Note: While this is Book 3 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.
Miranda Vaughn has a new job that may lead to a bigger, more permanent job. She’s off to the Whispering Pines Resort at Lake Tahoe to help Dottie Russel assess the owner’s finances, since he wishes to buy a currently abandoned casino resort, Lucky Penny, that his family once owned. It sounds like a dream job, at least until things get complicated. With a film crew on site and the FBI coming out to investigate the possibility of illegal gambling, there’s plenty of possible culprits in the mix.
This book is rather different from the last, Dropping the Dime, which was also different from the first, Chasing the Dollar. All 3 have been good, though I think I enjoyed Book 2 the most. There wasn’t an instant mystery and nearly all the action happens in the last quarter of the book. However, since I was hooked on the main characters from the previous books, I didn’t mind the slow burn on this story. Just because we don’t have a body doesn’t mean that Miranda isn’t capable of being in the middle of trouble.
I did like the addition of the film crew and famous movie stars. It made parts of the resort inaccessible so Miranda and Dottie can’t go everywhere. Miranda does meet a personal assistant on the film crew and this lady is very cheerful and bouncy and quite willing to sneak Miranda into the filming area so she can meet the heart throb of the film. That adds to Miranda’s romantic entanglements nearly as much as when Quinn arrives.
In Book 2, Quinn showed definite interest in Miranda and she was definitely tempted, yet she still has this simmering undercurrent of attraction with FBI agent Jake Barnes, who also shows up at the resort later. One thing I have enjoyed about these books is that while there is this romantic element, it’s secondary to the mystery. With that said, the author does bump of the time spent on Miranda’s romance life in this book, which made some parts of the story a little silly or a little slow for me. I prefer the mystery, the hunt, the action, the critical thinking.
So we get to the last quarter of the book and things really pick up. There’s definitely some double dealing going on and the Lucky Penny seems to be at the heart of it. This was the best part of the book though I do have to say that using a sneeze to move the plot along is just a touch cliche. It’s cute, but cliche. Still, even with that, I really enjoyed watching Jake and Miranda figure out who did what, since there’s more than one crime to solve. I suspected one culprit but did not see the other. Clever.
All together, it was a fun cozy mystery. I look forward to seeing what trouble Jake and Miranda can get into in the future and also how their relationship develops.
I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.
The Narration: Teri Schnaubelt is still great at being Miranda Vaughn. I also really liked her always cheery voice for the personal assistant, her older, quavering voice for Dottie, and her distressed drama queen voice for the female movie star. She was great at the male voices as well.