Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson
Warner Books, 2005
Mystery; 304 pgs
Rating: (Very Good)
First Sentence: My hand closed over the cold steel in that second between hearing the phone ring and before my eyes opened.
Reason for Reading: This is my fifth selection for the Summer Mystery Reading Challenge.
I cannot help but hesitate when reviewing a book by someone I know. I don’t actually know the author, but she has honored me by reading and commenting here on my blog now and then. Still, it was enough to get me curious to try one of her books. It helps that she writes books in my one of my favorite genres. Still, what if I hated it? What if I couldn’t finish it? As it turns out though, I thoroughly enjoyed Karen Olson’s novel and will definitely be reading more of her books in the future. I can easily see Annie Seymour sliding in as a favorite mystery heroine of mine.
Comments: Annie Seymour is a veteran crime reporter for the New Haven Herald. The last thing Annie wants is to be dragged out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to a crime scene where a young college student has fallen to her death, but duty calls. In an effort to get her story and but with little help from her cop boyfriend, Annie begins her own investigation into the murder of the Yale student, uncovering more than she could ever have imagined. The victim was a high priced escort on the side, but the mystery doesn’t stop there. As Annie gets closer to the truth, following a trail of fraud, prostitution and murder, her own career and life are put on the line.
If that isn’t enough, Annie learns that her mother is mixed up in something related to her investigation, but her mother is remaining close-lipped. Then there is the young reporter, Dick Whitfield, who is dogging on her heels and seems to show up when she least wants him around.
Annie has moxie. She is cynical, rough around the edges, and tenacious in the pursuit of her story. Do not let that fool you, however, because Annie does have heart. Karen E. Olson has created an edgy and intelligent character that quickly earned my respect and had me pulling for her through the entire story.
Karen E. Olson’s Sacred Cows was a satisfying and entertaining story. The author adds a good dose of humor and wit to an otherwise hard boiled and thrilling murder mystery. There’s even a bit of romance for those readers who enjoy a touch of sexual tension between characters. I look forward to reading Secondhand Smoke, the next book in the series, in the future.
Favorite Part: I loved the cows. The idea of fiberglass cows on display throughout the city is quite amusing. My favorite part in particular was when Annie and the Mooster Street cow meet face to face. You’ll understand if you read the book.
I know it’s cliché for the main character to be a favorite, but Annie won me over pretty quickly. Besides that she is a strong female character, I like that she is not pretentious or overconfident. She knows she is good at her job, but it never crossed the line into arrogance. She came across as a real person. And besides, I can’t help but love a character who craves pizza and eats banana splits when a day can’t seem to get any more rotten.
Note about the Author: The author teamed up with several other authors (Lori Armstrong, Alison Gaylin, and Jeff Shelby) to create the First Offenders blog. It is a wonderful and witty blog where the authors talk about all sorts of subjects including writing, current political and social issues, their own lives, and much more. I recommend you take a look. Karen E. Olson also has her own website if you would like to learn more information about her books.
Read what Melody had to say about the book:
Melody's Reading Corner