Skating on the Edge by Joelle Charbonneau – Book Review

Skating on the Edge by Joelle Charbonneau
Published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan

This is the third book in the Rebecca Robbins series. I have previously reviewed the first two books, Skating Around the Law and Skating Over the Line.

Somehow, Rebecca Robbins has found herself roped into sitting in the dunk tank at Indian Falls’s Native American Days celebration. Or, at least she got roped into agreeing to it. When her grandfather’s Elvis act goes awry, Rebecca gets one of the local roller derby gals, Sherlene-n-Mean, to substitute for her. It all seems innocent enough, until Sherlene dies in the dunk tank from an electric shock; one that may just have been meant for Rebecca.

In Skating on the Edge, Charbonneau keeps the Rebecca Robbins series fresh with the addition of the rink’s new roller derby girls as fairly major characters. These additions keep Charbonneau from having to bump off the entire town of Indian Falls, and because the girls are a cohesive unit, there is an increased feeling of urgency to figure out what is going on once Rebecca gets involved with them.

As is typical with Charbonneau’s books, Skating on the Edge is a smart, funny mystery. It could certainly be read on its own, but if you haven’t read the first two books in this series yet you should do yourself a favor and pick them up.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Skating Over the Line by Joelle Charbonneau – Book Review

Skating Over the Line by Joelle Charbonneau
Published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan

This is the second book in the Rebecca Robbins series. I have previously reviewed the first book, Skating Around the Law.

It seems like Rebecca’s dreams may finally have come true. Her real estate agent may finally have found a buyer for her mother’s roller rink. Of course, her boyfriend Lionel isn’t crazy about the idea of her selling the rink and heading back to Chicago, but as much as Rebecca enjoys their time together, getting back to her life in Chicago is all that Rebecca has wanted since she came home to Indian Falls. Still, the Lionel thing aside, things seem to be heading in the right direction – until Rebecca’s deadbeat father shows up in town and people’s cars start going missing.

As in Skating Around the Law, Rebecca is a very strong, entertaining character. She is flawed, but still confident in her own skin, even when she isn’t sure what on earth she is actually doing. The secondary cast of characters is equally good. Lionel gets relatively little face time, but is still very well developed, and Pop has to be the sweetest, funniest grandfather in literature. In addition, Skating Over the Line is well-plotted. It makes sense for Rebecca to get pulled into things when and how she does, and the conclusion makes perfect sense while still managing to be somewhat surprising.

Charbonneau is a fairly new voice in the mystery scene, but she is a talented one. Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau – Book Review

Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau
Published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan

Who says you can’t go home again? Actually, the more pertinent question, to Rebecca Robbins’ way of thinking, is why on earth would you want to go home again? Unfortunately, home is right where Rebecca is. Home from Chicago to small town Indian Falls, IL and trying to sell her mother’s skating rink. Her mother died a year ago, and Rebecca’s grandfather no longer feels that he can run the place – although he seems sufficiently spry to date half of the older women in Indian Falls. Rebecca assumes this sale will take a week or two and that she will then be able to get back to her job as a mortgage broker in Chicago, but then a local teenager finds Mack, a town handyman, dead of foul play in one of the toilets at the rink, something that is sure to scare off potential buyers. Now if Rebecca ever wants to get back to Chicago, she is going to have to figure out what happened to Mack, because Indian Falls’ elderly sheriff certainly can’t be counted on to do the job.

I am still somewhat in awe that “Skating Around the Law” is a debut book. Charbonneau has such a strong and confident voice to her writing that it seems as if she has been doing this for years and years. “Skating Around the Law” was funny without being stupidly silly, but it definitely had me laughing out loud at parts – I don’t want to spoil the amusing surprise for you, so let me just say it has to do with an unexpected hat.

Rebecca was really a great character. She walked very well the line of wanting to get back to her own life in Chicago without seeming so denigrating of Indian Falls that she came off unlikeable. I also very much enjoyed her mutual attraction to the town vet. Charbonneau included just enough sexual tension to keep things fun, without making Rebecca or the book seem skanky.

Fabulous debut, I loved the plotting of the whole thing, and the way that the mystery wrapped up. Really it was just all very well done. Very highly recommended, and I can’t wait for the next in the series.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

Joelle Charbonneau’s website

“Skating Around the Law” is Charbonneau’s debut book, but we can look forward to the sequel, “Skating Over the Line” (release date TBA).

This review was done with a book received from the publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

Some Cozy Mysteries I Have Been Enjoying

While stuff has been crazy this fall I’ve been reading quite a few cozy mysteries. They are fun and light and often quite delightful. Also I tend to have the WORLD’S MOST DIFFICULT TIME reviewing them, particularly once I’m past the first book in the series. So, instead of three or four reviews, here’s a roundup.

The Christie Curse and The Sawyers Swindle by Victoria Abbott – Jordan Kelly needs a job and by some miracle, she seems to have found the perfect one, curating the library of Vera Van Alst, a rare book collector. Tracking down rare mysteries is a more dangerous job than it seems, however. Luckily for Jordan, she has great resources in her uncles who aren’t always on the right side of the law, but who love Jordan dearly.

A Chorus Lineup by Joelle Charbonneau – the third in the Glee Club Mystery series. Paige’s glee club has the opportunity to perform in a huge Nashville competition, but when most of the teams’ costumes are destroyed and Paige is blamed, she gets sucked back an investigation that could put her and those she loves in serious danger. Charbonneau writes two other great series and she is really getting on a roll with this cozy series. I particularly liked the revelations about Paige’s personal life.

Home of the Braised by Julie Hyzy – the White House Chef Mystery series is one of my very favorite cozy series, I look forward to them every January. In Home of the Braised Olivia is back in the White House and is all ready to focus on her upcoming marriage to her secret service beau Gav when the two of them inadvertently walk in on a mass murder just before the secret service gets there. Now Olivia is back in the middle of things and it may be up to her to save the President.

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