Berkley Prime Crime is one of my favorite imprints when it comes to mysteries of the cozy variety. I’m as addicted to the line and the authors as Media Personality Wendy Williams is to wigs. Don’t mess with her wigs and don’t mess with my cozy mysteries from Prime Crime, and we’re all good. Berkley has done it yet again with another smashing September entry courtesy of Kylie Logan’s new series, Button Holed.
Talented scribe Casey Daniels (aka Miranda Bliss) has decided to tackle yet another new series and take on yet another new name, Kylie Logan, joining the ranks of those creative minds who reinvent themselves with a new name and a new series. So, why exactly do they do that? To fool readers who didn’t like them when they were writing under their original name – perhaps. To differentiate from one series or several – possibly. To confuse the IRS – hope not, feel bad when they become entangled in the bureaucratic web. Perhaps the publisher just said, “Great doll, love it! Love it! Let’s do this, but not under your name.” Whatever the reason (or reasons may be) it is fun (sometimes) to discover your “new” favorite author is an old fave just with a new package – I said sometimes.
Daniels has a surefire hit on her hands with this one (yep, so do you Berkley) and I devoured this in a blink of an eye and was irritated because there wasn’t a follow-up at the ready. Logan, hurry up with book two, please.
Josie Giancola has soared to make the list of my new favorite amateur sleuths – this Chicago dame has panache!
“Here’s the thing about walking into your button shop at five in the morning and running smack into a hulk of a guy wearing a black ski mask: it tends to catch a girl a little off guard. Off guard, I sucked in a breath that was half surprise, half gasp of terror; and just inside the door of the Button Box, I froze.”
Button Holed kicks off like a big screen mystery and hooks you from the first line and doesn’t lose momentum once. Button expert Josie Giancola is working out of her Chicago brownstone when the hilarity and mystery takes flight. As one of the country’s leading connoisseurs on buttons, and not one to be button holed (couldn’t resist), Josie’s knowledge runs the gamut from antique to jeweled and every type in between. Josie’s famed reputation grabs the attention of a Hollywood ingénue who shows up at the Button Box to shop for one-of-a-kind buttons for her designed-to-order wedding gown. Not long after the Button Box is turned upside down and the starlet is murdered. Enter cute homicide detective Nevin Riley who is setting his sights on Josie for clues to the prima donna’s offing since she was whacked with an antique buttonhook.
Logan has penned a priceless series debut rife with an array of amusing, eccentric and witty characters. The banter is fluid, the narrative smooth and the mystery coiled tightly – perhaps, buttoned securely is more fitting.
Button Holed is absorbing, clever, crisp and finally not another contrived mystery with crafts tossed in as a diversion.
Brava Logan for creating a protagonist who is authentic, bright, enthralling, fun, innovative, and strong – it has been a long time coming for an amateur sleuth to pull off so many empowering attributes and you did it in style! Stand back and watch the copycats swoop down on Logan’s imaginative series, but always remember she is the groundbreaking pioneer in this genre.