Title: A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder (The Geek Girl Mysteries)
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Publisher: Carina Press (August 31, 2015), 242 pages
Publication Date: August 31, 2015
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu’s timing couldn’t be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia’s family’s business relies on her presence.
Mia doesn’t have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.
Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he’s closer than she’d ever imagined.
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s the author of The Patience Price Mysteries and a number of YA novels. A self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun, Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.
First, just to let you know, last October I reviewed Julie Anne Lindsey's Murder in Real Time. Now she's back with a new series, the Geek Girl Mysteries. I liked the idea of a mystery heroine in the tech world, so I signed up for the blog tour.
Mia is an interesting character. She pretty clearly has Asperger's Syndrome, which adds another interesting layer to her character, though it does feel a little cliched (must a techy geek always have AS?). Cliche aside, though, it gives her some extra hurdles to overcome (she has a LOT of trouble reading social cues and facial expressions). As a parent of a kid with Asperger's, I think the author got this pretty spot on. Mia isn't disconnected from people; she is simply all too often bewildered by them. I did have a little issue with her obsession with fancy clothes (I don't think of geeks being clothes horses), but that's probably just me. It's probably good to not plop all the stereotypes onto poor Mia (I also suspect that the intended audience, a cross-over from Harlequin Romances, likes clothes).
In the beginning, I was totally annoyed by the absolutely stereotypical relation between Mia and the main male character. I confess to even possibly rolling my eyes as they faced off and sparred and Mia affirmed her dislike of the man (who really does act like a jerk) while they both ignored their obvious chemistry. Looking back from the end of the book, knowing what I do, Jake's behavior makes perfect sense (still annoys me, though). And I loved (small spoiler alert!) that Lindsey didn't make them fall into each others' arms at the end of the book.
In a nutshell, this was a well-constructed, well-written mystery, with a strong romance tilt. I was positive I spotted the perp a mile away, and about the time I was getting disappointed in the author being so transparent, I realized I was wrong. I like that. The series has promise, and I look forward to seeing what comes next. I do hope Mia will start working out. She's putting on weight and hasn't kept up the sports that she enjoyed in her teens, and that's not a good pattern as she approaches 30! And the fact that I care tells me that the author created a character who really did become real in my mind.
For cozy fans who are a bit tired of bakeries, quilt shops, and yarn stores, and don't mind the blatant romance/mystery crossover.
Full Disclosure: As a blog tour participant, I was given an electronic ARC of A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder in exchange for my honest review, not for a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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