Even though my TBR pile and my wishlist on Barnes and Noble are quite extensive, I still find myself sometimes in the mood for a specific type of story. Once I satisfied my ghost story craving with a couple of Heather Graham's books this month, I found myself wanting a mystery that was a bit lighter. Since I am still waiting ever patiently for the next Mary Russell mystery, I started browsing and finally settled on Truly, Madly by Heather Webber. This is the first in the Lucy Valentine series and its teaser promised mystery, humor, and just a little romance. I dove in hoping for a nice light read.
Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.
Plus, her rent is due.
Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…
This book was exactly what I wanted. I loved Lucy. She was real. She had extremely wealthy parents and could have everything, but instead chooses to go it on her own without using any of their money. She has tried several careers, but hasn't yet found her niche. She tends to take in animals in need, and because of this has a three legged cat and a one-eyed hamster. She also believes that her love life is cursed so has no hope that she will ever have a lasting relationship. She also has a great sense of humor and I found myself chuckling several times throughout the story. When Sean enters the picture, she is immediately attracted to him but determined to stay away because of the curse. This strategy, of course, doesn't work. I like however, that the romance doesn't overtake the story. Lucy is her own person and makes her own decisions and Sean isn't consistently coming to her rescue.
The book also has a good plot. Lucy and Sean find a body and Lucy needs to figure out who the murderer is so they dig deeper into the possible suspects to try to solve the crime. During the investigation, Lucy also has trouble with the police because they want to know how she knows so much. The plot has a few good twists and turns and the minor characters like Dovie, Em, and the lieutenant add to the fun of the story. You can tell that these will be more prominent characters in future books. One of my favorite minor characters was Raphael, who is the driver and who has known Lucy since she was three. He calls her Uva (which means grape) because when she was little, she had such a meltdown, she looked as red as a grape. She calls him Pasa (which means raisin) because when he was yelling at her during that meltdown, his face was squished like a raisin. He isn't in the story much but you can tell he is a big part of her life. I look forward to seeing more of him. The end was a surprise to me which I also liked because I don't like a predictable story.
All in all, this was a fairly quick, light read that was fun but also included a mystery and some suspense/intrigue. The end was a surprise to me which I also liked because I don't like a predictable story. Is it deep? Not at all. But I wasn't in the mood for deep. I enjoyed it enough that I immediately grabbed the next book, Deeply Desperately, and I will be starting it today. I have to say that I am looking forward to seeing what happens to Lucy next! :)