The Case of the Killer Divorce: A Jamie Quinn Mystery by Barbara Venkataraman

The Case of the Killer Divorce: A Jamie Quinn Mystery by Barbara Venkataraman
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (116 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It’s business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie’s client becomes the prime suspect. When she can’t untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client’s name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father…

Jamie has her hands full with one of her current clients, Becca Solomon, who seems to be having a meltdown in the middle of a very acrimonious divorce. After the judge issues his order that Joe, Becca’s husband, is to have their two girls on Fridays, Becca leaves the courtroom, staring her husband down and saying, “If you try to take my kids away, I swear to God, Joe, I will kill you.” When Joe is found murdered, it is no surprise that Becca is a suspect. Now Jamie really has her hands full.

This novel is definitely plot driven. The reader does learn a lot about Jamie’s past as well as other aspects of her life, but I never felt that there was a lot of depth to her character. She is also scattered between her work, her past, and her social life. Jamie’s mother has died and Jamie still wonders who her father was or is. The loss of her mother understandably increases her desire to learn about her father. That search becomes a sub-plot of this novel. Jamie also meets an old flame and that re-connection becomes the third sub-plot.

The plot itself is rather predictable, and the solution of the mystery left me with a feeling that I’d been cheated. There wasn’t a lot of investigation and the solution was unsatisfactory. The end of the novel feels very rushed as the three sub-plots are brought to quick conclusions. I can’t say a lot more without giving away spoilers, but the solutions seemed very pat and not entirely realistic.

The Case of the Killer Divorce has an excellent premise. Readers who enjoy a cozy mystery where the mystery itself is balanced with other story lines will enjoy following Jamie through the maze of her life as she copes with a disoriented client, a long-lost father, and a possible boyfriend.

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