Title: Front Page Fatality (Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery #1)
Author: LynDee Walker
Publisher: Henery Press
Version Read: ebook ARC/galley
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Categories: crime, cozy-mystery, mystery, suspense
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way reflects my feelings towards the book or the book’s review.
Summary (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.
Front Page Fatality was a great read. Nichelle is a girl after my own heart – she loves books and shoes, and so do I. (Although I can’t wear as many of the shoes that Nichelle does because I have stupid ankles.) But I digress. She’s a crime reporter for the local Richmond newspaper, and is very good at it too.
One things I really enjoyed about this cozy was that Nichelle actually had reasons to be asking the sorts of questions she was asking – it really was her job. I sometimes get annoyed with cozy mysteries when the protagonists ask questions like ‘who do you suspect’ then get upset when the police officer/investigator won’t tell them. In Nichelle’s case it certainly wasn’t an unusual question for her to be asking. She also didn’t to too many stupid things. Towards the end when she was at the factory, as an investigative reporter, it made more sense for her to be there than it would other people.
Another thing I enjoyed was that it read more like a standard mystery novel than a cozy, although there were definitely the standard cozy elements to it. The main storyline (the crime) was well structured and tied together quite well, without feeling disjointed or leaving you thinking, ‘Where did that come from?’. Through Nichelle interviewing various people, I could see pieces of the puzzle fall into place. They’re not always the right puzzle pieces, and sometimes more pieces are added in to make a more interesting picture. The little subplots added a nice depth to the novel, especially since it’s the first in a series.
The storyline was well written and made for a witty, fun-filled read. The characters were very realistic, even for the short time that we met some of them, and added to the overall enjoyment of the book. When the bad guys revealed at the end it was somewhat of a surprise. The main bad guy was a surprise, his ‘minion’ not quite so much. You didn’t guess them immediately, although as I said the ‘minion’ wasn’t quite a surprise when he was revealed, but there were several choices to pick from. There wasn’t a lot of gorey descriptions of any of the victims, so if you are a bit squeamish you don’t have to worry too much about that kind of thing.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries or even regular mysteries, especially ones with a female protagonist. I will be definitely awaiting the second book in the series.