by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of NC-17, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Maizie Albright isn’t a private investigator, yet. She has two years of internship before earning her license, but she has played one on TV. The former child actress and star of Julia Pinkerton Teen Detective, Maizie is attempting to leave her old life behind as she transfers her acting skills into the real workplace. Her exodus came by court order, leaving her with an unreasonable knitting probation officer, and a momager still doing her best to keep her daughter’s career alive. The discovery that her mother Vicki hired an actor to become Maizie’s fiancé led to the decision to quit her own reality show, although the relentless Vicki simply swapped out her daughter for herself as the bride. Still ensnared by the outrageous demands of her “bridezilla” mother, Maizie does her best to follow the mentorship of the undeniably attractive Wyatt Nash. His pressing pause on any personal relationship between them while he’s her boss is frustrating, but that doesn’t compare to the bank robber and bomb explosion that lands Wyatt in the hospital.
With Wyatt out of commission and Nash Security Solutions in the red, Maizie feels the pressure to pick up the slack and keep the business from afloat. That means not just stealing a few clients from Wyatt’s ex-wife and business partner/rival (it’s complicated), but accepting a case from a trio of teenagers searching for their YouTube producer who went missing on a camping trip in search of Bigfoot. Taking on juvenile clients may be unwise, but it seems to be fate when Maizie learns that the last place Chandler was seen is where she’s sentenced to do community service and seek therapy. While Maizie is no novice to unorthodox counseling trends, even she has to question selfie therapy and what seems to be slave labor.
The Maizie we meet at the beginning of this novel is not the woman who emerges at the end, and that is where the author excels. Deprived of a normal childhood, Maizie is jaded in some ways in yet so naïve and innocent in others. Those curious about how Maizie found herself kicked out of Hollywood will be delighted to find the answers here, especially when her past becomes intertwined with her present.
The irony of Maizie being able to vent to a comatose Nash can’t be overlooked, even though actually finds some answers through admittedly bad selfies. Insomnia, self-doubt, and panic attacks are all going to have to be overcome if Maizie hopes to solve the case, keep Nash Security from going bankrupt, and remain sane. This is an undeniably fun mystery that makes the most of celebrity lifestyles and replacement of network television by streaming channels, yet never sacrifices character development for laughs. Maizie is a heroine to root for as she grows a backbone, is supported by her hilarious LA Hair stylist besties, and proves to be a surprising adept real-life private detective.
To enter to win a signed copy of NC-17, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “nc-17,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 12, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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