Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Book Review: Last Call

By Sara Steven

Unfazed after finding a body behind the dumpster of her bar, Janet Black is ready for business as usual until police start eyeing her boyfriend as the possible killer. When the victim's teetotaling daughter decides to take up residence in the corner booth until the murderer is caught, Janet is forced to get involved.

She'd rather be dealing with unruly customers, but instead Janet reluctantly mounts her own investigation to find out if the dead man's complicated past could have anything to do with his death, whether an unreliable employee's absence is mere coincidence, and why police are purposefully feeding her bad information about the case.

Janet's sharp tongue and coarse personality make her the guilty pleasure heroine you've always wanted... (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

I completely agree! Having learned about Janet through the Stella Reynolds Mystery Series, I couldn’t wait to read Last Call: A Janet Black Mystery. She truly is a stand-out character, and I couldn’t imagine not reading about her own adventures, considering the natural talent and ability she has for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. And, the natural ability she has for solving crimes.

Much like in the Stella series, there are a plethora of twists and turns within this mystery, yet the “who dun it” factor has been elevated, making it harder to determine who the true criminal is. It makes for an enjoyable read, suspenseful. I had a difficult time not reading on to see if any of my hunches were correct. Mixed in are the unforgettable characters who really make this novel pop. Kirsch has a knack for blending in the best and worst personalities, in order to really bring on the friction and chaotic elements necessary for a good murder mystery. You find yourself unsure of where the lines are drawn, who’s innocent, who’s guilty, who you want to support because they’re good, vs. evil. Janet is a mixture of all of that, proving that the characters who are the most flawed are the most fun. And have the most fun!

Last Call has an edgier vibe to it, much like it’s protagonist. The bar Janet runs and manages reminds me of the type of hole in the wall bars I’d frequent on occasion when I lived in the Midwest. The type of bar where you’ve heard about it through word of mouth, an experience. It’s an extension of who Janet really is- rough around the edges, minimalist, far from gaudy, yet honest, open, and willing to take anyone in, no matter where you come from. I’m hopeful that this won’t be the one and only mystery for Janet to solve, and we'll see more from her in the near future.

Thanks to Libby Kirsch for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Libby Kirsch:

1 comment:

Dianna said...

This is a new author for me! Love finding out about new books, too.