Review of Skydive



A Nicki Valentine Mystery, Book #3

Susan O’Brien

5 Stars


Life is finally settling down for private investigator Nicki Valentine, her kids, and her boyfriend Dean. But when a jailed mom seeks help for her endangered biological daughter, who just “aged out” of foster care, Nicki can’t say no.

With Dean by her side and her free-wheeling BFF eager to investigate too, Nicki braves back alleys, drug dens, and the strip-club scene, all while wondering if any risk is too great when it comes to finding a teen in trouble.

As if navigating the mean streets of King County, Virginia, isn’t enough, Nicki also faces the realities of dating as a single mom, including “sleepover” requests she never anticipated. Ultimately—in both relationships and work—Nicki must decide, “How much am I willing to risk for love?”

Related subjects include: women sleuths, private investigators, cozy mysteries, murder mysteries, humorous murder mysteries, book club recommendations, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit).

Books in the Nicki Valentine Humorous Mystery Series:

  • FINDING SKY (#1)
  • SKY HIGH (#2)
  • SKYDIVE (#3)

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all… (Goodreads)


The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional.  Nicki is a hardworking, dedicated, relentless private investigator.  She also has a softer side, as a mother, a friend, a girl friend and big hearted person.  She sometimes struggles with the fact that she is doing the dangerous work that she does instead of having a safer job.  She worries about leaving her children motherless (parentless, really, since her husband has passed away).  The fact that she is a mother adds another layer to this book that I really enjoyed.  Another thing that I enjoyed was the relationship between Nicki and her best friend, neighbor and employee, Kenna.   They make such a dynamic duo and I could read about them all day long.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick, easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book, I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place and eavesdropping on conversations.

There is a lot of action and tension that takes place between the pages of this book and I found myself turning pages as fast as I could.  

One thing that stood out to me as I read this book is how much the author cares about young girls being preyed upon in society.  She took a very serious subject and wrote about it.  I learned some things I did not know about children aging out of the foster system and I credit her for that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted mystery with great characters (I wish I was friends with them), a great plot, humor and suspense.  The Nicki Valentine Mystery series is one of my favorites and this one did not disappoint.  If you are new to the series, grab the first book and enjoy.  If you love this series like me, you will be thrilled with this latest addition.  


Review of Shades Of Wrath



SHADES OF WRATH is book 6 in Karen Rose Smith’s Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozy mystery series.  Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca’s life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume.

Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet’s women’s shelter, Sunshine Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter’s director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice’s decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself.

When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs–and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open–before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair… (Goodreads)


The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional.  Caprice is a smart hardworking woman who enjoys her home staging business.  She also has a big heart and is happy to help those in need, human or animal.  Spending time with her and her friends was enjoyable.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing.  Through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all the action and listening in on all the conversations while I was reading.  She is also very talented in creating tension and suspense.  The mystery was carried on well throughout the book and there were enough twists and turns and red herrings to keep me guessing throughout the story.  That is what I want when reading a mystery.

One of my favorite things about this book was all of the animals that were included.  You can tell that the author has a special love of cats and dogs.  I so enjoyed reading about all of the animals antics and getting to know a little more about their personalities.  And Caprice’s commitment to these animals and finding them homes was very refreshing.  This added an extra level to the book, in my opinion.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  This is the sixth book in the series and I would suggest starting at the beginning to be able to meet all the characters and watch their personal growth as well as relationship growth.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.