Kevin A. Lyons
on July 7, 2014 :
A collection of short, light mystery stories. Like most "cozy" mysteries, these have a "romance" aspect, but it's less feminine than the typical "cozy" mystery.
Mercedes Drew is the female protagonist -- the male protagonist, Desmond Flowers, plays at least an equal part. Drew is a motorcycle messenger, driving her father's hand-me-down 1969 Triumph Bonneville (a classic bike, although the Norton Commando was my favorite British motorcycle of the time). Flowers is a detective with the local police. They meet in the first story and hit it off -- even though each is not so sure about the other. They do tend to get on each others' nerves throughout the book.
There are 9 stories in this collection, and each story usually has two mysteries. The stories are imaginative and well told. The "mysteries" hang together well and are clearly resolved by the end (well, one left me not quite so sure, but that might have been me). The characters are believable and interesting.
The stories frequently mention vans. Some of the bad guys drive vans, some good guys drive vans, sometimes there are just vans around to provide local color. As far as I remember, every single van was white! I've since checked this out, and it turns out that "white vans" really are popular with tradesmen, small businesses, etc. Learn something new every day!
The stories do need some attention to formatting. One scene abruptly moves into another without a break -- putting a blank line in between two different scenes would make it easier to follow the action.
Still, the stories were very good. I read them straight through and I recommend them.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)