Before I begin my critique, I want to express my sorrow at the recent passing of mystery writer P. D. James. The “Queen of Crime” was 94 and leaves us a lasting legacy of excellent prose by which to remember her. My thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones. On to the business at hand…
Now that Thanksgiving is over, and you’re ready to trim the tree, are you looking for a short, lighthearted puzzle to get you in the Christmas spirit? J. A. Jance’s latest Ali Reynolds novella “A Last Goodbye” may be just the vehicle to do it! In the interest of full disclosure, however, I must admit that I was given a digital review copy by Simon and Schuster, in exchange for my honest thoughts. My posts will never be anything but reflections of truthfulness.
When this story begins, Ali is finally ready to wed her long time significant other, B. Simpson. Las Vegas provides the perfect setting for a December 24th ceremony and everyone they hold dear is in attendance. However, it doesn’t quite go as planned. The day before the event, Mr. Simpson takes his new grandchildren shopping, where they rescue a charming miniature dachshund. Grandma doesn’t want to bring the new edition along on their honeymoon, so they search high and low for the dog’s owner. Unfortunately, no one has seen her recently. Can they track her down in time, or will the nuptials be postponed?
I would recommend this volume to anyone who enjoys a good mainstream sleuthing session with famous names such as Mary Higgins Clark and Linda Fairstein. This is Ali Reynolds # 9.5, so if you haven’t met these delightful characters, I would suggest starting at the beginning. The order is as follows:
“Edge of Evil” (Ali Reynolds #1)
“Web of Evil” (Ali Reynolds #2)
“Hand of Evil” (Ali Reynolds #3)
“Cruel Intent (Ali Reynolds #4)
“Trial by Fire” (Ali Reynolds #5)
“Fatal Error” (Ali Reynolds #6)
“Left for Dead” (Ali Reynolds #7)
“Deadly Stakes” (Ali Reynolds #8)
“Moving Target” (Ali Reynolds #9)
“A Last Goodbye” (Ali Reynolds #9.5)
It should be noted that the most recent addition to this series is currently ONLY available in electronic format. Those of you who prefer print will be forced to wait until December 30th, when it will be included in the paperback edition of “Moving Target.” Sorry! I believe these books are intended for those sixteen years and older, with the usual amount of violence that is expected in a secular mystery. The only other caveat being that there might be a few off color words, but it should not detract from the entertainment provided by the plot, unless you happen to be sensitive to that content. My rating for “A Last Goodbye” is five out of five stars. This one can be loaded on your device instantly, so head to your favorite online retailer soon! Until we meet again…