Thursday, June 6, 2013
RELATIVELY RISKY by Pauline Baird Jones
When artist/children’s book author Nell Whitby slams her bike into the perpetrator trying to steal New Orleans Detective Alex Baker’s truck, she sets off a chain of events that leads to danger for both of them. Nell is a misplaced librarian who moved from Wyoming to New Orleans after her parents’ death and works for her best friend’s catering company while trying to get her writing career off the ground. Unaware she is related to two families of a mafia trifecta active in New Orleans for years, Nell is the last person to speak to her mobster grandfather before he is killed. Her life as she knows it comes crashing down around her when she learns this and that her parents were the offspring of two of the mafia families. Alex, trying his best to protect a woman he likes more than he wants to, begins to wonder what his father, a retired cop, and his former partner are hiding from him. As Alex and Nell dodge bullets and thugs trying to kidnap Nell, the chemistry between them jumps into high gear and it’s all Alex can do to keep himself and Nell alive. This author’s writing style is unique: a strong dose of noir balanced with humor and witty dialogue. The plot moves at a fast pace as does the chemistry between Alex and Nell. The characters are well-developed and likeable, the relationship between Alex and his 12 siblings fun, and the New Orleans ambiance conveyed so realistically the reader will feel as if they have been plopped down right in the middle of the Big Easy.