Dead of the Day by Karen E. Olson
Obsidian Mystery; 2007 (ARE)
Mystery; 320 pgs
Rating: (Very Good)
First Sentence: For a dead guy, Warren Black had a lot to say.
Reason for Reading: Karen E. Olson has slipped her way onto my favorite author list. The author was kind enough to offer me an ARE of her book, although I actually had planned on buying a copy the week of release. I still plan to just because.
Comments: I seem to be on some sort of good crime fiction train these days with back to back winners. I do not mind at all. I just hope it keeps up. Karen E. Olson turned up the heat with her latest novel, Dead of the Day. I liked it even more than her last book. There was nonstop action and enough twists and turns to keep me on my toes. Right from the start, it was very hard to put the book down, something I did only because my boss would not take too kindly to my reading into my workday.
Crime reporter Annie Seymour needs a distraction from her current assignment, profiling the new police chief for the New Haven Herald. It comes in the form of a body found in the harbor. What is even more curious is that the unidentified man suffered from multiple bee stings. To complicate matters, when the police chief is murdered on the steps of a local theater, her profile suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. As if that was not enough, someone breaks into her mother’s house. Annie has a lot on her plate, and the more questions she asks, the more complicated the puzzle becomes.
Her investigation leads her to take a closer look at the city’s illegal immigration population, and Annie is determined to uncover whatever truth she can find. Her loved ones do not make it easy for her, however. Her mother seems to know more than she’s revealing, her police friend is being tight lipped, and Vinny, the private detective, and his crime writer brother Rocco are playing dumb. The more Annie searches for the truth, the more someone is determined to stop her.
Karen E. Olson takes readers on a roller coaster of a ride, one where I did not want to let go of the edge of my seat. I like how different each of her books are from one another. While the characters are the same and familiar, not one of the books is like the other. Annie continues to make me laugh, her sarcasm and dry humor striking just the right chord. There’s a little steam for romance lovers and plenty of action for adrenalin junkies. November 2008, the scheduled month for the 4th installment in the series, Shot Girl, seems so far away . . .
Favorite Parts: I love how much Annie eats. In my mind’s eye, she’s a rather fit woman who probably doesn’t gain as much weight as I would eating even half as much as she does, but she eats out even more than I do, and that’s something.
Being in the heart of the newspaper building, back where the printing presses are, brought back fond memories of a summer between college semesters when I worked for my father-in-law at a small newspaper in Central California. I was a receptionist, printing labels, processing fees for advertisements and subscriptions, and answering phones mostly. I remember one day taking a tour of the printing plant with all the big presses, watching the paper go round and round at quite a clip. The paper looks so different at that phase than in its final product.
If you haven't already, hop on over to On Tour: Karen E. Olson for her guest appearance on this blog.
Miscellaneous: Do you read teasers at the end of books? You know the ones. Sometimes publishers include the first chapter or so of an author’s next book at the end of the book you are reading. Excerpts, I think they are called. I call them teasers. I read just about everything else in a book from the acknowledgments, dedications, references, author’s notes, etc. But I do not read the teasers. I understand their purpose, but I hate to be teased and then have to wait and wait and wait to see what happens next. It’s pure torture. I did peek at the excerpt for Shot Girl. Just a little peek. Next November is only a year away . . .