Fresh from her introduction to the dangerous world of criminals and cons in Jump the Gun, smart, sexy, and movie-crazy Annabelle Starkey flies to Portland, Oregon, to visit to her newly relocated parents. They, like Annabelle, are rebooting their lives, although the directions their new starts will take are not yet clear.
Annabelle is now part of a fledgling detective agency headquartered in New York, home turf to her boyfriend, Mickey, just retired from the NYPD. Having arrived safely at her parents' home, Annabelle is ready to relax when she discovers her backpack has been switched for one holding a gun - a gun linked to a murder. Has she been set up, or was she simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? The Portland Police Department isn't sure. Then a frantic young woman appears and claims the gun is hers. And, worryingly, Annabelle wonders whether the man who sat next to her on the plane might now be stalking her.
Alarmed and without a gun of her own, Annabelle is armed only with wits, wisecracks, and her ability to run. Soon Mickey and streetwise backup Luis arrive, adding boots on the ground and their seasoned crime-busting skills, but it is Annabelle who pieces together a case traversing Portland's patchwork of communities, proving to herself, her partners, and her parents that, as an investigator, she's got the right stuff.
This is a sequel to “Jump the Gun” which I have not read. This is a sort of mystery featuring rookie sleuth Annabelle “Bea” Starkey. Bea, her boyfriend Mickey Paxton and former fellow police officer Luis Maldonado formed Asta Investigation in New York. Bea flies to Portland, Oregon, to visit her parents; when leaving the airport her backpack is mixed up with an identical one that contained a gun. As soon as the gun was discovered Bea calls the police and turns over the backpack and gun. Bea’s mother is an emergency room physician who adds an interesting character to the story except I was very disappointed Burke made her extremely foul mouthed: I felt the filthy language added nothing to the story. Bea’s father is a calm, low keyed astrophysicist on sabbatical leave from Stanford University.
Burke provides a positive tour of Portland, Oregon, stating all the service people are so helpful and friendly. The author has created a crazy plot with lots of twists and red herrings that moves at a breakneck pace. Bea uses copious movie references and weird sports metaphors/analogies for which it is obvious she knows nothing about sports. The book is a zany, funny murder mystery that kept me laughing throughout the book. The book makes a fun brake from more serious reading but not sure if I will follow the series. Hillary Huber does an excellent job narrating the book; she adds just enough humor to her voice while all along being serious.
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