Red Blooded Murder is book 2 in Laura Caldwell’s Izzy McNeil mystery series (I reviewed book 1, Red Hot Lies, for last month’s review). I was so impressed with book 1, I wondered how I would feel about book 2. It was even better.

The first book was very fast-paced and introduced many characters and at times I was on overload and had to take breaks now and then. I’m not used to reading such fast-paced books, especially since Laura Caldwell’s earlier books were more of a slower-paced suspense, ramping up to thriller, and now mystery. As mystery readers know, there are a lot of details in a mystery and probably why many are drawn to them – and the fast pace with page-turning excitement.

But what made me enjoy book 2 even more than book 1 (and I loved book 1) is that the mystery in book 2 centered around personal relationships even more than book 1. And that’s what I love about Laura Caldwell’s writing. Even in her mystery series, she has strong characters with interesting relationships, so you don’t just feel like you’re solving a mystery. No, there’s dating, dive bars, Blue Moon Beer, and in the case of book 2, hot, hot, hot sex – or the illusion of it. That’s where I prefer mysteries over romance – Laura Caldwell has romance in her mysteries, the sexual heat is suggested, but the door is mostly closed. I don’t need to read pages and pages of intimate details. I’d love to give you an example and share the best line of book 2, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. 🙂 Instead, I’ll leave you with an excerpt and blurb on the back cover:

Excerpt:

For the first time in my adult life I was flying without a net. Fear was nibbling at my insides, creeping its way into my brain. I was buzzing with apprehension. But the job offer from Jane was a bolt of calm, clean sunshine breaking through the murky depths of my nerves.

Blurb:

Chicago is the Windy City, and these days the winds of change are whipping Izzy McNeil’s life all over the map. A high-profile job on Trail TV lands her in the hot seat. After a shocking end to her engagement, she finds herself juggling not only her ex-fiance, but a guy she never expected. And a moonlighting ndercover gig has her digging deep into worlds she barely knew existed.

But all of this takes a backseat when Izzy’s friend winds up brutally murdered. Suddenly, Izzy must balance the demands of a voracious media and the knowledge that she didn’t know her friends as well as she thought.

Next month: you guessed it – book 3, Red, White, & Dead– it just gets better and better.

 

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@Barrie Summy

Disclaimer: I only review books I want to recommend and have purchased myself, although if I’m excited about a book, I’ll accept a complimentary copy when offered.

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