My first book of the new year, and it was a free one I downloaded on my shiny new Christmas present–a Kindle Fire (more on that later)! As it was a freebie I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Judging by her website, Gemma Halliday is a prolific writer of chick lit mysteries, and her High Heels series centers around a late-twenties children’s shoe designer with a penchant for fast food and trouble.
Maddie Springer is a bit of dumb blonde. As the series begins, she is presented as a fairly traditional chick lit heroine. She loves beauty and fashion, has insecurities about herself and men, and has a wacky cast of friends and family. However, she has a good heart, and most of the mayhem that ensues springs out of trying to help others or do the right thing. In this first installment, the plot revolves around a situation with her current boyfriend, an anal-retentive lawyer named Richard, who goes missing. In the process of trying to find out what has happened to him, Maddie unwittingly uncovers crimes of embezzlement and murder that lead her into some dangerous situations. She also comes up against Ramirez, a Mexican alpha-male homicide detective who is trying to find Richard as well, albeit with less kindly intentions.
Throw in baby drama, sexual tension, and a lot of fun, and you have the High Heel mysteries. I really enjoyed how light and fun the book was, and the chemistry between Maddie and Ramirez is great. Halliday is a good plotter, with no lag time in the story and plenty of fun adventures. Although there are quite a few stereotypical elements to the book, it still reads as fresh thanks to the skillful, witty writing.
In short, this book was exactly what I was looking for from a “vacation” read, and I’ve already got the next book in the series queued up on my Kindle.
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