Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: Nice Work

Jacquidon has one of those days were absolutely nothing is going right. She has just been recently diagnosed with diabetes, is fired from her job, and then runs into her former boss in public and makes a fool of herself. Things can only get better, right? Not exactly. When her ex-boss ends up dead, she's the prime suspect. 

A good start to a book is critical with many readers today. What really grabbed my attention in the first few chapters of this book was not only the multiple problems that are thrown at Jacquindon right off the bat, but how realistic the setting was. She's a mid-level employee, new diabetic, and working her tail off the get recognition and a better job. Plenty of readers can relate to that. Even getting fired is terrible, but not uncommon. Weeks brings readers into a world that is very familiar to them, centered around a character they can relate to and care about. Then the craziness really starts happening. 

Even once we step out of the everyday with Jacquidon and into secret exploits to clear her name and stay out of a killer's line of sight, there is enough realism to keep it down to earth. The adventures Jacquidon struggles through keep the story interesting and entertaining. She ends up in places she never expected to find herself, and doing things she never thought herself capable of. Jacquidon is a very interesting character to follow. Her sister is a great addition. Her constant need to warn her sister about not ruining her clothes added lightness to 
the more serious moments when it was needed. The people she used to work for, Bonnie and Yancy, as well as a few others are genuine pieces of work. Weeks did a great job of creating characters you wanted to slap. The cast worked really well together. 

Who killed Yancy is a mystery not only to Jacquidon, but also the reader. Weeks does a good job of keeping readers entertained with plot twists and clues as she leads them toward the truth. The "Interludes" sprinkled throughout the book were an interesting addition. There were a few that seemed a little too vague to really get me hooked on them, but I think many readers will find them interesting. While trying to solve the mystery, Jacquidon's search leads her into a world of strange sexual appetites. This gives her a chance to find out me about Yancy's secrets and the people he has hurt, but it does not go into great detail. I was glad Weeks chose not to have graphic scenes as others might have. 

My main issue with this book was the length. At 168,000 words, it is almost double the usual length for a cozy mystery. As a reader who is often pressed for time, I can see other readers seeing the length and being concerned. Overall, this was a very interesting book, but I did feel there were areas that could have been trimmed to make the length more manageable. There were occasions with the outplacement rep and David that the conversation seemed to go on a little longer than needed. When the active parts of the mystery were going on I stayed interested, but I was not as captured during some of the slower sections. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. It is one you have to have the time to read, or be willing to read a few chapters here and there, but it is worth finishing. The characters are well written, and the mystery was engaging. 

Who would I recommend this book to? Adult cozy mystery readers are going to be the main target. It's not one I would recommend to teens because some of the topics are more adult in nature. It didn't have a strong romantic element either, but I was okay with that. Overall, most readers interested in an entertaining mystery will enjoy this book. 

Nice Work is available now from Amazon in paperback and Kindle