Malice in Miami
Jamie Quinn Mystery #6
By Barbara Venkataraman
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Reluctant family law attorney Jamie Quinn is loving life–and why wouldn’t she? Her boyfriend Kip is back from Australia, her long-lost dad finally has his visa and she’s about to start her dream job at an art foundation. But it all falls apart when Jamie is accused of stealing priceless art from a rare book collection. If she can’t find out who framed her, she can kiss her dream job good-bye–and her law license too. Meanwhile, Kip has problems of his own. Now an environmental activist, he uncovers a deadly secret–one that just might get him killed. Jamie’s in trouble, Kip’s in danger, and Duke Broussard has gone AWOL. How could Jamie’s favorite P.I. abandon her at a time like this? (Goodreads)
Malice in Miami is the sixth book in the Jamie Quinn Mystery series by Barbara Venkataraman. I must say – I have really enjoyed Jamie’s journey from the first book until now – it has been such a pleasure to read. While one could read this book as a stand-alone, I would suggest reading the series in its totality as Jamie’s growth as a character was part of the enjoyable journey (at least that is my take on it).
The story begins with Jamie’s boyfriend, Kip, finally back from Australia, her dad has a visa so he can stay in the country AND Jamie wrapping up her cases associated with her law practice. You see, Jamie is embarking on a new journey in a new position as a trustee for the Andrea Lowenthal Foundation – her DREAM job. Side note – how does one really know it is their dream job until they actually do the job? Just thinking 🙂
Life is chugging along, wrapping up the outstanding cases Jamie has on the go when she gets caught up in just one last case – a paternity suit. Should be a snap…but it’s not. The “unnamed father” is Eduardo Matteo – the owner of Florida Sugar. And Florida Sugar is involved in some lawsuits regarding some workers who were injured by chemicals sprayed in the fields they are required to work in. This also ties into the work that Kip is involved into some degree.
Surprisingly – Jamie’s new job requires formal wear as Jamie is going to have to schmooze with art experts. As well, some background knowledge is important. So off Jamie goes to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens for some much-needed research and learning. On one of her many trips to the museum – she is accused of stealing some art pieces and ends up being hauled into jail. So what is a girl to do…but try and solve why she was framed for the theft? And not to be disappointment, her accuser is then found dead! So more for Jamie to solve!!! Are the shenanigans that Kip is involved in and the theft and murder at the museum connected? And how do they relate to the last case that Jamie is helping her colleague Nelda with? P.I. Duke Broussard is, of course, brought into the mix to help solve the case (but what kind of mischief did he create? Will that affect Jamie’s new job?). I really like Duke – he is a hoot.
In true “Jamie” fashion – the story unravels and there are many threads to follow. Each thread provides an interesting (to say the least) journey… an enjoyable and engaging journey. I was hard-pressed to put the book down for such mundane things like meals or sleep. I did get a bit distressed when Jamie and her best buddy Grace had a falling out early on in the story. Will their divergent views every converge again? Well – time will tell.
In the end (as can be expected with cozy mysteries) the various mysteries are solved in a satisfactory manner. I am happy to report that while I thought I knew “whodunit”, the final piece to affirm or reject my suspicions were maintained until the end…. just the way I like my mysteries.
One thing I would caution the reader is that you probably should not dive into this series at this book – but start from the beginning to get a firm understanding of each of the characters. I have read the first four books and not the fifth so jumping into book six was no problem but without some of the backstory – the reader would not be able to appreciate some of the character nuances (especially Duke) or the history amongst all the characters.
All in all – another fine addition to the Jamie Quinn mystery series. Will there be a seventh? I sure hope so…I have really enjoyed the progression of the series and the writing of Barbara Venkataraman throughout.