- Series: Tattoo Shop Mystery (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; 1st Printing edition (July 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451227468
- ISBN-13: 978-0451227461
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Missing Ink: A Tattoo Shop Mystery Mass Market Paperback – July 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
The Painted Lady, a tattoo shop in contemporary Las Vegas, and its owner, artist turned tattooist Brett Kavanaugh, are central to this pleasantly jargon-free themed mystery from Olson (the Annie Seymour mysteries). When a woman requests a devotion tattoo from Brett and then vanishes, her disappearance is quickly linked to a series of murders involving tattooing equipment and rival shop Murder Ink. Brett's police detective brother, Tim, requests her expertise, and a murder at an engagingly excessive fictional hotel leads to Brett meeting its mysteriously handsome manager, Simon Chase, providing a solid base for further sleuthing and romance. Readers need not be conversant with street flash or other industry terms to enjoy the setting and follow Brett down a trail of needles and gloves to the dramatic finale. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Karen E. Olson is the author of the bestselling Annie Seymour, Tattoo Shop Mystery, and Black Hat Thriller series. Her first novel, Sacred Cows, won her the Sara Ann Freed Memorial Award for best debut mystery in 2005. She was also a finalist for the Shamus Award for the fourth book in her Annie Seymour series, Shot Girl. She lives with her husband in Connecticut.
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When Las Vegas homicide detective Tim Kavanaugh split with his girlfriend two years ago, his sister Brett moved in to share expenses. She also became the owner of The Painted Lady, a tattoo shop on the Las Vegas Strip.
A young woman makes an appointment for a tattoo that contains the name of her fiance within a heart, but she never shows up. The next thing Brett knows, the woman is missing, the police are looking for her, and the name she wanted on the tattoo isn't her fiance's.
Everyone on the suspect list seems to be beating a path to The Painted Lady's door (whether the shop is open or not), and Brett needs to find out what's going on while she still has a business to run.
This is a light, fun romp through the mean streets of Vegas with Brett as tour guide-- although she's not 100% sold on the city. (She has issues with the use of water, among other things.) Brett is level-headed, doesn't believe in taking foolish chances, and since her brother is a policeman, she knows how to find a dead body and not trash the crime scene.
There's also some tattoo lore and history to be learned along the way:
"I wanted to stay, to talk to her more.... just to watch her, a previous generation of tattooist, a woman tattooist who'd had to suffer far more discrimination that I ever did. Those women who came before me were pioneers, breaking into a male-dominated profession and breaking all the rules."
I liked the pace of this book, Brett's employees, and Brett's voice. The identity of the killer seemed a bit obvious to me, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of The Missing Ink. I'm looking forward to reading more of Brett's adventures.
The young lady had come up missing, she had told Brett her name was Kelly.. but found out later she was using someone elses' name and ID.
When the REAL Kelly comes up dead in a parking lot, Brett is being questioned more and gets into the thick of things.
Her side-kicks and co-workers Bitsy a dwarf, and Joel the Oversized Loveable Big man, get into the search for the real missing bride, Elise Lyons.. who was due to marry a high profile man.
When she had come into the shop she wanted a tattoo of her fiances name.. only she told Brett it was Matthew.. her high profile fiance is Chip.
Who is Mattthew? Where is Elise, is she dead? Why is the creepy man with the eagle tattoos following Brett, and why does she get the feeling all this is related.
When she overhears a phone message and hears it is Elise on the phone asking to meet a friend at a Elvis Karaoke bar, she has to go...Bitsy and Joel tag along and soon there is chaos..
When another Tattoo artist in town is sucked into the mystery, Brett is more confused.. What is going on and why??
Brett gets herself involved in solving a crime in this first book when a woman who calls herself Kelly Masters comes into the shop with a drawing of a devotion tattoo with her fiance's name on it. She makes an appointment for the next day to have the tattoo done, even though Brett isn't a great fan of devotion tattoos. Having someone's name permanently put on skin is fine as long as the couple stays together. When the appointment time comes around for Kelly's tattoo session, she never shows up, and Brett finds out that the name Kelly wants on the tattoo isn't her fiance's name, but is another man's name.
The cast of characters is very enjoyable as one after another enters the scenes in the books. They are very diversified and different in their personalities. There are a lot of characters introduced in the book, and I had to go back a few times and re-check to make sure I had the right one in mind as I read. That's about the only critical thing I have to say about this book. The main characters are very well developed and there is also a lot of humor in Brett's personality and in the book in general. Of course, bodies do start to stack up.
There are now several other books out in the series and I'm looking forward to reading the second one.
I recommend this to anyone who likes cozy mysteries or has an interest in tattoo art.