I recently became aware of the new mystery publisher, Henery Press, from reading their title “Lowcountry Boil,” by Susan Boyer. “Lowcountry Boil” won an Agatha Award for best first novel, and I enjoyed the book immensely. I chose another Henery Press title, more by the cover than anything else, and found that I liked this book even more than “Lowcountry Boil.” The book? “Diners, Dives, and Dead Ends”, by Terri L. Austin, the first book in her Rose Strickland mystery series.
Rose Strickland started out at a well-to-do college chosen by her parents. When she decided that maybe she wanted to do something else, her family stopped supporting her. Now, Rose works as a part-time waitress and attends a community college. She’s twenty-four years old, and is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life. However indecisive Rose is about her future, she is very sure about her friendships. When her friend Axton Graystone goes missing, Rose is determined to find him. With the help of her feisty 70 year-old boss, Ma, her anime-loving friend Roxy, and some of Axton’s IT friends, Rose sets off. During her investigation, Rose encounters a sexy bad guy named Sullivan, and she can’t figure out if he wants date her or kill her. As time ticks on, Rose races to find Axton before he meets his demise.
I loved this book! Rose is loyal, smart, and fiercely determined to find Axton. The action is fast and the situations dire. The cast of quirky characters add spice to the mix. Rose’s strained relationship with her family adds some depth, and Sullivan adds the heat. And humor abounds. If you like Stephanie Plum, you’ll love Rose Strickland.
This book, and the other two books in the series, are available in paperback from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. However, the ebook versions of the title are only $2.99 each. All of the Henery Press ebooks are priced at $2.99.