Genre: cozy mystery
Dolores "Lola" Cruz loves shoes, kung fu, and her job as an underling at Camacho and Associates, a private investigation firm in Sacramento. After a year and a half on the job, her sexy and mysterious boss, Manny Camacho, finally assigns Lola her first big case--a woman's disappearance.
If Lola gets it right, it could mean a big bump up the career ladder. But this is no grocery store stakeout. The woman turns up dead and the same thing could happen to Lola if she doesn't watch her back. Complicating matters are the reappearance of Jack Callaghan, the gorgeous guy who first inspired Lola to surveil in high school; and her loving but meddling family that she still lives with. Can Lola solve the murder, reconnect with her long-time crush, and help her cousin's quinceañera go off without a hitch?
It took me a while to get into this book. I am still not sure if Lola is smart, or fluffy, and things just come to her. As I don’t speak or read Spanish, I did not really like all the Spanish/Mexican words used by all the characters. I am Dutch, I can read French, German and English besides my own language. But Spanish is mostly beyond me. So not knowing what precisely was being said, time and again, threw me out of the story.
Lola is a beautiful 27 year old woman, still living at home, in an apartment above her parents house, shared with her brother. They are both saving for their own house, and enjoy the cheap rent. But Lola is starting to feel the constant company and censure of her parents. They don’t like her dangerous job, and want her to do something safe, and preferably work in the family restaurant full time, get married and give them a lot of grandchildren.
When Lola was 15, she had this huge crush on the most popular guy in school, and kind of stalked him where ever he went. She even made pictures, and caught him once in the backseat of his car with another girl. She still has the picture of a naked Jack in her dresser drawer … And now Jack is back in town, and as he was her brother Antonio’s best friend, she is bound to run into him again. Does she want to see him, or would it be too embarrassing?
Lola likes her job as a private investigator, she likes her colleagues, except for Sadie, who seems to do her best to discredit Lola. But her handsome boss, Manny, has faith in her. He gives her an important case, a missing mother, and Lola is determined to find her. Talking with whomever knew Emily, she stumbles upon a sad tale, a mother grieving for her dead son, and wanting someone to blame for it. But she went to the wrong people to get help, or did someone kill her for a different reason altogether?
And now Lola is following the same route Emily did, and someone is really not happy about that. Is someone trying to scare her off, or is someone really trying to kill her? And not caring if she is alone or not. Her family wants her to quit her job, and Jack is also not happy with the danger she puts herself in, but he does stand beside her.
Lola tries to matchmake between her friend and co-worker Reilly and her brother Antonia, who is really not interested, and Antonio sets her up with Jack. And every time things get nice and hot, something interferes. I did not really like her brother, as he tries to embarrass her in front of Jack a few times too often, that was no longer teasing. And he could be nicer to Reilly or just tell her kindly he is not interested. Not just try to run away.
I did like parts of the book, and parts were confusing. I never got a good enough grip on the story to make me figure out the killer or the plot, and it was not all that difficult, but very convoluted. I do have the other two books in this series, and I will read them someday. I liked Lola for the most part, she is feisty, she is feminine and still though. She also refuses to carry a gun, as she does not want to accidentally shoot the wrong person. She is good at Kung Fu, and as she says so herself, her body is her weapon.
Still, it was a fun story, and the attraction between Lola and Jack is off the charts, I enjoyed those parts. But both Jack and her boss Manny are very secretive about their past loves, and now Lola is determined to find out. Is Manny really interested in Lola, or just using her to make Sadie jealous?
Lola’s parents are the oldfashioned kind; a woman’s place is not in a man’s job. She needs to get married and have children, and work in the family restaurant. I do feel very sorry for Lola, as her mother tries to make her feel guilty every single day for not listening to her, but well, it is Lola’s life.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian