Book Review: The Dead Girl's Stilettos: A Bexley Squires Mystery by Quinn Avery

The Dead Girl's Stilettos: A Bexley Squires Mystery by Quinn Avery
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3 stars)
Publisher: Indie (April 2019)

The stilettos of the title are gold with diamond heels and are the main clue that Bex Squires has to solve the case and exonerate the man who's hired her, Dean Halliwell. She's still got a bit of name recognition from her last investigative report that garnered her national attention but her funds are running low when she gets a call to help mega-star Dean in her tony, old home town of Papaya Springs, CA. This is right up her alley as she also wants to track down her troubled, missing younger sister, Cineste.

The set up is good but after Bex meets Dean and gets the details he has for her to begin investigating the momentum of the mystery slows. She runs into Grayson, her high school crush and now, a detective at the Papaya Springs PD. She's attracted to both men and this is where the book started to feel more like romantic suspense and not mainly a mystery. For much of part one of the book, there's a lot of exposition and while things do happen (some on the more extreme end) that are relevant to the actual case, I didn't feel the urgency as a reader. Bex is caught up trying to decide who to trust, which guy she's more attracted to (which shouldn't even be a problem here because one is literally employing her & maintenance of her investigative integrity should be a thing) and who's lying and why. These held varying levels of interest to me and if I'm honest, once Bex missed a really big thing early on that screamed out to me, I had even less interest in reading about her "torn between two hot guys" angst.

As an avid mystery reader, many of the revelations nor the resolution surprised me but I think those things would work well for those who aren't so mystery obsessed. Also, for those who enjoy a bit of romantic angst in their reads, this has got them covered. While I did think it had some usual first-in-a-series foibles, I found that by the end I was still interested enough that I'd read another of Bex's investigations. She had experiences that lead me to believe she's learned (I completely agreed with her self assessments in the final chapter) and will grow and I want to see her get into the private investigations business.

Many thanks to the publisher for the advanced reader copy.

Summary: A playground for the rich and famous, a murdered Jane Doe, and a beloved celebrity. Journalist Bexley Squires might be out of her league when she’s asked to solve one of the nation’s most infamous unsolved mysteries.
But she’s broke and desperate for the means to find her sister after her disappearance, and the world’s sexiest actor will pay generously to save his reputation. Only she didn’t expect the detective in charge of the case to be her old crush, Grayson Rivers. He’s hotter than the California sun, and their chemistry is the best thing since tacos, but she’s not going to let anything get in the way of uncovering a level of depravity unlike anything she’s ever known.
As tampering witnesses and stolen evidence come to light, Bexley’s network of old and new friends gets sucked into the undertow. If she can’t uncover the secret behind the victim’s footwear, the next wave will kill them all.

No comments