Top positive review
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A splendid action mystery
on November 21, 2009
Maria E. Schneider has a winner in "Executive Lunch," and hopefully this is just the first of a series of novels featuring the heroine Sedona O'Hala. In "Executive Lunch," Sedona is a "lab rat" at Strandfrost, a big technology company that is experiencing a baffling series of embezzlements and thefts of expensive equipment. Promoted to a management position and ordered to work with Steve Huntington, a mysterious new board member for Strandfrost, Sedona does her best to solve the mystery. There are plenty of potential culprits, including company insiders as well as some very dangerous criminals, and Sedona has her hands full trying to solve the case and stay alive.
Sedona O'Hala is a marvelous character. She's smart, fearless, and funny, and she's like a bloodhound once she's on the trail of the bad guys. She's a great character to build a series around, and I'm looking forward to seeing her in future novels where, hopefully, we'll learn more about her background and her family. Sedona's oldest brother Sean is an important character in "Executive Lunch," and her parents make a brief appearance, but there's plenty more to learn about Sedona's family. There's plenty of room for romance too. In "Executive Lunch," there's enough sexual tension between Sedona and Strandfrost board member Steve Huntington to heat things up and hint of future relationships, but it's clear that any man will have his hands full with the saucy Sedona.
Having read one of Ms. Schneider's previous works, "Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom," I thought she might be strictly a fantasy writer, so I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that she knows how to write a cracking good whodunit. She does a splendid job of developing the story, dropping little clues along the way as she rachets up the suspense to a dramatic climax. There are enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing about the identity of the criminals, although in hindsight, there were enough clues that a very observant reader might figure it out.
As a bonus, the book includes excerpts from Ms. Schneider's first two novels, "Catch an Honest Thief" and "Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom."
The formatting on my Kindle was perfect.
The bottom line: Five stars and two thumbs up for "Executive Lunch."