A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister site KRL News & Reviews for even more articles every week.

Previous post:

Next post:


Second-Hand Stiff: An Odelia Grey Mystery By Sue Ann Jaffarian

IN THE December 7 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Cynthia Chow

It’s “Storage Wars” in Long Beach for Odelia Grey during the post-Thanksgiving Monday that she spends with a little too much family. After only recently being reunited with the mother who had abandoned her when she was sixteen and discovering that Grace Littlejohn would go on to have entirely new family thirty years later, the news that they may unexpectedly be spending more time together is not entirely positive. When Odelia’s security agent half-brother is called away on business before he can take Grace back to her home, Odelia tries to make the best of an uncomfortable situation even, though it has the two women accompanying another Thanksgiving relative to an auction for an abandoned storage unit.

Ina Bruce, the second cousin of Odelia’s new husband, Greg Stevens, has extended the invitation as she bids for the resale business she runs with her husband. Unfortunately, before the auction even behind Ina erupts in a screaming confrontation with Linda McIntyre, a competitor who happens to also be sleeping with Ina’s husband, Tom.

As someone whose friends have bestowed the nickname “Corpse Magnet,” Odelia shouldn’t be surprised when she and her posse of female relatives discover the body of Ina’s husband sitting in a chair in one of the storage units looking as though he was waiting for a beer–were it not for the bullet hole in his forehead.

With Greg having always looked after his little cousin and feeling responsible for Ina, neither he nor Odelia are able let Ina face being a suspect alone, even if one of the investigating detectives used to work with their good friend, Detective Devon Frye. Dev is acting a little odd himself, so maybe it’s just as well that he’s not officially on the case. Odelia definitely has experience investigating murders, so soon she and Greg are using all of their resources, including social media review sites, to research who may have a deadly grievance against Tom and his business.

Just as compelling as the mystery and the undeniably fascinating world of storage unit auctions, is the progression of Odeila’s life and relationships with her husband and mother. Seeing the maternal and loving Renee Steven’s affection for her children only highlights the fracture between Odelia and her mother, and Odelia can’t refrain from feeling resentful and unforgiving towards her. As a result, the gradual mending of the relationship and start of communication is heart-warming and refreshing to witness.

Odelia will need all the support she can gather as she faces an unavoidable tragedy, but not even this can take away from the many laughs readers will enjoy from Odelia’s sarcastic wit and the humor she uses when dealing with her exasperating relatives. Always well-written and on the cusp in trends, Jaffarian allows her characters to evolve realistically in their ever-changing world.

Check out KRL’s review of a previous book in this series & an interview with Sue Ann.

To enter to win a signed copy of Second-Hand Stiff, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Stiff,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 14, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

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).

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cyn209 December 7, 2013 at 10:53am

would so love to win Second-Hand Stiff!!!
thank you for the chance to win it!!

Reply

2 Joan Leotta
Twitter: @Joanleottawrite
December 7, 2013 at 11:20am

Love this series!

Reply

3 Annette Naish December 7, 2013 at 4:54pm

This is a new to me series – the premise sounds like a terrific book.

Reply

4 Lynn Demsky December 7, 2013 at 11:57pm

Sounds like a touchy holiday!

Reply

5 angie bronson December 11, 2013 at 10:03am

Love this series would love to win!!!

Reply

6 Abbe December 11, 2013 at 12:53pm

Love Sue Ann and all her books. Would love to win a signed copy!

Reply

7 Rachel Mustain December 11, 2013 at 6:33pm

This is one of my favorite series and I have really been looking forward to this book since the last one came out.

Reply

8 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
December 18, 2013 at 8:50am

We have a winner
Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

Reply

Leave a Comment

Twitter ID
(ID only; No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food Fun

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales