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Friday, December 20, 2013

Blaize of Trouble By Louise Crawford

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Cynthia Chow

Check out details on how to enter to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Blaize McCue not thrilled to be woken up at seven thirty on a Sunday morning by an emergency phone call from her friend Nicole Jackson, especially considering that it was Blaize's fiancée Stephanos Zoloski first day off in three weeks from the Sacramento Homicide Division. However, a request from the FBI agent to babysit her daughter Jenny has Blaize considering it an opportunity to perhaps test out - and hopefully discourage - any paternal instincts residing within her Z-man. The practicing psychologist with a private detective license has managed to mostly overcome her own food addictions and fear of commitment issues, but motherhood is another matter entirely.

Codependent to the end, Blaize cannot resist Nick's plea for help, but concern over Nick’s "routine" bomb threat investigation in Tahoe turns to fear when days pass without contact and Nick is found shot and dumped in the trunk of her car. Clinging to life in the hospital, the few words Nick is able to utter to Blaize are of Jenny's father. While his identity has always been a mystery to Blaize, a path of clues will eventually seem to link him to Nick's former partner and the man who had betrayed both her and the Agency.

Image source: Mundania Press

The shooting puts Blaize in contact with her fiancée’s very attractive partner Agent Bunnie B.C. Brown, who justifiably chooses to go by the initials B.C., but less excusably targets her attentions on the very taken Stephanos. Their investigation has them targeting the man Blaize suspects may be Jenny’s father and whom the FBI believes was involved in the theft of counterfeit money, the murder of another FBI agent, and may even have been responsible for Nick's attack. Compelled both by her therapist and her private detective instincts, Blaize manages to wedge her way into the federal investigation to find the evidence to either punish or clear Jenny's father.

In this third in the series Crawford continues to highlight a very intriguing and original private detective. While Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Milhone seem to plow through fast food and donuts at an alarming rate without concern or gaining an ounce, Blaize must confront and cope with a very realistic eating disorder. Although she has mostly overcome her addiction to food, Blaize still must fight the compulsion to dive into a vat of ice cream when anxious. And with a friend in a coma and a wedding on the horizon, things couldn't get any more stressful. While the ethics may be hazy, Blaize talks her former patient Hackman Pete into providing his skills with the lure of an addict's need for adrenaline, and the Z-man always has her back despite his fears over Blaize's safety.

This is more of a thriller than a mystery but readers will be kept in the dark as to the identity of those responsible and they will definitely enjoy the ride in this blend of police procedural, psychological thriller, and wedding chaos.

To enter to win a PDF copy of Blaize of Trouble, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Season”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 28, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

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