Good morning everyone!
If you’ve hung around with me for a while, then you’re well aware that I love a good Whodunit. Well, I recently had the pleasure of reading the first published mystery novel by destined to be a star author Karen Pullen, Cold Feet (A Stella Lavender Mystery). Unfortunately for those of you reading this, the book isn’t actually due out until January but, if you’re a mystery lover, jump on Amazon and reserve your copy now. They’re taking pre-orders for the hardcover at this writing. Hopefully paperback pre-orders will be available soon and a Kindle version will also come out. This one is worth the wait!
Karen Pullen has had some short stories published in the genre before, so she isn’t entirely new to this. Her experience served her well as she penned her first novel, a well turned story about the exploits of special agent (drug task force) Stella Lavender. Lavender does double duty in the story as she works her night job – posing as a drug buyer and wanna be dealer, and working with a local police force to solve the poisoning death of a bride on her wedding day… a wedding where Stella just happened to be in attendance as a guest.
Everything in this story is plausible (except maybe the not gay but gourmet drug agent partner… but, I digress). The special agent side of Stella’s work is engrossing reading all by itself. Pullen did a great job depicting the junkie/dealer scene. On the flip side, Stella is a mid-twenties or so trained cop who hasn’t gotten to use much of her training for investigative work because of the drug task force assignment. She’s eager to prove herself and she works hard to help and solve the case making both rookie mistakes and major breakthroughs along the way.
I really don’t want to give any of the plot away here because it may very well spoil the book for you. Let’s just say that there are, from this straight but obviously in tune with the LGBT community author, very specific LGBT themes that run throughout at least one of the story lines. Stick with Pullen – and Stella – and you’ll get a mix of lesbian, transgender and same sex/gay marriage themes. That’s all I’m gonna say!
Even given the whole wedding with multiple guests (and potential murder suspects) scenario, and a double plot line involving the two sides of Stella’s professional life, Pullen doesn’t make the same mistake that so many new authors do; Having too many characters in the story that add nothing to the plot. Oh, there are plenty of folks depicted here, to be sure, but they all fit nicely into the two plot lines in some way.
This really is a great first effort. I look forward to it’s release so everyone can read it and I look forward to the future adventures of Stella Lavender.