Grand Slam Murders by R.J. Lee
While most mysteries take a few chapters to build up to some type of nefarious murder, this is not the case with R.J. Lee. R.J. slaps us right in the face in the very first chapter when murder hits the super exclusive Rosalie Bridge Club.
Also in most cozy mysteries, after the killer is revealed, a few pages usually close the book on a satisfying note. Again, not the case with R.J., who flips it by continuing with two full chapters after the killer is unmasked. It’s a nice elaboration that takes its time giving us even further insight into the solid characters built into this new series debut.
All seems well in this social, southern town, where well-to-do families rule the roost in everything they touch. Here in Rosalie, money doesn’t just talk, it screams — and the Bridge Club featuring four long-time college gal pals known as the Gin Gin Girls, is no exception. Liddie Langston Rose is the haughty host, who looks down her nose at anyone not on her playing field. Hanna, Bethany and Sicily make up the rest of the club. All hail from mucho money – each has their own air of arrogance. Snobbery abounds, making this elite club the envy of every social climber in town. That is until cold-blooded murder hits the bridge club. Suddenly those wannabe bridge players have to rethink what it means to become a Rosalie Bridge Club member!
The lead character is Wendy, a frustrated society columnist who longs to break out of her incredibly boring role with the local newspaper – but you do what you gotta do to get your foot in that door. Her ultimate goal is to become a crack investigative reporter instead of pushing the mundane drivel of the town’s most rich and famous.
But murder doesn’t just hit the bridge club, it devastates it! Suddenly there’s suspects all over the town, including relatives, friends and business partners. Wendy’s “kind of, sort of” boyfriend, Ross is the lead detective on the case, and her father is the local chief of police. It’s a 3-way party line that always keeps Wendy in the loop.
But when one of the main suspects is a sweet and kindly servant, who just happens to be one of Wendy’s personal friends, Wendy can’t just idly sit by, even though most of the folks in town are convinced the servant is guilty. Wendy may be the only one who believes in her enough to track down one nutball of a killer. Putting her own life on the line, she becomes the investigative reporter she always knew she could be, rooting out hidden secrets to nail the real culprit.
The southern swagger of this series and the monetary social circles laden with murder, make this a terrific debut! Just as our Washington Nationals grand slammed the championship, R.J. Lee grand slams his first mystery in this new series.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by publisher. Kensington Publishing is a sponsor of Wonder Women Sixty.