Eyes on the Road by Karen Whalen
Since returning to work, I don't have as much time to read and review the book requests that are sent to me. First of all, I want to say a massive thank you to those authors, Marketing teams and publicists who have reached out. I'm already doffing my hat to you authors for writing a book in the first place. And to then put yourself out there, well I'm going to put on another hat and doff that too. Just because I say no to reviewing your book is purely because I do not have the time. But please know, I am rooting for each and every one of you and wishing you all the success.
Every now and then, I have my interest piqued so much that I clear the decks and read it. When an author reaches out and describes her books as a PG-13 Stephanie Plum and that she loves Christmas books too, you'd better know I'm in! Which is exactly what happened when I was approached to review Eyes on the Road by Karen Whalen.
Many businesses in Spruce Ridge, Colorado hire temporary international workers during the hectic ski season. One temp, Jaana Ivanov from Estonia, is found dead in her car at the bottom of a cliff, but the car crash was not an accident. Jaana didn't just take her eyes off the road, she was murdered. Delaney Morran often feels vulnerable herself as the lone female truck driver in town, so when the victim's sister asks Delaney to help find the killer, Delaney eyes everyone with suspicion. Delaney may not be the best at towing vehicles, but she's pretty good at digging up clues.
A quick note here, this is the third in the Tow Truck Mysteries series. I read this first and I think you are fine to read this as a standalone novel. It's a cracking, knock-about read definitely in the style of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Delaney is a woman in a man's world after inheriting her father's tow truck. Her USP is that she does it all in heels.
The crime is simple, a car plunges off a cliff, but the woman in the car, a temporary worker from Estonia, was already dead when it left the road. Her sister arrives and ropes in Delaney to help. Delaney is aided by her on-again/off-again boyfriend Tanner, Cousin Axle, best friend Kris and hunky Sheriff Lopez.
As Delaney and Maartja investigate, we meet a whole host of fascinating characters. some pleasant, some not so much helping and hindering the investigation accordingly.
It's all good fun and draws plenty of parallels with the wonderful Stephanie Plum novels. Indeed much like Plum does, we start to see Delaney gathering an eclectic gang of comedic characters who I imagine (and hope!) will feature in later books.
This was highly enjoyable, a good laugh with a strong female lead. This is the 3rd in a series I can only see getting stronger.