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Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman

Peril in the Park (Jamie Quinn Mystery Book 3) - Barbara Venkataraman

Note: Although this is Book 3 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

Jamie Quinn, a divorce lawyer working in Hollywood, Florida, is on the case again. This time it is out of necessity and not a paid gig. Her boyfriend, Kip, works for the local parks service and he has a problem, or maybe a few. Someone keeps vandalizing the park and the potential suspects are more than he likes. But then things get more serious as a body turns up along with threatening emails.

Here we have yet another entertaining mystery from the talented Barbara Venkataraman and my favorite so far. Not only do we have Jamie (who is such an easy character to connect with) but we also have the great outdoors of Florida and a Renaissance festival (which Duke or Kip describes incorrectly as LARPers getting together and dressing up like they are in Medieval times, but hey, it’s within character)! Couple that with more than one mystery, and we have a pretty entertaining murder mystery.

Jamie has a lot on her plate in this book. Her boyfriend Kip has some unusual stresses in his life (the vandalism and more) that spill over into Jamie’s life. Then she is trying hard to work out a way to attain a Visa for her long-lost Cubano father who is currently exiled in Ecuador. Toss in a dead body and Jamie has a great need for caffeine to keep her going. I really liked all the different dimensions going in this tale, plus we have some new interesting characters. Kip works with an attractive Indian lady (who goes on to play a crucial role at the end of the book), Jamie’s father, and the unforgettable PI Duke Broussard.

While I found the ending satisfying, I did feel it was a bit rushed. Jamie made some leaps in logic that were not supported by facts known to the character at the time. I felt there needed to be a little more investigation, or perhaps character interaction that lead Jamie to figure out the whodunnits. Also, there as an incident with a stun gun that was used repeatedly and yet didn’t leave any marks. I think that is highly unlikely. With that said, I still found the book entertaining and definitely look forward to the next in the series.

The Narration: Martz once again was a good voice for Jamie. I am glad the author waited to work with Martz (as the book itself has been out for some months) instead of switching narrators. Her Hispanic accent started off pretty rough but got better as the story went on. Her Indian accent was great! as always, I love her slow drawl for Duke.