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Book Review: Scoop by Kit Frazier

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Kit Frazier's debut mystery, Scoop, introduces Cauley MacKinnon, currently working as the obituary editor for an Austin newspaper, but looking for her big break as a news reporter. She may get her scoop sooner than she thinks when Scott "Scooter" Barnes is found dead after two unsuccessful suicide attempts.

Cauley doesn't believe he actually killed himself, but there's no real evidence to suggest he was murdered. Cauley's persistence, however, pays off when she's able to connect the importation of exotic animals from South America with events that took place decades ago and that someone is willing to keep secret at all costs. 

Frazier appears to be trying to appeal to readers of "chick lit" by having Cauley state in the opening paragraph of the book, "Sometimes I think the only things standing between me and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck, and a kick-ass hairdresser." But the label doesn't strictly apply to what follows. True, Cauley is pursued by two eligible, handsome bachelors, one good for her and one not (both of whom will no doubt play recurring roles in the future). And she spends way too much time thinking about her underwear. And yes, there is the requisite cat.

All this and a cover prominently featuring stylish high-heeled shoes just screams "chick lit". But Scoop is also a serious mystery with dramatic and suspenseful elements that are skillfully woven into the plot. The only significant lapses in logic have to do with the backstory behind the murder, though they don't stretch the imagination so much that they detract from the appeal of the mystery. 

Kit Frazier has created a smart, independent, strong-minded woman to be the heroine of her series, and with Scoop has written a solid mystery that should appeal to a wide range of readers.

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  • This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States. Nice work!

  • Right up my alley…chicks and crime books. Sounds like this will make an interesting series.

  • Wow, that’s great news about syndication! And thanks so much for a lovely review–I hope you like DEAD COPY as well…