In Die Buying, Laura DiSilverio gives us an amateur sleuth with a reason for investigating, a sleuth with some skills, and a book with touches of humor. She's kicked off a series that could go far.
It's quite a comedown for E.J. Ferris to be a mall cop, but she's making the best of it. She's an ex-military cop whose knee and lower leg were mangled by shrapnel from an IED blast. After rehabilitation, she moved to Virginia, where she could be near her Grandpa Atherton, a former CIA operative, with unusual ideas as to how he should keep his skills up. Unfortunately for E.J., no police department wants to hire someone with her leg problems. A job as a mall cop, riding a Segway, is a last resort.
It's bad enough to start the day discovering that someone has released all the reptiles from the Herpetology Hut. E.J. assumes screams are from someone who found one of the loose lizards or snakes, but it turns out there's a dead man, naked, in the window of a boutique. Now, she has to deal with the hard-nosed homicide detective Anders Helland, who thinks a mall cop is good enough to bring him sandwiches, but not smart enough to assist with the investigation.
Once Helland asks E.J. to be his mall liaison, though, she's determined to use her knowledge to find a killer. The police might close the case, but E.J. has pictures, friends around the mall, and her grandpa and his gadgets to assist her. And, she's determined to prove to Helland "that an ex-military cop could detect as well as he could. Better."
E.J.Ferris is my type of amateur sleuth, a smart, independent woman, who does turn information over to the police. And, I like it that E.J. is very much aware that she doesn't have access to the same tools and information as the police do. She uses her brains, and her connections, including her grandpa, to help her in her investigations, both for mall cases, and the murder case. In fact, E.J.'s grandpa is an asset in the mall cases. He and his gadgets are the welcome humorous additions to the story. Laura DiSilverio introduced a character to appreciate and root for in Die Buying.
Note: On July 29, Laura DiSilverio wrote a guest post here. She ended it with, "I’m donating the profits from this book to the Wounded Warrior Project that helps injured veterans because EJ’s a vet and my husband and I are both veterans and it’s important to care for the military members who sacrificed so much for this country."
Laura DiSilverio's website is www.lauradisilverio.com
Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio. Penguin Group (USA), ©2011. ISBN 9780425242735 (paperback), 288p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.