SCENT OF MURDER
Publisher: Minotaur Books (2019)
Kindle edition: $13.99
A Jazzy Ramsey Mystery (Book 1)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Jazzy Ramsey has a pretty good life. In her day job, she’s an administrative assistant an all-girls school. She owns her own home in Tremont, a happening part of Cleveland, she has great friends, and her family doesn’t make her crazy, most of the time. Her love life took a bad turn awhile back, but life goes on. Her true passion is for dogs. Like her father before her, she trains and handles cadaver dogs, volunteering her services whenever needed.
One Saturday night, Jazzy is working with a friend’s animal. Luther has the basics down, and she wants to hone his skills. She chooses an abandoned building, soon to be developed into an upscale condo community, for the training exercise. On an upper floor she has hidden a human tooth. When she gives Luther the command, he seems to make a false start, heading into a downstairs room. He goes into full alert mode, and to her horror, she sees that he’s found a body. That was definitely not part of the plan.
As if the evening couldn’t get more stressful, the first detective on the scene is Nick Kolesov, the man who broke her heart a little over a year ago. Or had she broken his? Anyway, she tries to be professional as he takes her statement, but it isn’t easy. The victim is a young woman, dressed goth-style, black clothing, piercings, face coated in white makeup. Something about her seems familiar, but Jazzy can’t pin it down. When she sees the victim’s driver’s license, however, she realizes it’s a former student. The last time Jazzy saw Florie Allen, she was fresh-faced, studious, and seemingly well-adjusted, despite a troubled family life. Leaving the crime scene, Jazzy wonders how such a good kid could end up dead in an abandoned building.
Jazzy decides she owes it to Florie to answer that question, and her quest leads her down some dark streets and murky, dangerous alleys. At the same time, she has to deal with her complicated feelings for her former love. She is still grieving her father’s tragic death. It makes no sense to her that such a skilled and experienced firefighter could have made the egregious mistake that took his life.
Jazzy is a fresh, capable, complex protagonist with a unique and fascinating vocation. All the characters are well drawn and fully fleshed out. The historic and colorful Tremont district of Cleveland comes alive on the page as seen through Jazzy’s eyes.
Ms. Logan is the author of four best-selling series. THE SCENT OF MURDER is the first in a new series featuring Jazzy Ramsey. Her vocation as a trainer and handler of cadaver dogs is unique and fascinating and I look forward to reading more about her world. Recommended.
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