Title: ARMCHAIR DETECTIVE
Author: Kelli Jae Baeli
Publisher: Light Switcher Books
ISBN: 978-0615455211
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Detective/Romance

A wannabe Private Investigator has to start somewhere. If that means incurring the wrath of her suspects, then so be it. When Jobeth O’Brien awakens from the floor of her kitchen, her battered face and the memory of an angry visitor tells her that she is close to something important in her investigation. She pulls herself together and goes to run her paper route—a job that pays the bills while she pursues her other vocation. Her romps in the backseat of her Falcon with a wealthy socialite, Phoebe, are a welcome distraction from her excursions into the developing facts of the blackmail and prostitution operation.

The most appealing thing about this novel is its narrative voice. Written in first person, this novel is wry and humorous. It’s the first thing that draws you into the story and it’s at once self-depreciating and self-assured, which is an interesting combination. For a while I thought this self-assurance bordered on cocky, but by a few chapters into the book I was captivated. It’s a strong voice and it never falters once in the whole novel.

By describing the novel’s voice I’m also describing the main character. She’s pretty much everything a reader needs a character to be – interesting enough to catch our attention, assertive enough to keep it and displaying a depth that promises more to the story if we care to read on. With a character like this, it’s impossible not to read on. She has her weaknesses of course, but all well-rounded characters do. She’s hiding something and this gives her an air of vulnerability that only adds an extra dimension to her otherwise strong, capable and determined character.

The secondary character is just as appealing. Both different in temperament, these two make a terrific team, and their burgeoning relationship in the book is everything you want it to be from the very moment they meet.

Well paced with nail-biting action scenes this novel has a storyline that will have you glued to the page. It manages to stay on this side of believable because at all times the author is demonstrably in control of her material. Immersed in the book, it all seems real and credible and it’s a credit to Jae Baeli’s writing skill. It’s a detective story, action story and romance all in one wild, fulfilling ride. Lots of drama, danger and two sexy women. What more could you want?

Bring together an exciting storyline, a world that is recognizable and real, a bunch of characters to love, hate, laugh at and with as the case may be, and you have all the ingredients of a book well worth reading. I know there’s a second book featuring these characters and I’m looking forward to reading it. If it’s anything like this one, it’s not to be missed.