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A DEAD SISTER (JESSICA HUNTINGTON DESERT CITIES MYSTERY, BOOK #2) BY ANNA CELESTE BURKE: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, March 2, 2015

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5-star

 

A Dead Sister

Jessica Huntington #2

By Anna Celeste Burke

ISBN#  9781497473973

Author’s Website: http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

 a-dead-sisterSynopsis:

Jessica Huntington’s philandering husband and his she-beast aren’t done with her yet. It’s not just the debacle on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills that has Jessica wondering if the shopping gods have it in for her. There’s more trouble on El Paseo. Jessica and her ‘cat pack’ friends are back in this, the second Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery.

Jessica’s best friend, Kelly Fontana, was killed soon after graduating from high school. Because she was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in a hotel parking lot in Palm Springs, the investigation into her death quickly grew cold. Now more than a decade later a lowlife meth addict claims to have witnessed her death and swears:

“It weren’t no accident! It was on purpose.”

Why would someone do such a thing to the 19-year-old, auburn-haired beauty with a voice like an angel and a streak of wild? Can Jessica and her friends find the dirtbag who did it and finally get justice for Kelly? Will they get him before he gets them?

Review:

This is the second book of the Jessica Huntington series by Anna Celeste Burke and the second book I have read by this author.  If you have not read the first book, I strongly suggest you start with that book and then read this second book in the series….you won’t be disappointed! I am amazed at how the story engages me as a reader, I become so immersed that I literally do not want to put the book down.  In my books (pun intended), this is a true sign of a really good book.

Jessica and the ‘Cat Pack’ are just one week off of solving Roger’s murder from The Dead Husband (the first book in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series) and the gang becomes quickly immersed in a cold case (15 years cold) involving the death of Jessica and Laura’s high school friend Kelly Fontana.  Recently a witness came forward and indicated it was not an accident but murder.  In true Jessica fashion, she rallies the Cat Pack and another adventure is born.  To prove what really happened to Kelly that fateful night.

The continued development of Jessica as a recently divorced woman was really great.  I enjoyed the many aspects of her!  Re-igniting her career as a lawyer, taking much needed steps to work through the trauma of discovering her soon to be ex-husband with another woman in their family bed (not a spoiler as we knew about the betrayal from the first book), and just becoming comfortable with herself and the complex world she lives in (i.e. bad things do happen to rich folks too!).  I enjoyed the evolution of the relationships that were beginning to develop between Jessica and two interested parties: Frank and Paul.  I cannot wait to see where this will go!

In addition – I truly enjoyed the evolution of the members of the cat pack: Tommy, Jerry, Brien, Bernadette.  The casino scene and Bernadette had me chuckling (another good point for the book…the chuckle factor).  I obviously was a bit distracted by the story as it took me a short while to relate the ice cream (Tom and Jerry) to the cat pack couple of Tommy and Jerry…..another little chuckle.  All I can say is I truly appreciate Ms. Burke’s sense of humor in her writing….clever as it is.

The bad guys were truly bad, heinous individuals.  The mystery was maintained for a good long while throughout the story…another point in favor of this wonderful book. The intricacies surround what they did and for the length of time that they conducted all their “bad guy” stuff was interesting.  The way the cat pack all worked on solving various components of the mystery (according to their interests and expertise) added some reality.  Not one person has the skill or knowledge to solve mysteries and it was good to see everyone working towards the common goal.

At the beginning of writing this review, I was to rank the read as 4 / 5…..after reading my review over and over…I have decided the read is in actuality a 5 / 5.  Very well done Ms. Burke!!  I will patiently await the next book in this delightful and engaging series.

*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

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