Saturday, August 13, 2011
Bleeding Hearts by Lindy Cameron
Publisher: Bywater Books
Lindy Cameron is one of the most enjoyable mystery writers in the genre. Her characters are well developed and funny, while her plots are intricate. Though you may have suspicions about "who done it," they won't be confirmed until the end of the book and then you'll probably be wrong. In the meantime you'll have quite a romp with Kit O'Malley and her collection of friends.
In Bleeding Hearts, Kit is surrounded by more mysteries than she almost knows how to deal with. Rebecca Jones, the beautiful and very popular host of a television show, is receiving threatening messages and hires Kit to find out who is sending them. This won't be easy since Rebecca's partner, Sally, seems to think half of the time that Kit is making a play to get close to Rebecca. Then the sexy Alex Casenove walks back into Kit's life bringing the promise of a relationship and a case with her.
Someone is harassing some of the candidates in an upcoming election by leaving huge deposits of manure on their front lawns. The question is, why? In the process of trying to find that perpetrator, Kit finds herself involved with another case of a missing woman and her unusual family. Floating around the periphery of these cases is one that her old police partner is involved with where he's trying to catch a vicious serial killer who leaves the women he's murdered wrapped in bubble wrap in abandoned houses.
Political scandal, embezzlement, blackmail, murder, sleazy politicians, unfulfilled sexual fantasies and romantic matchmaking are just some of the issues that Kit has to wade through to try to solve the various cases. What begins to creep her out though is that somehow these cases might be connected. What keeps her going is the blossoming relationship with Alex that keeps Kit as unsteady on her feet as the people do who keep whacking her on the head.
Cameron writes mysteries that are serious in their creation, but spiked with tremendous amounts of humor and wit. Kit has to be one of the clumsiest and, at times, tuned out detectives around. Part of her distraction has to be attributed to the friends she surrounds herself with. Del and Brigit are a solid couple and Kit's best friends. They try to watch out for her when she'll let them and the reader has to develop an appreciation for the stability Del represents when it comes to Kit and her partner. Brigit provides much of the comic relief as she dances, sings and karate chops her way through the situations. Lillian, Kit's zany mother, floats in and out not really understanding anything that is going on in her daughter's life, but loving her nonetheless. Hector, the computer guru, seems to think he's living in a bad 1950's style crime story and Erin is the crusading newspaper reporter who knows the dirt on everyone. Usually one or more of these "assistants" wants to tag along with Kit on her investigations, where they often don't help much, but at least she doesn't get hurt…usually. Rounding out her life is the beautiful Alex, who turns Kit to mush with just a look, and Thistle, the attack commando cat that speaks a language Kit actually seems to understand.
Bleeding Hearts is a series of engrossing mysteries told with a light tone and plenty of unexpected one-liners. The crimes will challenge your intellect while Kit and her friends keep you chuckling.