I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
It's been awhile since I picked up a Tara Holloway novel, and I don't know why - they're really fun and better built than your average cozy. Needing to read a book where the character had to be good with a gun was just the motivation I needed to get back into the series.
In this book Tara is investigating an email scam, a Facebook scam, and two non-profits that might not really be non-profits; one of these involved an animal sanctuary, and up-front, I skimmed a lot when this story line came forward, although the wrap up of it was awesome. Running through the whole of the story is her boyfriend and best friend (an IRS and DEA agent respectively) going deep undercover against the Mexican drug cartel.
While Tara's investigations are relatively lightweight and suffuse the storyline with humour, the cartel storyline is not light. Kelly has done her research and, while she has a tendency to overshare that research with readers sometimes, here it's relevant, timely and the perfect hook for setting the level of danger involved. Tara contributes once or twice, but is mostly in the dark about what's going on until the end. And the end is unbelievably tense for a cozy and the happy ending doesn't come without scars and baggage.
My biggest complaint about the book is the level of internal dialog the reader has to put up with as Tara agonises over Nick's safety and whether or not he's alive. There was just a little too much of it and it became tedious. Otherwise, a great read and I'm glad I already have the next one ready to go.
Total pages: 336