Thursday, May 12, 2011

Murder is a Family Business by Heather Haven

Book Description
Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez doesn't think so. But the 34-year old ½ Latina, ½ WASP and 100% detective has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve. Set in the present, Murder is a Family Business is the first in a series of humorous mysteries revolving around Lee Alvarez, a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitch’ Stephanie Plum, and rest of the Alvarez Family, detectives all. Seemingly light and frothy on the surface, the novel nevertheless explores familial love, the good, the bad and the annoying.

Completing the family is Lee’s Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day aristocratic mother, Lila; computer genius brother, Richard; beloved uncle “Tio;” and her energetic orange and white cat, Tugger. When this group is not solving murders, they run Discretionary Inquiries, a successful Silicon Valley agency that normally deals with the theft of computer software. The love, humor and camaraderie shared within this family are what set this series apart from others.

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable 'whodunit' book! Lee's family is a business....well they are in the PI business together anyway! Mostly they investigate corporate crime and white collar things. Lee gets handed the assignment of following her mother's friend's husband because the friend is certain he is cheating. This leads to a soaking stakeout, kitten and dead body! Now Lee is determined to find who killed said husband and why.
Lee was a wonderful character! She's of mixed heritage and her mother's blue blood doesn't like a lot of her characteristics but they are some of the best ones. I loved that while in a rain storm, Lee is in designer clothes and the details the author uses about those. The fact that her family works together and has to deal with family business along with 'family business' and are a bit dysfunctional just makes them more realistic. Her mother is great because she is just so blue blood'. All in all, wonderful characters and a good mystery.
I rate this book a 4/5. It has tone of humor throughout so they mystery doesn't get too heavy and I can't wait to read (hopefully) the next installment in this series!

Thank you to Pump Up Your Books for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.


  1. Thanks for hosting Heather. I'm glad you enjoyed her book. It was a top ten seller at her publishing house last week. I hope your readers check it out, along with its sequel that was recently released.

  2. Thanks Ashley for your kind words. I'm glad you like my little family. They are such fun to write! And thanks for adjusting to all this blogger stuff. The only thing reliable in this world any more is a good, old fashioned mystery!

  3. Cheryl--thank you so much for letting us know about the sequel...I'm going to find it now!

    Heather--I'm sorry for all the delays and strangeness of the blogger sites but I did so enjoy your book. You are a wonderfully talented author and I can't wait to read more!