No Memes of Escape
A Brooklyn Murder Mystery, Book #2
By Olivia Blacke
Author Website: oliviablacke(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Amateur sleuth Odessa Dean is about to discover the only thing harder than finding her way out of an escape room is finding an affordable apartment in Brooklyn in this sequel to Killer Content.
Odessa Dean has made a home of Brooklyn. She has a fun job waiting tables at Untapped Books & Cafe and a new friend, Izzy, to explore the city with. When she’s invited on a girls’ day out escape room adventure, she jumps at the chance. It’s all fun and games until the lights come on and they discover one of the girls bludgeoned to death…
The only possible suspects are Odessa and the four other players that were locked in the escape room with the victim. She refuses to believe that one of them is responsible for the murder, despite what the clues indicate. In between shifts at the cafe, Odessa splits her time interviewing the murder suspects, updating the bookstore’s social media accounts, and searching for the impossible–an affordable apartment in Brooklyn.
But crime–and criminally high rent–waits for no woman. Can Odessa clear her and Izzy’s names before the police decide they’re guilty? (Goodreads)
No Memes of Escape is a solid second offering in this series that appeals to a new generation of cozy mystery lovers. We get to know Odessa, her new friend Izzy, and their co-workers better. We follow them through Brooklyn and other boroughs of New York City as they attempt to solve a new murder despite Odessa’s protests that the first solve was a fluke. The characters are defined well as fitting their roles, and friendships forged with co-workers are sturdy and caring. The mystery itself is quite the challenge to solve.
Odessa came to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn to watch Aunt Melanie’s apartment and cat Rufus while she is on a 3-month tour of Europe. It is six weeks into Odessa’s Brooklyn stay, and she realizes that she does not want to return to Piney Island, Louisiana. She wants to find an apartment she and Izzy can share and stay in the most fascinating city she could imagine. Odessa has been working at Untapped Books and Café, within walking distance of where she is staying, and Izzy ended up staying at her aunt’s place with her.
The girls get invited to an escape room adventure when they run into a couple of Izzy’s high school acquaintances. Reservations have been made and paid for by six women, and at the last minute, two were unable to attend. Odessa has never been to an escape room, was excited by the idea of it, and accepted. These were not Izzy’s first choice of people to spend the afternoon with, but since the tickets were already paid for, she agreed to go.
The original group was celebrating Vickie being named the top condo and apartment broker of the year. Marlie, an older broker from the same office, was with them. Marlie had been deemed second best. The six ladies had one hour to get through the clues and find their way out of the escape room suite. Vickie stayed behind in the library while the other five forged ahead through a tunnel to the next room. Their hour was up before they found their way out, and the young man overseeing their departure noticed that one person was missing. Vickie was dead in the library where she had chosen to remain, having been bludgeoned by something that Izzy and Odessa had with them from earlier that day.
When statements were taken and evidence collected, Detective Vince Castillo is unhappy with the results. Izzy, who the detective has been dating for a few weeks, is the only suspect. Only her fingerprints and Odessa’s are identified on the object used to kill Vickie. Izzy and Vickie were enemies from years past. Amid the high-stress day, Aunt Melanie returned early from Europe with a fractured foot. Izzy has nowhere to go, and Odessa’s aunt will purchase her bus ticket back to Piney Island. They have three days to find an apartment and get Izzy off the suspect list.
I like the intelligence and resourcefulness of Odessa and Izzy. They are kind, caring and get along well with co-workers and customers. This is not a slight against food service workers as their work is valuable! The lack of ambition beyond being a waitress or cashier in a cafe was surprising for new adults desiring a lifestyle requiring a more substantial income to pay rent, even if it means working in higher-end restaurants.
This mystery had me stumped! There was little possibility of other suspects who met evidence, motive, and opportunity. The author’s writing flows well and describes the place that I used to love to visit. I am looking forward to their next adventure and seeing more of today’s Brooklyn! The resolution was excellent, and all loose ends tied up. Overall I enjoyed this cozy, and highly recommend it!