Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
After getting injured in a fire and discovering her boyfriend cheating on her, firefighter Stella Griffin leaves Chicago and heads to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. She is offered a temporary position as their fire chief. She has no intentions of staying there permanently, it’s just to give herself some space to clear her head and recover from her injury. Stella has her work cut out for her, though, when she must train the small town’s volunteer fire fighters and whip them all into shape. It’s not easy for a woman, especially an outsider.
Stella’s not on the job long when a friend of hers dies in a house fire, she becomes suspicious of the circumstances and is sure her friend was murdered. Since the small town doesn’t have a fire investigator, it’s up to Stella to double as both the chief and investigator. She meets some tough opposition from the local police chief, but she’s determined not to let that stop her.
She gets some assistance from Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief, Eric Gamlyn. Of course there is a major obstacle in accepting his help - he’s been dead for forty years and is now a ghost taking up residence in the cabin she lives in. It’s not long before Stella uncovers more secrets and betrayals than she ever expects possible. She must find out the truth before she becomes the next victim.
This is a brand new cozy mystery series, “A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery”. For a change I had a chance to start at the beginning of a series and I’m so glad I did. This is a wonderful start to what looks to be a fun, exciting, cozy mystery.
Stella is a strong, lead character who readers will love and cheer for. There were no moments where I scratched my head wondering why the heroine did something stupid. Everything she did, although dangerous, is understandable in her line of work. She isn’t a nosey neighbor butting into things that aren’t her business. She is doing her job against all kinds of opposition.
Although I love all kinds of cozies, this one really grabbed my attention right from page one. It reminds me very much of the TV show Chicago Fire, which I love, mixed in with the older TV show The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which I also love.
The story moves along at a quick pace. There were so many mysteries and secrets sprinkled throughout the book that I was totally and completely captivated. I kept thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading, which says a lot right there. I did not want to see this book end.
I’m so excited that there will be more books on the way. The good thing is I have the novella from this series to read next and the next full length book comes out in January. I’m already desperately missing Stella and her firefighters. I never expected to love this book so much. This might actually be my absolute favorite book of 2013.
FTC Disclosure: The publisher/author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
For Reading Challenge:
2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge? (Tennessee)
Wouldn't you love to read this book? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback copy to giveaway to one lucky winners.
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