I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I've been a HUGE fan of this series from the word go, and I keep waiting for a mediocre book because statistically, every series has at least one. Lethal Lifestyles wasn't it, although at the beginning, I thought it might be.
I'm not a fan of friend-in-peril storylines; they are the most used trope in cozy mysteries and I was over them years ago. I'm also not a fan of weddings as a setting, so when chapter 1 starts with a dead guy at a rehearsal dinner and the friend is in peril by the end of chapter 3, I figured I was going to have to work at this one.
Uh-uh. Not even a little bit. The wedding theme was tucked firmly to the back after 5 or 6 chapters and what came next was just more of a thriller than a cozy mystery. Not in the non-stop, bullets flying, TSTL kind of way, but thriller in sense that this is an incredibly complicated mystery and one of the first ones I've read that comes close to how difficult I imagine it must be in real life to solve a crime. Nichelle would find one thread of the mystery, follow it, and find instead of an answer, another thread that took of in another direction. This was NOT a linear plot, - there were at least 4 motives for this guys death - but man, it was NEVER boring.
I deducted a half-star because there was one small moment that felt way too coincidental, so it stuck out, and because there was a pivotal moment when the motive (if not the killer - had no idea about that until the end) became clear and it took Nichelle much longer to clue into it than it should have. But these were small things. The editing was, as far as I could tell, perfect.
In general, I can't say enough good things about this series; as a crime reporter Nichelle is in the perfect position be an amateur sleuth and she gets most of her facts from following the paper trails and doing legitimate interviews with people she reports on. She has a lot of strong female friendships and a great romance in the making.
The only drawback is having to wait another year for the next one.