Monday, March 25, 2013

That Old Flame of Mine by J. J. Cook (Berkley)

That Old Flame of MineThis is the first in a new paranormal series (Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade) and the sleuth/ firefighter is a woman whose cry could be, "I am woman; hear me roar." At least that's what came to mind when the beginning explained how Stella Griffin roared into the small town of Sweet Pepper, Tennessee on her Harley motorcycle. 

Back in Chicago she caught her boyfriend cheating on her, knocked his lights out, and hopped on her Harley after accepting a temporary position to train the fire brigade there. She goes on be be elected fire chief after impressing most of the people in this town. Of course, there's a romance trying to bloom, too.
Since this is a mystery there has to be something to solve, and, of course, it involves a fire where a friend is discovered inside, dead, but not from the fire. Naturally, Stella realizes this and her suspicions of arson and foul play need to be pursued. She is renting a cabin of the former fire chief that everyone says is haunted. She discovers the truth of this, but in a twist from the usual ghost stories, she finds that he can and will help her. There are people who don't want her to find the truth, and she knows she's in danger and that time is limited.
This book is a good read with the usual "m" words of any paranormal mystery: Murder, Mystery, Motives, Messy relationships, and unique to this book, a Motorcycle and accidents.  The ending is satisfying, but leaves the reader with a hint about the story in the next book of this series.
For anyone interested in pepper recipes, there are a few included. Even if you don't cook, the recipes are fun to read.
—Dian Esterly
—FTC Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher

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