Midnight Ink 2006
This one is a real cosy! You can't help loving the heroine, Lily Caldwell, who manages to be tough and vulnerable at the same time. I'm a bit tired of all the tough female PIs (e.g., Susan Grafton's), and more than a bit tired of the "too scared to touch a firearm" ones (e.g., Janet Evanovich's), but Julia Buckley manages to get the balance exactly right with Lily. Yes, Lily is almost too nice, her only vice being excessive grouchiness, but she is so, well, nice, that you forgive the author for this almost too perfect a character.
Did I just say it was a real cosy? Well, I take it back. The pacing is as good as any thriller, and the book kept me up way past my bedtime (I just had to make sure everything turned out well). Fortunately, it's a fast, easy read, so it only took me one late night to read it.
The first chapter of Ms Buckley's second murder mystery "Pity Him Afterwards" also reads well, and I look forward to reading the rest.
Now for the appetiser: Lily Caldwell dies. How's that for a quick read? LOL. Anyway, while "away", she sees the face of the man who murdered her. Naturally, when she returns from the dead, nobody believes her. And that includes her beloved husband and her fatherly boss. We meet Lily when she's as down on her luck as she can get (no job, no husband, a mysterious mugging)- and then she discovers somebody's bugged her house. To solve the mystery of her own murder, Lily must go back 17 years and investigate another unsolved murder...