors: It's okay to use regular names. We don't care if they are common. If your story is good and the name fits the character's personality we won't care that the heroine’s name is Sarah. Not every character in every story has to have a unique name!

If you are better at the names in this book than I was then you won’t have any issues with this book! If you love cozies with sass, this is a story for you. Be sure to check out the first book in the series,Trouble in Mudbug! (Although each book stands perfectly well on its' own, you'll want to follow the antics of these characters!)

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