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'Life's a Bitch. So Am I.' Rachel Cord, P.I. Paperback – October 27, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review



 "Rachel Cord, P.I., is certainly one of the most memorable P.I.'s that I have ever encountered . . . . The fast pace things happen in this story often left me breathless and unable to put the book down." -- Cherie Fisher (Reader Views)

"R. E. Conary took a big risk with this novel. I was blown away by the surprising turn of events, and my first thought was: 'Nothing like this ever happens to Kinsey Millhone!' ...R. E. Conary plans on being anything but formulaic." --POD Book Reviews & More

Review

"A great detective novel with sarcastic humor and gritty realism. The mystery is solid and complex, and Conary does an excellent job of presenting several different threads...and painstakingly weaving them together, so that the resolve at the end is deliciously satisfying. The book is loaded with well defined and interesting characters, and the writing is clean enough to stay out of the way... Conary does a wonderful job describing the details of Rachel's investigations which are always my favorite part of a detective novel."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (October 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432731432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432731434
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,128,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin L. McLaughlin on August 29, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a good first offering from a self-publishing author. Conary's writing is focused and on target for the most part. She does a wonderful job of providing vivid descriptions so the reader really sees through the character's eyes, yet is never too wordy. The novel starts out in a slightly hard-boiled style, but that is mostly left behind not too far into the book.

Conary does an excellent job of making a short book seem longer by following a couple cases in a pretty complex mystery. By complex I don't mean the reader has a difficult time figuring out most of the whodunit aspects, but being able to do so relatively early on in no way makes the journey any less enjoyable in following all the intertwining leads.

One thing that I really appreciated is Conary's one/two approach to revealing clues and information. At several points a key bit of information is revealed, but neither the author or Rachel (the PI) jump on it and draw red pointing arrows to it right away. Instead, the reader gets a chance to think, "aha, that's important!" and savor their cleverness in picking the tidbit out of the flow of the story. Then usually shortly after that Rachel picks up on it too. This style made the mystery a lot of fun as a reader and it also avoided that frustration with a PI ignoring something for half a book, making you think they're stupid.

Another thing that I appreciated was that Rachel wasn't taking things on solo. When she found a vital piece of information she immediately turned it over to the police. It seemed like a much more realistic representation of PI work and is a bit unusual in PI novels.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel and would recommend to it others with some reservations. It contains some explicit sex and graphic violence which might be off-putting to some. If that offends you, I'd give this one a pass.

But it is a very good thriller-mystery in the Mickey Spillane fashion. Tight prose, fast-paced action and a good storyline. It's one of the first gay PI stories I've ever read. The female PI Rachel Cord is gay. Very different but interesting with some good insights into the problem of gay bashing in our society.

It's a fast read. I finished it in three days and the author has a satisfactory conclusion that wraps up all the loose ends. His sequel Rachel Cord, PI 'Still a Bitch': A Confidential Investigations Mystery would be worth checking out.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Using her skills as a private investigator, Rachel Cord has yet to discover why the long-term relationship with Karen, her gay lover, has ended. When Rachel returned from business, Karen was no longer there although many of her belongings were left behind.

Sexual predators and gay-bashing are the main themes and Rachel Cord, P.I. is assigned to these cases. She takes her work seriously and it's getting to her. She feels responsible for certain events that take place. Events she has no control over.

What I like about Rachel is that she isn't some super hero and reacts like a lot of "real" people would when she gets the pi-- scared out of her. And that's happened more than once during an extended horrific scene a bit past midway in the book. This part of the story is really difficult so here's my warning.

I think the only reason I purchased this book (besides it's cheap price) is that is is billed as 'sarcastic humor' however I don't recall laughing much (if at all). The subjects dealt with are way too serious for much humor and certainly Rachel wasn't going through anything which would bring her chuckles.

Conary is a talented author though I'm not sure how to rate the book or whether I would purchase another from this author.

...Addendum (a day later, now that I've started reading another book by a different author and found that this next book has nothing that holds my interest...), I've discovered that in Conary's book Life's A Bitch. So Am I, even though it seems as though it's mostly about sex -- sexual preference, sexual predators, late night calls to a transvestite (which was totally weird, by the way), etc, there was something in the reading that draws one in (to the book) and maintains the interest throughout and I was finished reading it in one day.
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Format: Paperback
First, the boilerplate: I received this book from the author for the purposes of reading and review. R.E. Conary can write as I started this book to be polite and continued reading because I wanted to see where the story took me, the highest praise a reader can give.

Rachel Cord is a Private Investigator who has been handed two seemingly unrelated cases, one a missing persons case of a teenage girl who is in danger of being commercially sexually exploited and one a case of gay bashings surrounding a popular night club with a transsexual revue. It turns out that the cases are related, as in all good mysteries, but the twisty path by which their relationship is revealed is readable and interesting. Greed, the hunger for power and the corruption that inevitably ensues are evergreen and Conary uses these themes to good effect.

Rachel is a lesbian whose lover has recently left her in mysterious circumstances, she also has enormous breasts, Double H, that are an unfortunate character in themselves. This is a weakness as Rachel is a well-defined character and doesn't need a gimmick to define her. Her voice is clear and immediate. The secondary characters are also well-defined and memorable.

Life's a Bitch is intended as gritty noir and as such is explicit in terms of both sex and violence. There are two rapes, one of which happens off-stage and one that is so violent that it is disturbing to the reader. The aftermath of the rape is handled for the most part with sensitivity. A deus ex machina rescues the heroine from the predicament of the second rape and it is the lone plot weakness.
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