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Innocent in Las Vegas: A Humorous Tiffany Black Mystery (Tiffany Black Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Fans of Stephanie Plum, meet Tiffany Black, A.R. Winters's new heroine in Innocent in Las Vegas.
I remember reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels when I was in my early teens. I raved about them. But then I grew up.
Somehow, Innocent in Las Vegas takes me back to that time, when an innocent enjoyment of books and laugh out loud capers were paramount. I have to say although I can draw parallels between the two characters, I relate more to Tiffany Black, and love her interactions with her clients, suspects, and friends and family. Especially her family. The book is very wholesome, and while it does feature some violence (often with a comedic slant), it is free of bad language and graphic sex - I know this will make some of you doubt its 'realism', but I can tell you it most certainly doesn't.
I can't remember laughing out loud quite so much while reading for a very long time. Winters has a real talent for writing, and gives the characters unique voices that will have you giggling into your book.
A great plot with realistic characterisation and entertainment value, this is definitely not a book to be missed by lovers of mysteries, chick lit, spunky heroines and all things cupcake.
I found the "who" part of the "whodunnit" quite surprising. I think it wasn't what I expected, so that also pleasantly surprised me.
I would recommend this book to mystery lovers, and those who like a good, heart-warming, funny read.
I only put it down long enough to walk the dogs and unpack my bags. I read while I ate, and finished it just a short while ago. I enjoyed it so much, I hated to see it end and just bought the next book.
I hope A. R. Winters is hard at work on the next one - I get the distinct feeling that I am hooked on Tiffany Black. And why not? She's smart, works hard, enjoys baked goods, has adventures, a great family and a mystery man.
I do not feel any enjoyment in leaving a less than good review for a book, however I do feel that readers need to be warned before they use their precious reading time on something like this (especially when there are so many four and five star reviews, which baffle me).
Many reviewers mention the glaring similarities with the Stephanie Plum and the Sue Grafton series. I haven't even read the Evanovich novels, but I can see from other reviews that not only are the characters of this novel completely uninspired, they are also copies of existing and potentially better characters. I have read the Sue Grafton novels and even though the style there is totally different, I cared about the main character and especially about solving the mystery.
Here, instead of giving a fig about the characters or about solving the puzzle (which is what usually obsesses me when I read a good mystery/detective novel), I kept constantly thinking that the main character needs to see a doctor to check her glucose levels. If she is not drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, she eats chocolate, raspberry, lemon and any and every kind of cupcakes, apple cobblers, cakes, and so on and so forth. Never once was she eating something else (oh, with the exception of a McDonalds burger and fries, which she actually donated to a guy because she "wasn't hungry"). Wow, a great way to keep healthy. I get that the writer tries to show that the character is independent and doesn't adhere to any kind of stereotype, especially not about what women should eat to feel happy - however instead of making me admire this character, it made me want to continue reading the novel less and less because I couldn't stand all that chocolate anymore. Hence, couldn't care less about "who done it" and "why", plus the character as a detective was so incompetent that I found nothing appealing about her or the story at all.
The characters that are supposed to be funny or quirky only appear as extremely irritating (see mother, grandmother and so on). There are also a lot of superfluous characters introduced and things that went nowhere, because readers are supposed to want to read the sequels. Sorry, but this reader has not even the slightest incentive to see "what happens next", because I can already tell: nothing meaningful will happen, but there will be tons of cupcakes and cobblers and other sugary stuff that makes my glucose level rise just from reading!