May 25, 2011

Murder Is A Family Business by Heather Haven

Murder Is A Family Business is book one in the  Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series.

Liana Alvarez (Lee to her friends) isn't your typical female, for one, she's a P.I. who investigates computer technology theft and yea, sometimes other stuff, like the case her mother put her on to find out about a cheating husband.  Feeling like the job is beneath her, she takes in on anyhow as a favour to her mother's friend, whose husband is suspected of cheating.  However, before she can say boo, Mr. Porter Wyler, real estate kingpin, is dead and the case takes on a whole new meaning.

Lila Alvarez is Lee's mother and partner in the private investigator business, in which her husband started in hopes of nabbing computer thieves.  She is the cliched type of aristocrat who is used to getting her own way in everything, and continues to ride her daughter for answers, running the agency with a tight fist, she doesn't take no for an answer.

Together, alone with Lee's brother, Richard, her Uncle Tio and her cat, Tugger, she sets out to uncover the intrigues that surround, what was supposed to be a routine man cheating on woman deal, to learn the real truths behind the manifestations of all those involved.

I really enjoyed Lee's personality and character.  She is witty, comical and not the damsel in distress type of lady.  She strives for perfection in order to please her mother and the memory of her father.  You will find yourself chuckling over the antics and situations she gets herself into, she continuously seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  When the investigation turns deadly and involves her life, she pumps up her efforts instead of running from the ordeal ahead.

I found the twists and turns in the plot to be enjoyable, even if I did figure out the culprit long before the book ended.  Now I had to read it to see if I was correct, and that was part of the charm with the story, the predictability of the character's involved didn't hinder the plot nor the story.  I enjoyed the tidbits of information dispersed throughout the pages on San Francisco and Silicon Valley, I hadn't expected that and it was refreshing to read.  I liked Lee, she was as strong woman and I was thankful for such, sometimes authors make the main character a helpless, hapless victim that needs to be "saved", I loved that Heather Haven did not do this to Lee Alvarez, it would have seriously dampened the plot.

The only downfall to the book were some scenes seemed to continue longer than they should or could have.  I would've liked to have read a bit more about Richard, but I'm sure he will have more of a backstory in the books to follow.  I quite enjoyed this new series and I think Heather Haven has found a successful and fresh approach to murder/mystery suspense novels.  I look forward to reading more in the months ahead.

SYNOPSIS:
Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez doesn't think so. But the 34-year old ½ Latina, ½ WASP and 100% detective has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve. Set in the present, Murder is a Family Business is the first in a series of humorous mysteries revolving around Lee Alvarez, a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitch’ Stephanie Plum, and rest of the Alvarez Family, detectives all. Seemingly light and frothy on the surface, the novel nevertheless explores familial love, the good, the bad and the annoying.

Completing the family is Lee’s Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day aristocratic mother, Lila; computer genius brother, Richard; beloved uncle “Tio;” and her energetic orange and white cat, Tugger. When this group is not solving murders, they run Discretionary Inquiries, a successful Silicon Valley agency that normally deals with the theft of computer software. The love, humor and camaraderie shared within this family are what set this series apart from others.
 ** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great review of Heather's book. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Your readers can find a video trailer for the book at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NmlJuJlygE The second book in this series, A Wedding to Die For, was also recently released.

Thanks again for hosting Heather today.