by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Skydive. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
The private investigation business was going well for single mom Nicki Valentine. Her Sky Investigations had gathered a reliable roster of background checks, allowing for a set routine of after-school pickups, dinners with her boyfriend, and tucking her kids into bed. As important as being a mother was to Nicki, she still found herself wishing to do more serious investigative work. So when Nicki receives a letter begging Sky Investigations to track down a young woman lost to foster care, Nicki is more than willing to accept the case.
Drugs and prostitution led to Corey Burke’s imprisonment in the King County Detention Center, but before that it caused her to lose custody of her daughter, Kat. Now eighteen and aged out of the foster care system, Kat has had no contact with her mother and Corey fears that her own past deeds may be threatening Kat today. Nothing pulls at Nicki’s heartstrings like a lost child and a desperate mother, so she eagerly accepts the case knowing that it will most likely be pro bono. It’s also an opportunity to enlist the aid of her best friend and novice private investigator Kenna, the yin to Nicki’s yang, and whose impulsive, free-spirited nature balances Nicki’s far more insecure, second-guessing personality. Kenna’s experience as a fitness instructor of pole-dancing exercise classes proves to become very handy when the pair find themselves working undercover at the XXXTC “gentlemen’s club,” one of the last places Kat was known to have been working before being seduced to an even seedier profession. Nicki and Kenna may be the only PIs driving mini-vans armed with emergency Mom bags of DVDs, snacks, and a portable kid potty, but they’re impressively adept at coaxing out information through gift cards to the homeless, helpful shoe advice to strippers, and quick bribes to motel owners. Their greatest strengths may be their sympathetic counseling to those familiar with foster care, especially those dedicated to preventing further abuse of those lost in the system.
This Nicki Valentine Mystery series continues to surprise by featuring such a unique, relatable, and completely competent professional detective. Not only does Nicki achieve the delicate balance of juggling mothering duties with a career, she bravely delves into the darker aspects of society that abuse its vulnerable youths. That doesn’t mean that Nicki doesn’t anguish over the occasional moments of danger and guilt over her responsibilities as a mother, or that she is still reluctant to fully commit to her dreamily empathic boyfriend. These moments that contrast Nicki’s domestic duties with those as a detective often bring the greatest laughs, as between staking out tattoo parlors she must also calmly deal with her daughter’s unexpected ant collection. The friendship between Nicki and Kenna is the highlight of this novel, as their differences only make them stronger by bringing out the best in one another. Written with suspense, sly humor, and sharp dialogue, this series only gets better with every new adventure showcasing this compassionate and thoroughly engaging heroine.
This book was published by Henery Press. To learn more about their books check out their website: henerypress.com.
To enter to win a copy of Skydive, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “skydive,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 19, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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