Diner Impossible

November 12, 2013 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Diner Impossible four-half-stars
on 11/12/2013
Pages: 286
Format: eARC

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After shunning her overbearing parents' wealthy lifestyle, waitress and part-time college student, Rose Strickland, is drawn back into their world when she tries to prove the impossible: the innocence of the town's crooked police chief. He's suspected in the gruesome death of Delia Cummings, his secretary and mistress, and all the evidence points to him.

While she tracks down clues with the aid of her anime-loving bestie, Rose's pal, Axton, and his Klingon gang are feuding with their Starfleet rivals. Things get hairier than a pile of well-fed Tribbles, so Rose gets involved. In between interrogating Trekkies and quizzing socialites at high tea, she discovers the secrets Delia Cummings took to her grave. Suspects abound, but when Chief Mathers threatens to bring down Rose's criminally mischievous and maybe boyfriend, Sullivan, she makes it her mission to find the real killer before Sullivan finds himself in prison.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review by Travis Starnes

Diner Impossible is the third book in the Rose Strickland series about a diner waitress who through happenstance ends up investigating and solving crimes for her friends.

I will be honest; I had never heard of the Rose Strickland series before reading this book and was not familiar with the character, her exploits, or her friends.  In fact when I got this book I didn’t even know it was a series at first, although the fact that it is becomes readily apparent while reading it.  I will say I am happy I found this series and I plan on going back and picking up the first two books.  I might know how those end, because they are both mentioned in this installment, but I am sure I will enjoy them all the same.

This book falls squarely in the “madcap non-investigator mystery” style book that I have seen popping up over the last few years.  It reminded me strongly of the Stephanie Plum books from Janet Evanovich, although to be clear this was in no way derivative.  Like that series this book is made more by its characters then the actual mystery.  To Terri Austin’s credit what makes this series stand apart from its contemporaries is that it has all those traits but the mystery itself is also very good.  It had some nice twists and I was genuinely engaged in finding out who killed Delia Cummings.  That is always a good sign for a mystery.

I really enjoyed the cast of characters in this book.  Not that there is a lot of character work in the book, everyone is pretty 2 dimensional and one of a handful of pretty standard archetypes.  But their relationships with each other are really well done and fun to read.  I genuinely liked Rose and her friends and enjoyed every moment with them.  While nearly every character in the book has an analog character in similar works, again such as the Stephanie Plum series, the relationship between Rose and Sullivan is very interesting.  You don’t often see the protagonist and an expressed bad guy connected together in a mystery novel, but it works really well here.  While they seem to be on opposite sides of the law morally, their relationship is totally believable and interesting.

What makes this book work is its sense of humor.  From the dialogue to many of the situations the book is downright amusing.  It’s not a laugh a minute mind you, but it kept me smiling for pretty much the entire book.

If you are looking for a lite and fun mystery, or you are a fan of the Stephanie Plum series, this is a great choice.

four-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
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Overall: 4.4

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