Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pretty in Ink ~ Karen E Olson review

Pretty in Ink (Tattoo Shop Mystery #2)
320 Pages
March 2, 2010
Buy @ Amazon

Karen E Olson's Tattoo Shop Mystery series is one of the few series I actually get soon after it comes out and read it (I have lots of other series I read but most of them I purposely stay at least one book behind-it's a thing (; ).

In Pretty in Ink, Brett Kavanaugh and the rest of her coworkers/friends from The Painted Lady, her tattoo shop in Las Vegas are back for more mystery and craziness. This is the second Tattoo Shop Mystery after last year's The Missing Ink. This time around, Brett and Co are invited to Nylon and Tattoos show to see some of Las Vegas' best drag queens perform as a thank you for doing their tattoos.

The trouble starts--as it's known to around Brett--when one of the queens, Britney Brassiers, is fatally injured by a champagne cork shot at her. A less than cooperative detective shows up on the scene, increasing Brett's woes and soon another drag queen is poisoned and Homeland Security is involved. And Brett's in the center of it all, of course.

It does sound absolutely insane to have drag queens, tattoos/tattoo shops, poison plots, and Homeland Security, along with the (more) average character relationships and struggles all in one mystery . . . But it makes for a really entertaining story. I love that while this series is not your typical mystery series--the characters are unique, the plots are definitely different--it's also a very good mystery series.

The fun and 'different' isn't used to hide things that are lacking in other parts of the book. The tattoos and the drag queens aren't a gimmick used to cover up a weak plot or characters, they're the characters in a fun to read, good mystery.

I liked that characters, plot points from the first book carried over to this second book but not so much so (and were also explained in such a way) that you couldn't read this book without reading the first book. The two books build on each other just enough to be a series that's enjoyable to read in order (and keep me wanting the next one) but where you can also read them as stand-alones.

I think my least favorite part of the book was probably the ending. It was not in the least bit bad, it just didn't stand out as much as the other nine-tenths of the book. It concluded things well, though and tied things together. And I definitely wish the third book were already out!

(A little note about the cover: I love how well they--and especially this one--seem to both fit the book and also contain little bits of the story without being obvious about it :))


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