Thank you to Smith Publicity for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A working girl is found dead in the desert. Can a calendar girl uncover the truth? In this prequel to GETTING OFF ON FRANK SINATRA, it’s Christmastime in Sin City. Aspiring journalist Copper Black meets Victoria McKimber, an outspoken prostitute at one of Nevada’s legal brothels. She’s offered Copper the exclusive right to tell her story. Not only will the Las Vegas Light’s -calendar girl- get a byline, but she can also impress her boyfriend and parents when they arrive for the holidays.
Copper is busy with work, Christmas shopping, and fantasizing about a whole week with her long-distance boyfriend. She’s also helping her brother, a civic-minded pastor who is spearheading plans for a new center to serve the homeless. Things are hectic but under control when shocking news breaks. Victoria McKimber has turned up dead.
As she investigates the violent death, Copper evades enemies, juggles boyfriend, work, and family, and races against time to save her brother from a sinister plot. Unless she can expose the truth about Victoria McKimber, somebody just might get away with murder.
Ok, so obviously I was expecting to like this book, or I wouldn’t have chosen to pick it up. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was finding myself sneaking off to read a few pages every chance I could find.
Let me start by saying this wasn’t an edge-of-your-seat, white knuckles, holding your breath, type of murder mystery. I don’t want to burst any bubbles, but that’s not what you get with Copper Black. Instead, she’s a journalist (“calendar girl”) turned sleuth, who seems to be stumbling upon her clues haphazardly/unexpectedly. I loved this aspect so much because she solved the case at the same pace that I tend to solve them as a reader: slowly (but not so slowly that you’re bored or falling asleep) and a bit helper-skelter. Full disclosure: I don’t intentionally try to solve the mysteries that I read. I try to let it present itself to me so I don’t end up disappointed. Following along with Copper felt exactly like that, and it made it a lot of fun to read.
In addition to the pacing, I was a huge fan of the characters. Copper was smart, witty, snarky, and just naive enough to feel realistic. And the rest of the cast was more of the same: unique, smart, often funny personalities that made me want to come back for more. And as someone who has been to Vegas only once and never left the strip, I loved this glimpse into the other side of the city. I’m definitely going to be seeking out Getting Off On Frank Sinatra. ~Amber