by Jenna Mattison
When Liza Radley realizes it’s cheatin’ season and no self-respecting detective’s gonna spy on her husband for the $800 and change she has hidden in a plastic soap dish, she does what any normal transplanted Georgia Peach would do--she becomes a private eye. While downing her fourth maple-glazed curbside, Liza discovers “Eye Spy”, a shop for the self-motivated sleuth in the heart of Boston. Inspiration strikes and she enters the world of Jack Parella, the owner/operator who talks like Humphrey Bogart but with a Southie accent and is more than willing to train Liza in the ways of amateur sleuthing, while simultaneously infuriating and titillating her. Though Liza starts the journey intending to rebuild her crumbling suburban life, she finds herself thrust into a fiery mystery as head of "Crimes of the Heart Detective Agency" with Parella by her side. Thus our dynamic duo is primed for their next adventure.
Read an excerpt:
Speak of the devil, Mr. Cocky Parella himself saunters in from the back room vigorously chomping, half a sub sandwich in hand. The moment he spots me a goofy grin crosses his face.
“Of all the spy shops in the world she had to walk into mine.” He utters this with his mouth full so it’s even more ridiculous.
I roll my eyes, of course, but I can’t help but let a small grin escape. He is a bit charming, I guess. And damn, can he fill out a pair of jeans.
“What’s up, doll?”
“I need some sort of listening device. Something small that I can put in a coat pocket or something.”
He eyes the ratty wig dangling from my fingers and cocks a brow.
“Oh, and I also want to return this.”
As I drop the mangled black hairball on the counter, I immediately regret my decision. Jack lets out a chuckle. I quickly grab the unsightly wig and tuck it back into my satchel.
“Umm, actually… never mind. I’m just going to keep it…for like Halloween or something.”
“Yeah, you do that. Now I can definitely help you with the audio surveillance. How much you wanna spend?”
“How much do I have to spend?” We lock eyes for a moment and he gives me that wry smirk again.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll give you the hot broad discount.”
Butterflies and dirty tingles.
Liza is sassy and witty, although she frequently messes up her idioms and sayings, but this all makes her a very fun main character. She is devastated to find out that her husband is cheating on her. Yet the process of discovery opens up to her a brand new world of intrigue and entertainment, both of which were previously severely lacking in her life. At times, she shows the makings of a brilliant detective-in-training. Other times, she can be close to a bumbling fool, but that is what makes her endearing.
Jack is a great partner for her. He is the one who starts to build up the tension between the two of them, when Liza wanders into his shop, Eye Spy. Then, he is the one to precipitate the game as he teases her, yet takes care of her and brings him under his wing and tutelage as the story progresses.
The two of them are fans of old movies and music, which helped to create a feeling reminiscent of the film noir genre during their banter as they sought to uncover some new mysteries together. Comedic bits also help to put a smile on your face or bring out a chuckle here and there, adding to the story's entertainment value. Sometimes, I felt like the story wandered a bit, but that was fitting with Liza's state of mind.
This book helped make a very long car ride pass by quickly. It was a fun read. I look forward to the next installment.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Mattison started her career in Chicago appearing on television and radio. She founded founded Cheshire Smile Productions, bringing to life and penning her first feature film FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE, a festival winning coming of age comedy which was directed by Brian Austin Green. “Fish” is now available on Netflix. Mattison also wrote Cheshire’s second release THE THIRD WISH now available at Blockbuster and distributed by the Hallmark Channel.
Lionsgate’s FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY, based on a true story of Jewish gangsters set in the 1970’s starring James Caan, Paul Sorvino, Edward Furlong and Jeffrey Tambor was also produced and written by Mattison. Most recently Jenna has written a TV movie called COMMITTED, which wrapped production this spring to premiere on television this fall. Her novel The Tree Of Jesse is a romantic religious thriller and will be released this spring, available worldwide. Mattison next novel is Eye Spy the first in a comedic romantic suspense series available this summer.
Jenna will be awarding one digital copy of Eye Spy to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop. Follow the tour for more chances to win!