Review: Sticks & Stones by K.J. Larson

Title: Sticks & Stones {Cat DeLuca Mystery #2}

Author: K.J. Larson

Published: Poisoned Pen Press Feb 2012

Synopsis: What does a woman do when she discovers her husband is an incurable cheater? If she’s Cat DeLuca she launches the Pants On Fire Detective Agency. When a client shoots her cheating husband’s bum full of buckshot, he disappears, taking her money, dog, and sister with him. Private Investigator Cat DeLuca promises to return the dog and money if her client stops shooting at Walter. The detective finds the dog and a mysterious bag chuck-full of cash. And then she finds Walter. His very dead body is still warm. The case is a slam dunk for the cops who arrest Cleo for the murder of her husband. She had motive and opportunity and a dozen witnesses heard her scream bloody murder. One made a video. Cat DeLuca is determined to prove her client’s innocence and it’s not an easy sell.  To find his killer, Cat will have to sift through the ones who didn’t pull the trigger. Her investigation leads to four players with secrets: a childhood friend, a gambler, a construction tycoon, and a legendary Chicago designer. When forensic evidence suggests the detective knows more about the murder than she’s telling, Cat faces the certain loss of her agency.  Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from February 06 to 07, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Poisoned Press/NetGalley}

My Thoughts:

The similarities between K.J Larson’s Cat DeLuca Mysteries and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series are impossible to deny. Though Cat may be a PI instead of a bounty hunter, she has her very own Ranger (Max) and Morelli (Chance), a colleague who wears inordinate amounts of lycra (though Cleo cooks instead of eats), a family of gun toting crazies and a mother who laments her daughter’s choice in career and marital status. Cat even has a tendency to destroy cars and her targets are often nude.

Don’t get me wrong though, the similarities are not a bad thing, Sticks and Stones is fast paced, funny and entertaining caper. Cat DeLuca is a fun character, the owner of Pants on Fire Detective Agency dealing mainly with suspicious wives and cheating husbands but has the uncanny knack of ending up in the middle of murder cases. In Sticks and Stones it is her assistant, once a former client, Cleo who is accused of murdering her husband and it’s up to Cat to prove her innocent. Luckily Cat has lots of back up, her father, brothers and various uncles are cops, her boyfriend is an FBI Agent, she is connected to a current and ex-spy and then there are a few family friends on the wrong side of the law. Keeping Cleo out of jail is more complicated that Cat expects even though there are plenty of people with the motive to have wanted Walter dead, and if she is not careful she will wind up in the frame as well. In between investigating Walter’s past, Cat has cheaters to chase, a bridal shower to throw and a wedding to attend.

I enjoyed Sticks and Stones, it’s a lighthearted cozy mystery with a solid plot, appealing characters and a great sense of humour.  Though the second in the series, it works as a stand alone. The first book, [book:Liar, Liar|8037760] was named one of 2010’s best mysteries by Library Journal though, so it’s worth picking up as well.

Available to Purchase

@ Amazon I @ Book Depository

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patty
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 07:32:02

    Sounds yummy…a light fun book!!!



  2. Parrish
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 08:41:07

    need a thriller for my challenge, this could be it 🙂



  3. The Australian Bookshelf
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 10:58:39

    I recently requested this one off Netgalley, didn’t know it was part of a series. I will have to check out the first book in the series as it sounds like a fun read too



  4. Melliane
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 07:24:08

    OOOh I love the Janet evanovich series so maybe this one is for me too! Thank you because I didn’t know about this one, but I sure will add this one on my wishlist now. Can’t wait to learn more about this series.



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