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Friday, June 3, 2016

Secret Exposure: A Paula Mitchell, P.I. Mystery By Jan Christensen

by Kathleen Costa

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Secrets…everyone has them. They might be little indiscretions like kissing your BFFs boyfriend behind the bleachers or major felonies involving misuse of company funds. You often share your secrets with a sister or a best friend or you keep them tightly to yourself hoping no one ever exposes them. Secrets can prove you’re just not ‘so together’ as you claim, or prove you have a darker side best locked away twenty-five to life in the state penitentiary.

Secrets…yes, everyone has them.

Paula Mitchell, a former cop and private investigator for lawyer Geri Smithfield, starts off by wrestling a hand gun away from a distraught husband in a divorce struggle. The husband has been accused of abusing his son. In the aftermath, she discovers he is also their client. As she begins her investigation, Paula finds more questions than answers, a curiously cold background check on their new client and a wife adamant that the accusations of abuse are true. The divorce investigation soon turns into a murder investigation uncovering many suspects and enough secrets to fill a jail cell.

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Simon Langford, a very successful accountant, is embarrassed about his gun-wielding episode, but reluctant to answer anyone’s questions about his wife’s accusations and his ‘hard to uncover’ background. The police, his lawyer and Paula, all come up with very little. With information provided by the police and an interview with his wife, Simon is portrayed as a quiet, controlled man, but his secrets could be problematic. When his wife is found murdered, Simon’s secrets could put him behind bars.

Paula won’t let a few ‘less than forthcoming’ friends and family members or an overprotective love interest stall her investigation of a man she believes innocent. She hounds Simon’s college friends, a brother-in-law, maids, housekeepers, various assistants, and Simon’s parents slowly pealing away at their secrets: a college prank gone awry, questionable philanthropic dealings, sealed ‘juvie’ records, paternity issues, and then, there’s a big, black car she observes following her…but, the questions still remain. Who is capable of child abuse? Who is capable of murder?

Image source: Jan Christensen

I sure won’t keep my delight with Jan Christensen’s third installment in the Paula Mitchell, P.I. Mystery series a secret. I enjoyed it tremendously from the strength and cleverness portrayed by the main character to the different personalities…all with curious secrets I couldn't wait to have uncovered. I also enjoyed the format style written with several 3-5 page chapters making the journey an easy read. The story has a realistic approach as you follow Paula’s investigation: she hits the pavement interviewing suspects gaining a little more information, then back to ask more questions, and if they won’t talk to her, she’ll camp out on their doorstep. I will be reading the previous books to join in on more investigations.

Jan Christensen has earned from me 5/5 Secrets…exposed!

Become a Fan!
Paula Mitchell, P.I. Mystery
Book 1 “Perfect Victim”
Book 2 “A Broken Life”
Book 3 “Secret Exposure”

Check out Jan's website to learn more: www.janchristensen.com

To enter to win a copy of Secret Exposure, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “deception,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 11, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.


  1. What a great review! This book sounds like it would be very hard to put down! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

    1. I enjoyed it. As the story went on a new secret was discovered and 'exposed.' I enjoyed the pace, and how she focused on the PI's investigation and questioning rather than chasing... Fun!

  2. Wow, thanks for introducing me to a new series & author. Sounds like a great read. doward1952@yahoo.com

  3. This is a new author to me and would enjoy reading.

  4. This is a new author to me and would enjoy reading.

  5. Terrific review. I'll look forward to reading this one. I have read and enjoyed Jan's work for a long time.
    Lida Bushloper

  6. New author/new read. Thank you for the heads up on what promises to be a great read. Della at deepotter@peoplepccom