Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Review: Dragonfly by Kitty James

by Kitty James
Series:  Kitty James Mystery #1
Pub. Date:  May 8, 2014
Publisher:  Self-Pub
Pages:  229
Format:  eARC
Source:  Author

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Kitty James is a modern day recluse and mystery author with a knack for spotting the potential to kill someone in everyday situations. Ruth Winter is a young woman living on her parent’s tobacco farm during the 1930’s with her daughter Evie. One night Ruth’s life changes forever, and she disappears without a trace. When Kitty renovates the old tobacco barn on her new property, two dead bodies are unearthed, and the lives of both women collide! 

The news rockets through the town at light-speed, and results in her introduction to Ian Matthews, a handsome neighbor, who’s family once owned the old farmstead. The bodies, combined with Ian’s romantic advances, and mysterious time-travel dreams, push the limits of her sanity. 
As Kitty gets closer to discovering the identities of her backyard corpses, she will fall victim to a modern day murderer who wants to keep old family secrets quiet. She must push herself beyond her comfort level to solve this mystery, and she risks her life and Ian’s love to discover the truth, even as someone tries to silence her—permanently. 

So this book is a little outside of what I normally read, but it was a good palette cleanser. Sometimes you need that when you read a lot of the same genre so I have been trying to step outside of my box at least once a month. When Kitty requested that I read and review this book, I think she classified it as a cozy mystery so I wasn't really sure it would be something I would like. The cozy mysteries I have read in the past have been kind of, well, simple? I don't know how to classify them... but not something I would take seriously. However I would not classify Dragonfly as cozy because I didn't find the mystery or the writing to be simple. Maybe I am unfairly characterizing cozy mysteries... it's a high possibility since I have not read many. So I guess this is me taking the long way to say that I liked the book and I liked Kitty's writing style. Can you tell I have brain block tonight? I'm rambling. Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

So our heroine/sleuth/author of mystery books in Dragonfly is Kitty James! Yes, same name as our author. I wonder what other characteristics our Heroine Kitty has in common with Author Kitty? Heroine Kitty has Social Anxiety Disorder, so she is somewhat reclusive and suffers from panic attacks. She also has a morbid curiosity with murder... and I can relate! I have a morbid curiosity myself - please don't ever look at my google search history. Seriously. This helped me to identify a little bit with Heroine Kitty. I also tend to like these quirky type of heroines because they are unique when compared the the majority of romance heroines I am reading this year. So Kitty and I got off to good start.

Because this was described as a cozy mystery, I really wasn't expecting a love interest. But we got one! And a good one at that. Ian with the ruby red hair and piercing eyes. I just loved him. I think he was understanding about Kitty's shyness but also pushed her boundaries when they needed it. He was a family man without being a mama's boy. And he seemed to be just a good ol' southern boy - my southern sisters will know what I'm talking about. So I can't say there was anything I disliked about him... he was flirty and fun and assertive when needed.

Kitty was super awkward in her early interactions with Ian, and I lost a little bit of a connection with her there. But things smoothed out over the course of the book and she stopped spazzing so much. This allowed their relationship to develop a little steam without overpowering the mystery, or turning this into a romantic suspense. So it was a nice supplement to the main plot conflict.

The most enthralling aspect of this story for me was the mystery! Early on, there are some old human remains that found in Kitty's barn. Her inquisitive mind gets excited about identifying the bones in her barn, possibly for use in her next book. The plot line was well developed and the mystery was drawn out at the perfect speed to keep me turning the pages all day long. I really like these kind of cold case mysteries where we have a story from the past unfolding along with the present-day story. The epilogue was a bit confusing for me, so I can only assume that it was included to set up the next book, Everybody Talks. I look forward to reading that one.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Kitty James Mysteries